Erin Leigh Hohnbaum is the 36 year old owner and CEO at E.Leigh’s Contemporary Boutique located in Little Rock, Conway, and Fayetteville Arkansas as well as Lexington, Kentucky and online. Erin is a family oriented business woman with her husband, Jackson Farrow, and their 6 month old son, George, and two rescue dogs, Penny and Charlotte. Therefore it’s no surprise when Erin turned to her father for advice while holding a full time public relations job in order to start E.Leigh’s.
“At 26, after a life-changing conversation with my Dad where he told me to ‘find something you love, something you’d do for free and figure out a way to make money doing it.’”
We all know how it feels to love an outfit. It feels like owning the spotlight everytime you walk into a room. Feeling incredible is where female empowerment begins. E.Leigh’s Boutique has a set mission to help women to feel their best.
“We believe that when a woman feels her best, she becomes unstoppable.”
This type of empowerment is reiterated through Southern Living Magazine’s choice as the number one place to shop in Little Rock. Other awards include an Arkansas Business Top 20 in their 20’s, a Soiree Magazine Woman to Watch, as well as numerous local awards.
Here is our interview over women in business and the fashion industry!
What is the best thing about being a woman in business? What do you love most about your industry?
While traditionally males have dominated in business, I think women bring such a unique perspective to business as a whole. We lead differently than men and I believe that typically that difference is creating happier, healthier work environments.
I love working in fashion because it gives me the opportunity to serve women in a large way.
I have always been a girl’s girl and this gives me the chance to live that out every day in my work life.
What and who motivates you? In what ways do they motivate you?
My Dad has had the largest impact of anyone on me as a human being. He exudes kindness and has an extremely unique and thoughtful perspective of the world.
I also love reading about women suffragists. To live in a time where opportunities for women were elusive, they made such huge progress for women. It is because of them that we are all able to live more free and equal lives.
What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve?
My goals change as I evolve and get older. Overall, I’d say I want to help create a happier, more equitable society.
What are some stereotypes you face being a businesswoman? How has this impacted your work?
I’m never surprised by the amount of people who underestimate your capabilities and intelligence. Especially working in the fashion industry. It used to intimidate me, but now I just use it to my advantage.
How are you working to help change those stereotypes?
Doing great work. Period.
What does female empowerment mean to you and how do you empower other women?
Female empowerment means to me helping other women see and feel their power and potential. We talk a lot at E.Leigh’s about progress over perfection and the importance of being able to look at constructive criticism as a positive thing.
What is the best and worst part about the fashion industry/fashion business?
The best thing is things are always changing and the worst thing is things are always changing. It’s quite the rollercoaster of a career.
Any tips or advice for women interested in starting their own business?
Get comfortable with your to do list never being complete. You’re never going to be able to please everyone and you shouldn’t try. Listen to your gut. Always focus on the solution instead of the problem.
Ana Oelen | @ana.oelen