Sarah LaFleur on How Your Vulnerability and Desperation Can Breed Your Biggest and Bravest Ideas

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Does desperation paralyze or invigorate you? For founder and CEO Sarah LaFleur, it was both. After quitting her dream job after four months because, spoiler alert, it was not a dream, she decided she had no choice but to become an entrepreneur. In truth, her motivation came from her inability to explain her departure in a way that wouldn’t permanently dent her career. Owning your narrative and shaping your story is something that many people struggle with, but for Sarah, her so-called failure spawned the birth of her company, M.M. LaFleur.

Frustrated by a lack of women’s workwear options that were stylish and practical, she teamed up with Miyako Nakamura and Narie Foster to launch M.M.LaFleur in 2013. Their mission is to help women take the work out of getting dressed, so they can focus on the work that matters to them. The brand is known for its functional design details, comfort (like go ahead and nap in these clothes), and no “dry cleaning necessary” pieces. The brand is also doing its part in supporting women where it counts most. Passionate about seeing more women run for office, M.M. LaFleur has loaned clothing to over 275 female candidates. Since 2017, they have partnered with Bottomless Closet o help disadvantaged women in the NYC area jumpstart their careers, making it possible for women to donate their workwear at either M.M. LaFleur store in NYC or DC. They also offer special discounts to the military, veterans, medical professionals, first responders (including government and public service workers), and teachers.

In this episode, Sarah shares her origin story and the struggles she dealt with after thinking she had destroyed her career. She explains why sometimes the answer to depression is just to keep moving forward. We talk about how her mother is her biggest inspiration, how to use your clothes to send powerful messages, and much more.

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