Leslie Bailey of Indy Maven, a lifestyle media company, on making an impact in her community


Describe your business in a few words:

I’m the co-founder and CEO of a lifestyle media company for women by women in Central Indiana. We offer curated content, an award-winning newsletter, a paid membership group, events and more. I have two sons under 3 and a 12 year-old step son. I was in the inaugural class of the Forbes Next 1000 list and this spring, I’m opening a femme-powered co-working and community space in Indianapolis called Maven Space.

What was your background prior to starting your own business?

My background is in journalism, but I didn’t got to journalism school. I started off as a blogger actually! I’ve worked as managing editor for AAA Crossroads magazine, lifestyle editor at Indianapolis Monthly magazine, and as a columnist for the Indianapolis Star. I also freelanced and worked as a consultant in between those roles. The community and connection elements of storytelling have always been what appealed to me so putting all of those things together felt like a natural progression.

Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

No, but I never really knew what I wanted to do. It was sort of a process of elimination there for a while. I’ve worked at law firms, radio stations, and in retail. Both of my parents were entrepreneurs, though, so looking back it makes sense that I took this path.

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?

Our marketing strategy was to invite 200 local women of influence (note: not the same as influencers – though we had some of those, too) to a big launch party that was super fun. I think it worked to get the word out for sure, all of our growth has been completely organic outside of a small FB post boost here and there. However, not all of those 200 women stuck around as members later, but we gained new members along the way and have around 300 now. We have a great partnership with a TV station, our public radio station, and a lot of local businesses and organizations – all organic relationships.

What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?

I’m most proud that I was able to launch and keep a business in the middle of a pandemic; and in the middle of all of that, have a second baby. It’s been an incredibly eventful 2+ years and the fact that I don’t drown my face in pinot grigio every night is a miracle.

Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?

I speak as a cisgender white, middle-class woman with a very present husband so I’d like to note that it’s my privilege that allows me to say that I believe in work/life chemistry. My favorite tips include putting myself first (put on your own oxygen mask before everyone else and all that), looking at my calendar daily and weekly and seeing what I can take off. Regular communication with my husband and making sure we share responsibilities equally is also key. Getting kids involved in household things early on is also helpful. My 19 month-old feeds our dog on a regular basis.

What have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?

Signing the lease on Maven Space! It’s terrifying and exciting and I think it’s important to remember that both of those things can be true at the same time. I’m an enneagram 7, so I want to avoid uncomfortable scary things at all costs, but it’s part of the journey!

What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?

Launching Maven Space is definitely the focus for the year ahead. Indy Maven and Maven Space are “sister” companies right now but I’m curious to see if one sort of takes over the other. I decided everything else has happened pretty organically so that part might as well, too. I’d still really like to write that book though.

What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?

I LOVE connecting with other female entrepreneurs to learn and also share knowledge!

Share it!

Posted in

Leave a Comment

Ansley Pridgen of Ansley Media Co. on helping small businesses grow

Describe your business in a few words: After attending SMU and receiving an Undergraduate Degree in Accounting, I moved to New York City to begin a career in fashion. While in NYC, I learned about fashion production, design, life, and hard work. However, I couldn’t suppress my deep love and connection to the South. After…

Clinical Therapist Kendra Toothill on how to unlock your well-being transformation

Describe your business in a few words: Hey! I’m Kendra Toothill. I help women unlock their well-being transformation by using their physical scars. I have been a clinical therapist for nearly a decade, and I help women heal from their physical and emotional health challenges by using my groundbreaking system: Scars Reigniting Your Feminine. Did…

Michelle Carter-Love of sHe Eco Investments promotes a healthier and more sustainable home purchasing option

Describe your business in a few words: What motivates me to have chosen a field dominated by men to pursue is to take part in lowering gas emissions and decreasing waste that has led to the acceleration of our climate crises in the construction industry. By profession, I am a financial coach for over 7…

Ariela Gorodzinsky of ZIBARI on founding a premium purveyor of authentic culinary foods from around the world

