Leslie Voorhees Means, Wedding Dresses

Leslie Voorhees Means is Co-Founder and CEO at Anomalie. She has spent her entire career in product development and factory operations: managing factories throughout Asia for Nike, helping launch M. Gemi's supply chains in Italy, and overseeing Apple Watch production in China.

At Anomalie, Leslie is building partnerships with the top wedding dress manufacturers and fabric vendors in the world to give brides more transparency, quality, choice, and value.

Leslie studied B.S.E. in Mechanical Engineering at Duke University and attained her MBA at Harvard Business School.

What is your typical day like?

I think I'm supposed to say it involves getting up at 6am to do yoga before starting the day with a nutritious smoothie? Since half my team and all our workshops are in China, I usually stay up pretty late (since it's their daytime), so I usually don't wake up until around 8am. I do a quick check-in with the team on the day's production, check our Instagram,  and then ALWAYS have coffee and a hearty breakfast; usually I'll make scrambled eggs but sometimes I'll treat myself to a donut (there's an amazing shop IN our building - it's so tempting!) A couple times per week I stop at McDonalds and get an Egg McMuffin (inspired by Warren Buffet). I shower at night to save time in the morning so I'm out the door quickly, and my commute is just a 3-block walk. 

Which parts of your day do you find stressful, if any, and how do you manage those moments?

Being a startup founder is a demanding and dynamic job, so there are plenty of stressful times throughout the day. My strategy is to always take a deep breath, and acknowledge that these moments can be hard because they're important (which is almost always a good thing!) The best part about working for a startup / small company is that everyone 1) is incredibly important and 2) can influence change. There is almost always a rational solution for issues that pop up, and we have the ownership and accountability to control it!  

What are your usual self-care habits, if any?

I love baths and take them often to unwind in the evening. I also LOVE Chinese foot massages - I get them whenever I travel to our factories in China. There's also a great place in Half Moon Bay that we go to as a family whenever I visit my in-laws. 


What is the most transformative book you have read?

 Absolutely hands-down it's Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight (the founder of Nike). It's super special to me since Nike is where I started my career, and I read it as I was thinking about taking the leap to do Anomalie full time. Seeing how successful Nike became given their rocky start was a motivating force in the early days.

If you find out you only had a week left to live how would you spend it?

Would want to spend it with the people I love the most (my husband, family and friends), ideally back home in Portland, Oregon. I would probably spend 2-3 days trying to leave Anomalie in the best place possible too though!

What is one helpful and informative Instagram account you would recommend following?

Honestly, it's anything that will make me laugh. Favorites right now are @thefunnyintrovert, @emotionalclub, and @kidsdoingthings -- you can't take yourself too seriously! 

What is your favorite hearty recipe?

My favorite recipe right now is RAMEN with fresh noodles. I use this recipe as a base (I'm a huge fan of Blue Apron!), but the veggies and protein can be swapped out for whatever is in the fridge. I like to top with Togarashi seasoning for a little kick.

What is The One Thing you do daily, that keeps you balanced and in check?

 A good night's sleep. For a long time I felt guilty about how much sleep I need (8.5-9hrs), but it's absolutely the most important thing for me to take on the next day with a clear head and good attitude. 


Images provided by @battlecrymedia and Leslie Voorhees Means. 
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