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How Valerie Trent is amplifying female voices in consumer tech


Valerie Trent, founder and CEO of Lee London, curates the latest tech products in a convenient online marketplace so busy women can easily keep up to date with the latest trends.

Valérie has always been enterprising. From an early age, she thrived in situations that had no definitive answers. So when she saw a gap in the male-dominated tech landscape where women were the ones actually buying the products, she knew she had to step in. With this vision in mind, Valerie launched Lee London, a platform committed to empowering women to use new, unique and hard-to-find technology in the way they choose.

We asked Valerie what problem Lee London aims to solve, the biggest misconceptions others have about entrepreneurship, and how she’s grown as a leader since starting her business.

Q: What problem does Lee London solve?

A: Consumer technology does not work for women. There must be an innate representation and substantial knowledge link between women and technology. Women make up half of technology buyers and their market share is growing. Yet the majority of them are uncomfortable, inaudible and overlooked when it comes to designing and selling technology. Manufacturers everywhere want the women’s market, but find it difficult to navigate. Lee London fills this gap. We know what women want. We curate and humanize new, unique and under-commercialized technology for our audience. We then partner with manufacturers to improve their offering.

Q: How has your education or past experiences contributed to the way you function as an entrepreneur?

A: I was raised in a home where individuality was encouraged. I now appreciate peers and employees for who they are. They don’t need to fit into a mold. Instead, I ask how we can use their experience, interest, and natural abilities to fit into our organization. If this is right for them, what allows them to add value to the business and grow the way they want? It is a nurturing and opportunistic approach.

Q: Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?

A: Yes, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, even if I didn’t express it. When I was 12, I created my first babysitting business. I walked around the neighborhood with flyers I had designed and printed. Spending money and number of referrals were primitive KPIs. When I was fifteen, I started a nonprofit to help inner-city teenagers. At school and at the beginning of my career, I flourished in positions and with projects where no direction was given. One of my first mottos was, “Give me a messy sandbox, I’ll make a city.” I have a mix of curiosity, determination, creativity and strategy, which are all characteristics that innate entrepreneurs are born with. If I had been asked to do the same job for decades, I’m not sure I would be here.

Q: What is the biggest misconception others have about entrepreneurship?

A: Entrepreneurship is surprisingly lonely. It’s not glamorous. It’s been you and, maybe if you’re lucky, a small team, for years. Your friends and family might not be able to understand your unconventional driving. Financially, you either earn well below your peers or leagues higher – both are not a friendly lifestyle. While the world is susceptible to loneliness these days, entrepreneurs often work through layers of isolation far beyond mass consciousness.

Q: Has your definition of success evolved throughout your journey as a founder?

A: Surprisingly, my definition of success hasn’t changed much along the way. I have a very concrete vision. The road leading to it has taken many unexpected turns. I became kinder to myself during my early growth, accepting that it might take longer than originally anticipated. Yet the vision and success as I have always defined them have remained consistent.

Q: How have you evolved as a leader since the creation of your company? What experiences have contributed to this growth?

A: One of the common strengths that founders have – whether they are unable to create a pre-seed or are building a unicorn – is that they can often emphasize many different mindsets. . Talk to someone in finance? I modeled financially, wrote P&Ls and communicated through due diligence with VCs. Waiting for an engineer? I coded a bit and recognized the time constraints. Marketing not expanding the funnel enough? I can talk about the many reasons why. It is this empathy across skill categories that builds long-term, strong, and respected leaders. And starting a business usually leads to developing that understanding.

Q: How would you describe the journey you have made in a few sentences?

A: I jumped in, feet first, with no plan. I learned to swim, but I didn’t make the Olympic team. I will get the gold medal, but the timing is important. I would absolutely do it again.

Valerie is a member of dreamers and doersa private collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary women through thought leadership opportunities, authentic connection, and access. Learn more on dreamers and doers and subscribe to their monthly The summary for the best entrepreneurial and professional resources.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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