Describe your business in a few words: I grew up in Mexico City. Four years ago, I moved to New York to study for my masters in Food Studies at NYU.  Two years ago, I moved to Miami and founded ZIBARI. A premium purveyor of authentic culinary foods from around the world, offering a diverse…

Vanessa Ungvarsky of Taylor Made on creating her unique custom nail polish kits

Describe your business in a few words: Taylor Made Polish brings elevated experiences to savvy clean beauty enthusiasts with our patent-pending Custom Nail Polish kits and 15 Minute Organic Manicure sets.   Anchored in historic downtown Easton, Taylor Made sits at the intersection of scrappy and stylish. We are deeply connected to our community and if…

Kristen and Lindsey Archer of ARCHd on empowering women through handmade home decor

Describe your business in a few words: Sisters Kristen and Lindsey Archer create handmade home decor with their original female empowerment illustrations, skyline designs, and landscape photography. From “build your own” wood bookend sets to large wall art, each piece features bold colors and is uniquely made. ARCHd gives back a percentage of each online…

Felena Hanson of Hera Hub on collaborating with like-minded business owners

Describe your business in a few words: Felena is a long-time entrepreneur and marketing maven.  Her latest venture, Hera Hub, is a spa-inspired shared workspace and business accelerator for female entrepreneurs. This as-needed, flexible work and meeting space provide a productive environment for growing businesses.  Hera Hub members have access to a professional space to…

Joy Williams & Jane Molina of Ninni Co. on being moms’ “breast” friend

Describe your business in a few words: We are Joy Williams + Jane Molina. Sisters, best friends, and co-serial entrepreneurs. We launched the Ninni Co. brand on March 1, 2021, and sell direct-to-consumer from our website. Our featured product and what we’re known for is our breastlike pacifier. It’s a technology we patented and worked…

Business Coach Mary Massey on gaining clarity and achieving success

Describe your business in a few words: My journey to becoming a life coach began over 13 years ago when I became depressed after my father’s passing. Having lost my mom at a young age, I learned to grow up fast but never had the tools I needed to help me overcome loss and other…

Candace Noel of Flora Noel on setting the tone of any event with florals that convey desired moods

Describe your business in a few words: Hi! I’m Candace Noel, Founder and Owner of Flora Noel, a floral and event design studio based in Houston, Texas that specializes in personalizing experiences for special events and private spaces. We design floral arrangements that convey the desired mood of each event through color, shape, texture, and…

Dr. Sarah Nadimpalli of Same Team Childcare on streamlining the nanny-parent relationship

Describe your business in a few words: I am Dr. Sarah Nadimpalli of Same Team Childcare, a mom, nurse, and researcher.  Through using my academic lens and personal experiences in working with nannies, I have streamlined the nanny-parent search, hire, and onboarding process by creating a time-efficient online course both parents and nannies take together. …

Dental Entrepreneur Melissa Turner on making dentistry a better experience for patients and providers

Describe Your Business in a few words: I am Melissa Turner, a dental entrepreneur. I am a dental hygienist who has launched several businesses. I am an influencer and speaker to make dentistry a better experience for dental patients and dental providers. What was your background prior to starting your own business? I’ve been in dentistry…

Product Management Consultant Christina Kelley Weiss on empowering business development

Describe Your business in a few words: I’m a product management consultant & interim product executive for startups with ten years of experience in product management, software development, and digital health. I work with early- and mid-stage startups to help them grow & optimize their strategy, product team, and development processes. What was your background…

Kaitlin Nares of Hagen | Nares PLLC on helping families affected by serious injuries get relief

Describe your business in a few words: I am a Coloradoan. I am a mother to a beautiful and funny 6-month-old redheaded son named Brody. I am also a dog mom to two rescue pups named Boston and Bella. I am married to an entrepreneur, and he encouraged me to launch my law firm. Hagen |…

Michelle Dear of Tandem on empowering couples’ financial lives together

Describe your business in a few words: Hi Entreprenistas! I’m Michelle, the Co-Founder of Tandem, the easiest way for couples to share expenses. Tandem is an iOS app that eliminates the back-and-forth of Venmo without the need to get a joint account. Our mission is to empower couples’ financial lives together. What was your background prior…