We had the good fortune of connecting with L’Erin Stortz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi L’Erin, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
Well I don’t believe in the getting “there”. There is no mountain top because the second you get there, your heart will be craving the next goal, desire, or challenge. I strive for the climb I guess you could say. Those goals, moments and process that keep me evolving, always striving to take myself and my abilities to the next level. I choose goals that scare me, inspire me, and push me to always be striving for the 2.0 version of myself and leadership. I am all business and I do it with a lot of heart and lot of passion. It is literally in my DNA to build brands/businesses and bring visions to life. I truly believe God gives each of us a gift and I know my zone of genius is the ability to see Big visions so clearly and know which systems and action steps need to be put in place to make it happen . I want to be known for being that magnetic spark in others lives, igniting something within each person that I meet, helping them dream bigger and see what’s possible for themselves and their dreams. I want my success to inspire and empower others to know they can do it too. I mean at the end of the day, isn’t this what we all would want? What the future looks like for me…. A podcast called Selling Social that is launching January 2021. Selling Social is for female entrepreneurs that sell a product, sell a service, or sell their expertise and want to leverage the power of social media to make more money online. I am hosting with one of my best friends and business partners, Sydney Lich who is a top income earner in social selling. We attract the most incredible, ambitious, powerhouse women who own a business and want to enhance their brand, grow their business and make more money. We designed this podcast to give them all the tips, tools, and resources to bring their big ideas to life. We interview top industry trailblazers paving the way and leading from the front. We pull back the curtain and give you the behind the scenes of what it really takes to build wildly successful brands leveraging the online space. Follow @sellingsocialpodcast on IG to stay connected and sign up to receive our weekly #BusinessForBreakfast morning biz tips that will light a fire under your ass to go after your goals every day. We believe that any brand that emerges from 2020 needs to be built differently. It needs to be innovative, create a deeper connection to the audience/clients, have a more creative marketing strategy and message, provide a more memorable experience, be built on collaboration, and do things differently than they have ever been done in the past. And we are here to help female entrepreneurs do that! Make sure you are following me on IG @lerinkelly to stay connected. Investing in female founded companies – It has always been on my heart to be a female-investor and help fund other women’s dreams. Let me tell ya, it is not easy finding funding as a female. Only 4% of capital is given to females. But did you know a female-owned business produces 2x the amount of MOMENTUM, count for $3Trillion in the global economy and have created over 23 million job opportunities. So yes, invest in women. Moving forward, a certain % of my business will reinvest back into women to help fund their future dreams. Have a #BigIdea- DM me and let’s talk! I’m only 35 and know I’m just getting started. I believe we are here to experience and continue to make things better and more innovative. So every day I ask myself, “How do I make this different, make it better? What would this look like if it were more FUN? ” And then I go do that. Because that’s all we are meant to be doing is having FUN while following the calling God puts on our hearts, am I right?
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I feel very grateful that I had knew from a very young age what I wanted to do for my career. When most people were coming out of college, they were still working a mixture of jobs trying to figure out what they wanted to do with their career. For me, it has always been ingrained in me since I was a kid that i just wanted to build this massive empire in the beauty industry and help people become successful. So when I came out of college I landed my dream job back to back and dove head first into my career with huge goals I wanted to achieve by the time I was 30. When I graduated Business School at 21, I started managing the first luxury salon that was located downtown Denver. I helped that one hit $2M before being recruited to go work for the top luxury haircare brand, Kerastase. I was the Product Educator for Colorado and was helping over 47 salons. I was only 23 years old and had to go into salons coaching stylists and managers who had been in the industry longer than I had been alive. It made me grow up really fast. This experience really shaped me as a mentor and educator and helped expand my awareness of what was possible in the industry. It helped me learn how to work with such different and strong personalities and learning types in the industry. At 25, I got recruited to go help build the Matthew Morris Salon brand here in Denver. He had just gotten off of Shear Genius and was a creative genius when it came to the industry but I was the match he was looking for when it came to building the brand and business and bringing