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

Self-Care as a Leadership Strategy with BetterHelp’s Haesue Jo

“You’re pushing yourself beyond what you feel is comfortable, which means you’re gonna have chapters of discomfort or feeling like, ‘I’m not really sure if I’m there yet. And sometimes that’s true. Sometimes you’re not there yet. It’s good to tune into that because then you know where you should be focusing to improve.” In…

Tara Magalski on Founding a Spirit-Led Community for Holistic Health

Hi, Tara! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: My name is Tara Magalski, and I am a wellness maven and the founder of Divine Lifestyles, and the DL Collective: a membership-style spirit-led community and online holistic health + healing resource center, an online sanctuary to experience a deeper state of alignment…

Tysheda Williams on Her Journey to Founding a Luxury Experience Company

Hi, Tysheda! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi, I’m Tysheda Williams. With an unwavering passion for curating enchanting experiences, I’ve spent years cultivating memories that transcend borders. From exploring the historic wonders of Europe to immersing myself in the vibrant cultures of Asia, the opulence of Dubai, and countless more…

Mayra Gomez-Sanchez on Her BIPOC Copywriting and Marketing Company

Hi, Mayra! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hello everyone, I’m Mayra (my-rah) Founder and CEO of Cultural Visionaries – a copywriting and marketing strategy and a Latina-run company. I write for BIPOC business owners—and anyone who shares my values and vision—wanting to create a meaningful impact on other people’s lives.…

Making a Marketing Impact with Lindsey Breitwieser

“We don’t have to do a million things, we just have to do the right things. We often feel like ‘I don’t have a big budget to spend on ads and that’s why I’m not successful.’ We’re chasing all of these different marketing tactics… In truth, we don’t actually need to be doing that much.”…

Kwandaa Roberts Shares Her Success Story Making Modern Dollhouses

Hi, Kwandaa! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I’m Kwandaa Roberts, an OB/GYN and interior designer who sells high-style, modern dollhouses called Tiny House Calls. What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? I have found networking with other women entrepreneurs to be one of the most important tools in…

Personalizing Maternal Wellness through One Tribe with Emilie Fritz Veloso

“Keep the momentum going. And that’s continuous meetings, continuous networking. And then set dates really set a, ‘We are looking to raise this by this time,’ so that you give yourself a deadline, and you give the investors a deadline, and you can hold yourself to it.” In this episode of Entreprenista, we sat down…

Caitlin Murphy on Her Freight Firm and Passion for Philanthropy

Hi, Caitlin! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi, my name is Caitlin Murphy and I am the Founder and CEO of Global Gateway Logistics, a global freight forwarding firm. My firm optimizes and simplifies the global shipping process. What excites you about being an Entreprenista League member? It can be…

Tabitha DeSeranno on Discovering Her Passion and Launching a Branding Company

Hi, Tabitha! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi, I’m Tabitha, the creative force behind Vivid Pixel Studio, where I blend strategy, design, and storytelling to craft impactful online presences for passionate service providers. I specialize in creating bespoke websites, impactful brands, and tailored marketing strategies to help service-based businesses not…

Transforming Your Mindset Through Hypnosis & NLP with Billé Frazier

“You know, it hurts. Nobody likes rejection and somebody didn’t like you—whether it be in a relationship or in a job. But you have to figure out how to get up and dust yourself off and make it work. And that’s a large part of what I try to impart to my clients, too, when…

Dr. Christina Jerger Shares About Her Femininity Coaching Business

Hi, Christina! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I’m Dr. Christina and the CEO and Founder of femsaloud based in Los Angeles, CA. I offer luxurious femininity coaching for female entrepreneurs, executives, and celebrities. With LA’s #1 VIP femininity makeover I make elite women irresistibly feminine and thriving in life. Whether…

Creating a Meal-Kit Revolution with Ooshma Garg

“[You’re] spending money and growing not at a sustainable pace, but at this hyper-accelerated pace in order to rapidly take up market share and drown out competitors. When you keep raising money to do that, you keep giving more and more people big chunks of your business. The only way it works is if you…

Marine Turned Chef Joanne Thomas Shares About Her Cooking Career and Business

Hi, Joanne! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hi! I’m Chef Joanne Thomas, a world-renowned culinary artist known for exceptional skills, creative flair, and dedication to the art of cooking. With a career spanning decades, I’ve curated a collection of custom-blended spices, gourmet butters, and other culinary delights that cater to…

Joanie French On Her Business That Creates Unforgettable Experiences Through Nature

Hi, Joanie! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: Hey there! I’m Joanie, the creative mind behind Harmony Escape Experiences. Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, I’m passionate about crafting unforgettable moments through personalized events. As an Office Administrator by day and an aspiring entrepreneur always, I’m on a mission to create harmonious and…

U.S. Navy Vet Natasha Norris On Her Chemical-Free Skincare

Hi, Natasha! Please share a brief introduction about yourself and your business: I’m Natasha Norris, Owner of Skincare by CMG. Last year I retired after 26 years of public service, proudly serving in the U.S. Navy. I started in the beauty industry in 2013 with a multibillion-dollar cosmetics brand, based in Dallas, Texas. The discipline,…