Aubrey Sieder, 27
Boyle Heights-based Strut This produces premium fitness fashion for women.
What led you to start this business?
My mom and I wanted to do something together, we both share a common interest in living a very active lifestyle.
How did you fund it, and how are you funding it going forward?
We self-funded, and have continued to put profits back into the company.
Are there advantages/disadvantages to starting a business in your 20s, and if so, what are they?
I had to teach myself everything that I know today. I made quite a few mistakes along the way and grew from them. In an industry where people were 20 years my senior, I had to conduct myself professionally and earn their respect.
Do you have a mentor?
Professor Tommy Knapp from USC.
Where do you go for advice regarding your business?
We have established close relationships to people across industries (manufacturing, social media, branding etc.). I am also lucky to have two trusted partners who I bounce ideas off of.
Where do you go for professional services (legal help, accounting, etc.)?
We have consolidated payroll, accounting, and insurance through one financial entity. My father, an attorney, provides legal counseling.
How much time/money do you spend on social media for your business?
Social media is a huge part of our business. We spend a pretty penny on this, as this is an extremely relevant platform for our consumer.
Does social responsibility play a role in your business?
When the business started, we were manufacturing and shipping from Brazil. After less than a year, we decided to become an L.A.-based company and give back to the local community and create jobs in manufacturing and employment here.
Do you feel that your business is particularly tailored to the Los Angeles market, or do you feel you could have launched it in another location?
It was a huge asset to launch our company in L.A. The lifestyle in Southern California is tailored to our industry; now the active/athleisure trend has exploded across the country.
Do you encounter skepticism from investors because of your age, and if so, how do you handle it?
We are not currently working with investors. However, I constantly am working with people older and with more experience, therefore I must conduct myself in a mature fashion.
What do you do for fun?
Travel, food, family, French bulldogs.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.