both of our visions to life. We both had this wild desire to create a huge salon brand and have multiple locations. And that is what we did. Over the 7 years I was the GM at MM, we grew the salon to 3 locations, over 100 employees, the home to the L’Oreal Professionnel Central Academy and into a multi-million dollar salon empire its known for being today. We won numerous awards such as Inc5000 Fastest growing privately owned companies, Salon Today Salon of the Year, Masters of Business Finalists for North American Hairstyling Awards etc.. I was responsible for the branding, creating systems to support massive growth, mentoring the stylists to achieve 6-figure incomes, coordinating the fashion / runway shows, and the marketing/PR side and making sure everyone in the community knew who we were, etc.. I left there 3 years ago to take myself, my leadership and my career to the next level. I wanted more experience working with more companies. So I started coaching high-level salon owners and stylists 1×1, coaching them on how to hit 7-figures and help them through growth and expansion in the industry. I specialize in branding, marketing, social media, social selling, systems for scaling, online marketing strategies, mindset, and growing a 7-figure business. I have helped generate over $26M in new revenue for salons and am obsessed with mentoring owners and stylists to achieve wild success and bring their visions to life. I have also helped a few companies with brand/marketing strategies like a high-end athleisure company based out of Denver @kadyluxe, a sparkling sake company out of LA @socialsparkling, and a few realtors looking to take their brand to the next level. Looking back on my experience, here are the things that I would say are the biggest factors to this success: – GO ABOVE AND BEYOND – every position, negotiation, or career opportunity I have ever been offered or gotten is because I have gone above and beyond. My parents always taught me, “never do the bare minimum”. Whether it is proposing an idea or offer to a company or brand, meeting with Realtors for lease negotiations, applying for. job or pitching to a client, always go above and beyond and wow them. – BE WILLING TO TAKE ONE STEP BACK TO TAKE TEN STEPS FORWARD- Every job I have had, I took a huge paycheck to accept knowing that in the end it would launch me ten steps forward, and it has worked every single time. You have to be willing to embrace uncertainty and hold the vision. God will always reward you for hard work and faith. – PIVOT DON’T QUIT – My journey has not been easy. Especially as an entrepreneur on my own building from the ground up. I have many days in tears questioning my next steps or wondering when that breakthrough would come. But I never quit. I would make a lot of pivots, “try things on” to see how they feel, move in different directions to see what works, but never quit. You’re COMEBACK RATE needs to just get faster and faster. Its ok to Feel the bad days, just don’t live in them. bounce back up and keep going. – PUT YOUR BLINDERS ON AND GO! – Stop following people that trigger your or throw you off your vision. Once you make the decision, like ALL IN, draw the line in the sand, kind of decision on your VISION… then don’t let anything stop you. Put your blinders on and run full speed toward it. Success comes from MOMENTUM, period. – BUILD ONE THING DEEP BEFORE MOVING TO THE NEXT THING – You will get a lot of great ideas along this journey, just don’t try to bring them all to life at the same time. Pick ONE THING and drive it SO DEEP that it can function on its own, then move to the next thing. – SURRENDER – If I got back and write down all my most successful moments or the times I landed those dream jobs and dream clients – it ALWAYS Followed a prayer of full surrender. I make my dreams so big that I cant accomplish them without God’s help. If I try to control all the pieces, it doesn’t usually go well. But when I surrender, like fully surrender and ask for guide to god me and light the path, then lean into that faith. He shows up bigger and. better than anything I could have done on my own – DON’T SACRIFICE WHAT YOU WANT MOST FOR WHAT YOU WANT NOW. – when I started my own company, I gave up my house, moved in with my boyfriend’s mom for a few months, sold all my furniture/clothes/shoes, etc, and went ALL IN on my vision building my dream from the ground up. I made MASSIVE sacrifices because I saw a huge vision and future I wanted to create. Most people thought I was crazy and that I should get a “reliable job” and play it “safe”. But that didn’t excite me. I held my vision and worked my ass for a few years making so many sacrifices to create the life I wanted. what are you willing to sacrifice NOW for the what you want MOST? -TAKE MORE RISKS, the harder the decisions, the scarier it feels, the bigger the reward on the other side. Either way life can feel hard. Hard for not pursuing what you are called to do or hard leveling up to that calling and going after it. Choose your hard. Take more risks – LEARN TO SIT IN THE FIRE – When you want to up-level yourself, your career, your vision, or your life… you WILL Go through a period of transformation. It will be one of the hardest things you’ll ever go through. I had to sit in the fire for a few years, allowing God to shed old layers that didn’t serve me anymore, break me down to break me open, and transform me from the inside out. Be willing to sit in the fire for as long as it takes. When you cant see the light at the end, it’s because God is transforming you. Faith isn’t when you see the light, faith is when you cant see it but you KNOW that its there.