If you hotties haven’t checked out my post on Perfect Peach swimwear from earlier this month, then catch up and read here! Yeah yeah yeah, it’s the first day of fall and I’m reverting back to swimwear BUT news flash – it’s still 90 degrees outside.
So now that you’re caught up, let’s get to my September #MuseOfTheMonth: Nora Leisk! I sort of learned about her through our mutual friend, Margo. I started keeping up closely with her Perfect Peach line on social media and was amazed at how a babe my age was creating her own business! Total. Badass. I’ve had so much fun getting to learn more about her and her brand over the past few months. So much so that I decided to make her my #MuseOfTheMonth.
Q&A with the lovely, Nora Leisk
RR: Hi Nora 🙂 Tell us a little about yourself!
NL: I am 24 years old and was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am half British and moved to England with my family from when I was 6-12 years old. I grew up just outside of London in a town named Marlow and North Devon. Growing up in England at this age kept me well grounded, being able to ride horses, garden and spend time on the beaches of North Devon. It really helped shape who I am today. After England, my family moved back to Philadelphia where we spent a few more years before relocating to Los Gatos in Northern California. Here I became a cali-girl and seemed to fit right in with the beach culture. Soon after high school I moved to LA to study Fashion Design at FIDM. I spent time between LA and Laguna Beach where my family recently moved after I left for college. Living in California always felt right, but after taking a chance and applying to The New School at Parsons, I got in and made the move to NYC. 5 years later I still live here, left Parsons, and worked for brands like Haute Hippie, Stella McCartney and Mara Hoffman. Today, I now run my own swimwear brand, Perfect Peach.
RR: What gave you the inspiration to start your own designer swimwear line, Perfect Peach? And how did you come up with the name? Because I LOVE it.
NL: As I mentioned I went to school for design. I studied at Parsons and Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising as well as taking courses at Central Saint Martins. I knew my heart belonged in design, but it wasn’t until I worked with Mara Hoffman, iconic swimwear designer, that a bell went off in my head and I knew that I wanted to design swimwear. I have always been a traveler and to me, beach culture is so much fun. I grew up near the ocean, so this wanderlust sensation has been seeded in me since I was a little girl. Designing swimwear is my outlet to constant bliss, happy memories, and for people to build their own suits (mixing and matching) for their Perfect Peach.
My mother and I were throwing names at one another – over a cosmopolitan nonetheless! We were talking about peaches… and the interpretation of it being a part of the female body. And that whatever your interpretation was of your peach, it was perfect – ladies, love your bums! I also am a strong believer in whatever you are covering your “peach” with should also be as perfect as you. So, it definitely has multiple meanings. I think it’s a really fun and cute name at the end of the day, and it fits very nicely with the brand, which aims to promote strong femininity.
RR: It’s quite amazing that you’re so young and have already started up your own business! How long did it take you to get everything up and running?
NL: It took about 1 year to prepare for the launch of Perfect Peach. I wanted to take time in designing my first signature collection which would consist of a timeless color palette and designs. But truthfully, everything is a work in progress. A successful business takes years of nurturing to be the best it can be and changes will always have to be made for progression.
RR: Are you a one woman show or do you have a team that you work with on a daily basis?
NL: I launched the business on my own. My strengths have always lied purely in the creative field. I design, watch over all production, and creatively direct the brand. But I also, of course, have taken on the position of CEO of the brand. So I have had to really stretch my knowledge and be an all over businesswoman – to say the least, everyday I get to learn something new! Though since our launch, I have brought on a few key people to the team. It has been great to have determined, hard working, and creative people to work with to keep fueling ideas into Perfect Peach and to always make sure the business is on track.
RR: What is one or a few of the biggest challenges you have had to face so far with starting up a new business?
NL: The challenges really vary. I would have to say the challenges have ranged from taking on a large amount of responsibility and learning how to cope with this daily to ensure progress, and the ability to remain patient. Also, a daily challenge is to always remain knowledgeable of the field I am going into, whether it be trends, the market, factories, production etc. This took, and still takes, tons of time and research. This challenge will never end I believe.
RR: What is the one thing you are most proud of with your first collection this year?
NL: That it is timeless, sexy, but sophisticated. I believe my collection can transition from season to season so effortlessly and you will never feel like you are missing a trend, and you will always feel comfortable and confident in your skin. The colors are also refreshing, I think the woman’s body is a piece of art, and this collection really executes complementing the figure.
RR: I know summer is just coming to an end, but can you reveal any exciting things about your SS17 collection?
NL: Perfect Peach’s signature collection channels all the trends for SS17. High waisted strappy bottoms, bottoms with no ties, high waisted bottoms. I am going to build on the current collection, adding new colors and new styles. Though the first collection had a very neutral color palette, I do appreciate color and I will never use color carelessly, but will use color tones in ways that remain true to the brand. So colors that remain in a sensual way will definitely take a large play in SS17.
RR: Switching gears a bit – you have such great skin. How do you keep your skin glowing and in-check? What makeup and skincare products are your ride-or-die items?
NL: Thank you! Naturopathica is my go-to. I love using brands that don’t contain anything harmful for your skin. My sister always tells me about the Toxic 12 (which are twelve harmful ingredients often found in our products), so I try my best to keep away from them. You will be surprised to notice they are in a ton of products. As far as makeup, I enjoy trying new brands all the time, but my favorites are: Makeup Forever, Bobbi Brown, Buxom, Hourglass, and Kat Von D. I am really big on high quality, so after trying a lot of brands I feel I can rely on these brands for great products.
RR: And hello, your body is IN shape. Seriously. What is your favorite workout? I train 5 days a week doing lots of different things so I know that it’s not easy!
NL: I like to balance all of my workouts, but my go-to is pilates. I use Class Pass in New York so I can try different types of workouts and not get bored. I usually don’t like going to the gym. I prefer to be in a class where a teacher can keep me on track! But sometimes my boyfriend insists the gym. In that case I will focus on mainly weights, planks, abs, and glutes!
RR: Last question – any tips of advice for the girl bosses out there who are trying to start their own business or just trying to run the world in general? 🙂
NL: Stay true to who you are, focus on what you are good at, and you will excel. I think if you are trying to work on too many things at once it can be too tough. Just find your strong suit, be passionate, stay focused and work hard – good things come to those who work for it!
Is Nora #goals or what?! And she has such good advice, right?! I really hope you guys enjoyed reading as much as I loved interviewing her!
Check out Nora’s IG here – she is always traveling and doing something majorly cool! And follow Perfect Peach on snapchat at PerfectPeachInc to get all the BTS footage of the line 🙂
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