Welcome to the Ladies of Leisure series on the Leaves of Leisure blog! This series is dedicated to featuring inspiring women and their stories of success, wellness and leisure. Through these interviews, we hope to gain insight into the lives of these amazing women and the tips and tricks they use to live a balanced and fulfilling life. We'll also look at their morning routines, advice they have for other female entrepreneurs, and their favorite way to spend leisure time. We're honored to introduce you to some of the leading ladies in their fields and hope you find their stories as inspiring as we do.
Meet Julie Shen, founder of Springstead, a strategy and business founder and leader with 15+ years of experience incubating, launching and growing new businesses for startups and organizations like Conde Nast and HBO. She is passionate about supporting female founders and facilitating an environment for them to flourish in. Her interests include: art history, sci-fi fantasy, authentic connections and her mini-golden doodle named Lola.
What is your company and what do you do?
Springstead is an advisory and consultancy practice that works with female founders and consumer businesses to develop, launch and grow their initiatives. Springstead turns dreams into results through strategy, business development, project execution and capital opportunities.
How do you start your morning? Give us a play by play-- time you get up, 3-5 things you do to start your day.
My husband and I usually wake up to find Lola, our dog, sleeping on our heads... so every morning is a three's company kind of morning. I try to start my day with a fresh celery juice that I've pre-batched. More often than not, I didn't plan well enough -- there is no premade celery juice and I don't have time to juice a fresh one. So I trade off to having a cup of English Breakfast tea with oat milk. If I can make my schedule work, I do a 10 minute breathing exercise or morning meditation, which helps me find my center. On weekdays, I try to utilize the mornings when I'm most productive to do work without distraction. On weekends, I love to overstay our time in bed with breakfast trays. There's nothing more sanctuary than being enveloped in down comforter on a lazy Sunday.
What advice do you have for other female entrepreneurs looking to create healthier and invigorating morning routines and habits?
Intention and commitment are key to creating healthier habits. It doesn't mean you can action on that intention every single day because life gets in the way. Your role as a founder, leader, mother, partner, daughter, friend, etc will pull you away. But you can commit to coming back to the path, especially after you've wandered off. After all, no journey is complete or as joyful as those with a dash of off-road adventures.
What are some of your favorite leisure activities?
Making my own nut milks, getting my wine certification, rewatching Lord of the Rings, hosting a dinner party, and trying a new restaurant
Share a favorite affirmation that other female entrepreneurs could benefit from.
Starting a business is a tension of great emotions. One day you’re feeling confident, energetic, and powerful. The next day, you’re knocked off your pedestal. That path to “success” is windy, unpredictable, and non-linear. You will need to swerve and dodge and cut your own path when none is presented to you. But on your most vulnerable days, know this: the experience of being an entrepreneur is a shared one, that we are all in this together and together, we can usher each other forward.