Laura Genova: Birthing a Brand New Kids Collection
Finance veteran, mom, and the Founder of Deklan talks about leaving the investment bank world to create a new currency for kids clothing.
Occupations, affiliations, and projects.
Mother, Founder & Creative Director of children's clothing brand Deklan Collection.
PEOPLE WHO DO FOCUSES ON THOSE WHO TAKE ACTION TO PURSUE MEANINGFUL LIFE PASSIONS. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO “DO”?
Growing up my mother always reminded me that no one could make me happy until I made myself happy first. As it turns out, I'm my happiest when life is full of healthy relationships, professional challenges and new experiences. Over the years, I've learned that "doing" is the only way to achieve this balance. Worthwhile things require effort—whether it be taking a big career risk, getting up early to go to the gym or organizing a dinner with friends. For me, "doing" is all for the sake of happiness.
Tell me more about why it was important for you to create Deklan Collection?
After I graduated college, I spent 11 years working in finance for large investment banks. While I stood to gain a lot from this career, I felt a constant desire to explore my creative side. When I was pregnant with my first son in 2016, I decided to take a break from finance and gave myself space to figure out my next career move. As you could imagine, my first 6 months of motherhood were life changing in many respects. However, the idea for Deklan grew out of the frustrations I experienced when shopping for my son. I noticed that the world of children's clothing needed more options that combine modern design and smart functionality, at a reasonable price. It became the perfect opportunity for me to partner with my mom to bring Deklan to life. She's an incredibly talented graphic designer with over 20 years in the textiles industry. Together we make the perfect tag team with complimentary backgrounds—I bring the business and product knowledge to the table and she carries the artistic and digital skills.
To date, what accomplishments are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of making the decision to leave finance and go down the entrepreneurial path. It required a lot of courage and bravery to take that leap of faith, but in the long run I think it's the best decision for both my family and myself. Also, I learned I was pregnant with my second son about 3 months following my decision to start this business. Needless to say, I think it's a big accomplishment to have stayed the course despite the challenges that accompany growing a human in my belly!
#1 motivating mantra to get through tough moments.
If it doesn't challenge me, then it won't change me.
What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned so far this year?
The importance of community. Being my own boss has always been a dream, but I found myself working alone often in our bedroom. I never realized how lonely entrepreneurship could be, especially in the beginning, and I missed having coworkers. I proactively joined communities with like-minded people and made it a priority to be an active member. I've since made a lot of new friends who live the same daily challenges as I do.
What’s your favorite lesson you’ve ever learned?
Again, it would have to be the one my mother ingrained in me growing up—no one can make me happy until I make myself happy first.
What's your go-to song to put you in a better mood?
There are so many! If I'm alone in my bedroom it's "Bringing Sexy Back" by Justin Timberlake. "The Veldt" by Deadmau5 transports me back in time to when my husband and I first started dating. Or "Let's Stay Together" by Al Green—this was our wedding song and instantly brings beautiful thoughts to mind.
Favorite method for logging any kind of inspiration.
Evernote is the ultimate productivity hack. I log everything into this app.
Top 5 people you would invite to a dinner party and why?
Elon Musk so I can hear about his next big idea.
Justin Timberlake to run the playlist and maybe drop a dance move or two.
Ellen DeGeneres because I just love her.
Heidi Klum because she's lighthearted and fun. Plus, I want to hear all of her anti-aging secrets.
Jessica Alba to share tips on balancing motherhood with running her own business.
What’s the best piece of advice that you can give someone right now?
Sit in the front row, raise your hand and introduce yourself. Making an impression counts.
3 words that you want to be remembered by.
Brave, genuine and unique
What’s the next goal?
Launch Deklan and put our first year in the books.
By "do-ing", you create your own unique legacy. How do you want your legacy to look?
I want to inspire people to remain true to themselves and never settle for the status quo.