In this week’s Aspiring Women Who Inspire, we meet Orlee Weisberg, founder and creative behind Denim By Orlee. Orlee is an LA native with an undeniable eye for effortless, vintage style, the perfect cutoffs, and the chicest vintage tees you can find. Read on for how she turned her love for fashion and passion for styling into a digital business loved by celebrities and influencers.
Please welcome Orlee to BLND!
Hi! My name is Orlee Weisberg, I am the founder and owner of Denim By Orlee. I was born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, California, and consider myself a west coast woman through and through.
How did you get into your industry? Was this always where you saw yourself?
I have always been drawn to fashion, the art of design, and of course, above all, vintage fashion and styling. From as far back as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a part of this world. I even remember the first conversation I had with my dad at the age of seven where he encouraged me to follow my dreams. In fact, he bought me my first domain name to celebrate my seventh birthday. I will never forget that!
My first experience working in fashion was at a local surf shop I had been going to since I was a child. It’s where I first learned about the fundamentals of retail, understanding the importance of nurturing a customer base, and understanding the value of hard work.
Later, in my early twenties, I received a call from a childhood friend, who asked if I was interested in assisting her for the day at the company she was working for during that time. The company was located in the Cooper building in Downtown, Los Angeles. This was a significant position for me mainly because of the invaluable skills I obtained, but also because I learned to overcome and embrace challenges. It was one of the best experiences of my career path; and now looking back, the first step of my entrepreneurial journey.
From your experience, what are the three key factors or strategies for starting and establishing a brand?
1) Start where you are, with what you have, and remember, it starts with ONE idea, one podcast, one blog post, one piece of unique clothing.
2) You have to be FEARLESS! You have to go for what you want and be brave enough jump in the water. Of course, there will be times where you will be scared, anxious, or even extremely uncomfortable; but those are the moments you must dig deeper. It is where you will find growth, where you will thrive, and where you will ultimately flourish. With time, you will look back at your journey and reflect on every hurdle, every bump and every triumph with appreciation and gratitude. It all comprises your beautiful, exciting journey- one that ultimately makes you, you.
3) Ask for help! Find a mentor, talk to people who have experience, reach out, and ask as many questions as possible. You can learn so much from the people who have preceded you. As women, especially, we must motivate, encourage, and push one another to be the best versions of ourselves. When we do, ANYTHING is possible.
What’s an accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career so far?
In 2017, I was at the Coachella Festival in Indio, where I recall saying out loud how amazing it would be to be involved in of one of the biggest musical/fashion festivals of this generation. The following year, I found myself doing a pop up store near the festival with Elle A boutique and Beach Riot swimwear. It was all happening! I was there showcasing my Coachella collection in the midst of it all. We worked for almost an entire year putting the event together. It was perhaps one of the most surreal and incredible experiences. Just one year prior, it had seemed so far out of reach. It is all possible. It is all out there for you, so long as you trust the process. I look forward to being there in the near future!
What’s a failure that turned into a blessing?
With time, I have come to realize there is no such thing as failure, only room for growth. A few years ago, I was working for another fashion company for about five years, until they decided to close their doors. The path I was about to embark on was that of unknown- a path that was terrifying and unnerving. Still, I dug deep, decided to pick myself up, and put one foot in front of the other, despite not knowing what would lie ahead. It was the real beginning of me pursuing my goal of building my own company. In hindsight, I am beyond proud to say it was perhaps the most defining moment of my career and life, for which I will be forever grateful. It was the start of my exciting, undiscovered and powerful journey.
As soon as I wake up, I have a cup of coffee (or three.) I also like to do some reading in the morning before I check my to-do list. Typically, I make my to-list every evening for the following day, which helps me stay on track and get things done. Right now, I am reading See You at the Top by Zig Zigler. It’s amazing!
Who’s an aspiring woman who inspires you?
My mom, my grandmother, and my late Bubie. The three leading ladies in my life. My inspirations. Each one of them has instilled invaluable life lessons, morals and values that have shaped me into the woman I am today and the woman I aspire to be.
What’s one piece of career advice you’d give a young person looking to follow in your footsteps?
NEVER GIVE UP. EVER. Take the unknown path; listen to your intuition; take every opportunity that presents itself; and throw yourself through EVERY open door. You will never know what is on the other side unless you are willing to take the chance. Above all, I can not express this enough – do not give up, ever. It is those difficult moments that you will persevere. I promise, you will find the reason, the why, the lesson, the truth, and the meaning of each trial and tribulation on your path.
When you’re not working on your business, what can we find you doing?
I spend most of my time with my family and friends. Right now, I am working on being more present and soaking up every moment with the people I love the most. Life is all about making memories and I want to make as many as possible. I also love to drive through Malibu Canyon close to where I grew up when I want to reflect. It is where I feel most serene. If I am looking for some adventure, you will find me on my next road trip. Next destination – Big Sur!
Three words that describe you? Vivacious, resilient and compassionate.
Three products you can’t live without? Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, Alastin Sunscreen & Damone Roberts Eyebrow Gel.
Dream collaboration? How could I ever choose?! There are endless talented entrepreneurs and designers I would love to work with one day.
Trendy or classic? Classic gal.
#1 place on your travel bucket list? There are too many to mention, but at the moment I have my heart set on Tavarua, Fiji. Any place by the ocean calls my name.
Go to drink order? Coffee, coffee, coffee. I love the New Orleans-style iced coffee with oat milk from Blue Bottle.
Favorite restaurant? Scopa in Venice. Great vibes, energy, and atmosphere. Love it there!
Where can people follow you? You can find me on Instagram at my handle, @denimbyorlee. I’m always happy to answer any messages on there! You can also shop my line on www.denimbyorlee.com!