Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in e-commerce but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Emily Li Mandri, designer, and founder of MLE, located in Saugerties, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

MLE ( is a slow-fashion accessories company for the modern gentlewoman. We source sustainable materials (deadstock, upcycled, recycled, biodegradable, or ecofriendly) for all our pieces, and the majority of our pieces are made to order.

Tell us about yourself

I started my company after working in the fashion and digital marketing industry in New York City for over ten years. After crafting & executing strategic initiatives for other brands and clients that successfully grew their businesses, I decided it was time to apply all my learnings and intuition to my own brand. Every day I'm motivated by the fact I am in charge of my own destiny and that the effort I put into my own company has a positive output.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I enjoy that I have been able to build a company that can comfortably support myself & my family, as well as support a flexible lifestyle.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

There are a lot of highs and lows, sometimes even on the same day. It can be hard to observe these occurrences without emotionally reacting to the "developments of the day". I've spent a lot of time reflecting on this behavioral pattern and trying to observe, and problem solve without emotional attachment.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Hire wisely. Look for candidates that have not only the skillsets but the emotional and behavioral qualities you strive for with your company values. Remember that any training needed will take up your time. Plan ahead with having onboarding/offboarding employees in the same job function overlap, so you are not scrambling or operating at a loss because you don't have that job function filled for the time being.
  2. Outsource anything you think is not the best use of your time. Focus on executing what you do best.
  3. Plan for growth. Think about how you foresee your business growing and what you will need to get there. If you have a goal in mind, then you can work on the steps to achieve it.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.