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ohhh I love this!! Let’s say it was Summer. I would start on Friday night and take them. to the new Happy Camper in LoHi. What I love most about this place is how they reimagined what is possible. They made an EXPERIENCE and thats all we really want these days, right?! You get to sit in bathtubs or in front of fake campgrounds in the city while eating pizza and having a cocktail! it’s instagram heaven!! Saturday morning we would get up early and go on a sunrise hike at North Table Mountain or Red Rocks trails and watch the sun come up!! We have the BEST sunrises and sunsets in Denver!! We would then go to Bear Creek Lake and rent paddle boards and go paddle boarding on the water for a few hours, bring some snacks, and drink Lite Pink Rosé Seltzer on the water and soak up all the sun while listening to music!! Then we would go home, change, dress cute and go have dinner on the patio at Postino. Share a bottle of wine, eat all the GF brushetta (it’s soooo good) and the Greens salad with Prucuitto!! Yumm!!!! Sunday, we would go to the mountains and go hike then bike around Lake Dillon for the day. Then go to La Loma for dinner!! Fun fact: My boyfriend’s grandma is the original founder of LaLoma. She is the adorable old woman in the painting on the wall in the new LaLoma location downtown. The green chile recipe (and most of the recipes) all came from her and will forever stay in our family. La Loma is a staple in Denver and my dream is for us to buy it back some day and keep it in the family.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Mentorship and Role Models are everything!! A huge reason why I am so wildly ambitious is from some serious powerhouse leaders in my life who lit that spark up within me. For one, my Dad. My Dad has owned a very successful graphic design company for years working with top brands like CoorsTek for example. He is a strong entrepreneur that always taught me “early bird gets the worm”. That if you want to be successful you gotta get up early, go above and beyond, set my goals really high, work hard, study hard, make smart decisions, and go after my passion with everything I got. The second one was my first boss, Gail Sharp, Owner of Tallgrass Spa in Evergreen. She hired me when I was a little 15 year old with big dreams. She gave me a chance and really inspired me as a female entrepreneur who built a huge company. I would watch her every move and study her. She is the one that really advised me if I wanted to be a successful entrepreneur in the beauty industry, go to business school which I did. Frank Gambuzza. A legend in the beauty industry. The day I walked into a 3-day business course for Salon owners called Strictly Business, my eyes wide open ready to absorb everything. he said, I knew he was going to play a big role in my success. He taught me everything when it came to scaling our salon, building the right systems to support growth, expanding to multiple locations, and how to be a powerful mentor. One that really stands out still, “you permit what you promote”. What you are willing to tolerate is what you are promoting within your company. The second, “systems duplicate, people don’t”. If you want to grow, you must learn to delegate and put systems in place that allow the business to grow with or without me. One of my best friends, Amanda Wicker, owner of Facette Medical Spa and Hair Experience. She is powerhouse when it comes to business and I feel blessed to call her a friend an have her wisdom and genius at my fingertips when I need it. you MUST surround yourself with friends that you can call for advice, pick their brains on business, vent to them on the hard days, drink champagne and laugh, and pray with. When you can find a friend that you can go to for all of those, keep them close. Podcasts!!!! I wish I had podcasts in my early 20’s. I have learned more from Podcasts than I learned in 4 years of Business School. Starting your day fueling your mind with powerhouse leaders puts you in the right frame of mind to crush your goals and believe in yourself even the days it feels hard. You might not be able to afford a coach or mentor yet, but put them in your ears. I have 5 mentors that i listen to weekly that I consider mentors but have never even met. My favorites are For the Love of Money by Chris Harder, Earn your Happy by Lori Harder, Abraham Hicks (daily!!), Chalene Johnson, Goal Digger by Jenna Kutcher, Grant Cardone (his audio books) Chris, my love. He is crazy patient with me, listens to all my big ideas, walks me through my thought process, helps me make the best decisions, and supports my dreams no matter what. A few months after we met, i quit my job and went head first into entrepreneurship. He has given me the best advice and been my biggest support. We are such a strong TEAM My advice to you – Find a Mentor, hire a coach. If you can’t afford one, reach out to the ones that inspires you and just ask if they would be willing to give you 30 min of their time. Most genuinely want to help. Make sure the people you are hanging out with inspire you, uplift you, challenge you, and empower you.
Photographer is Jody Zorn, @jodyzornphotog