Ashleigh Barker, Head of Beauty for Lincoln International, on her unique Entreprenista journey
Describe your business in a few words:
I am the Head of Beauty for Lincoln International, an investment banking platform that advises brands and management teams on growth capital fundraising and M&A advisory strategies.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I’m an M&A strategy, advisor and investment professional with both investment banking and corporate new business development experience having spent the last 12 years focused on the consumer sector. I began my career working under one of the large global investment banks before jumping the fence to join The Estee Lauder Companies where I helped execute on their acquisition strategy. This is where I also developed my interest in working with early stage brands which led me to consulting for startups before I returned to the world of M&A, albeit with a focus on advising and capital raising for early stage brands. In my current role, I’m typically focused on later stage brands seeking exit opportunities, however I haven’t let go of my passion to connect with early stage founders, continuing to serve as a resource and champion as they scale their businesses.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I’m still navigating what it means to me to be an entrepreneur, in both my current role as a I “build” my book of business and a new platform for my company, but also what the next 5-10 years could look like as I evolve in my career and continue to bring value to brand founders navigating the investment landscape.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out, and did it go as planned?
Never hold back on marketing for yourself. You are your best tool for “word of mouth” advertising.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
The perseverance I’ve recognized in myself to get through any number of challenging situations in my professional career, and the learnings I can now appreciate and build on when it comes to progressing in the development of my career.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I believe we can do our best to achieve it at any given time, but part of that of the balance is finding ways to compromise and set boundaries (with ourselves and others).
What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
My new job! I’m excited to be a part of a fast-growing platform that values collaboration and learning and allows me to tap into my entrepreneurial spirit to build a new business and expertise for the firm.
What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I have a passion for nurturing up and coming brands in the consumer sector, beauty in particular, and look forward to learning more about the founder and entrepreneur journey from those actually going through it, and to also be a resource or point of guidance and perspective to founders when it comes to scaling their business and bringing in outside investors.