In this episode of Turning Lemons Into Lemonade, I interviewed Leana Weller Smith.
Leana is the founder and CEO of Weller Smith Designs. Leana’s story is one that we don’t hear very often. You see, Leana worked in the heart of Manhattan on September 11th. She experienced one of the worst experiences any one of us could ever imagine. She said that a few days after that traumatic event, she was back in her office and it just was no longer a fit – everything felt different, and that she didn’t feel appreciated in what she did. Her heart just wasn’t in it anymore!
When she decided to go out on her own as a freelancer, her husband was a hugely supportive fan – telling her, “she’d work it out – because she always did.” We talked about how great it is to have a support system at home who is helping you along the way – especially when you take big leaps of faith!
Leana shared how a few years into her business, her biggest client, who was paying the equivalent of a full time salary let all their contractors go in one day and brought everything in house. She said she had just bought a new house and in New York, this was a big blow. That night, she put together her portfolio and within a day she was getting new offers! Eventually one of those brought her to pitch to a food and wine company – and her business had a complete rebirth.
Leana’s secret sauce is true customization and beginning with the end in mind. She believes that every brand needs to be truly individual and authentic to its founder – and has built a proprietary process to help her clients figure out who they serve, where they want to go, and then build it in from there!
Leana said that one of her biggest resources in her business has been her series of masterminds and tribes to help her along the way in her business! She said that she tends to maintain different groups for different areas of her life – which I SO agree with! I often have 2-3 different mentors and mastermind groups that I belong to at one time!
You can find Leana at Weller Smith Design!
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