Marcelle LeBlanc’s Creative Vision as an Entrepreneur
In 2009, Marcelle opened The Velvet Box, a boundary-breaking brand of upscale lingerie and novelty boutiques in Fort Worth, Texas. She has since catered to an increasing number of clientele from across the world. In 2020, she became the president of the Ft. Worth Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), an elite network of business leaders from all over the world.
Great entrepreneurs explore alternatives
Marcelle grew up in the little town of Abbyville, Louisiana. Her parents were city employees. Their household was very frugal, and Marcelle learned the value of hard work early on as a child. She loved riding horses growing up. When she was 17-years old, she left home to work full-time with a horse trainer in Buellton, California.
In between work at the stable, Marcelle trained in the sport of cutting horses. She learned something new every day but also realized that it was not sustainable. Over the following weeks, she met a friend, who had plans to go to California Polytechnic State University. She considered it a sign. She was in class by the following school year.
After graduation, Marcelle tried working with her degree in horticulture but quickly found that she did not enjoy the field. She shifted to programming and computer courses for a brief time. Eventually, she stumbled onto an adult DVD company that had an opening in sales. Her work for this company led her to start The Velvet Box.
Great entrepreneurs carve their own path
The Velvet Box is an upscale chain of adult boutiques that sells lingerie and novelty items. They pivoted at the peak of the pandemic and began offering sex education and health and wellness classes. The Velvet Box aims to provide a safe environment to explore good connection and education. It currently has fives branches across Fort Worth, Lewisville, and West Plano, Texas. Marcelle plans to expand her brand across the United States.
As expected, The Velvet Box’s journey has not been easy. Early on during her entrepreneurial journey, Marcelle was mistakenly sued by a shopping mall for wrongful misrepresentation. She lost a lot of sleep over the next two years but learned some of her best lessons.
One, do not be limited by doubts. When The Velvet Box was being sued, Marcelle kept thinking that maybe there was something more that she could do. Nothing could be further from the truth. The biggest lesson entrepreneurs have to learn is to trust in the process. If you put in the effort, things always work out as they should.
Two, spend on education. Marcelle entered the lingerie business by luck. For the first couple of years, she ran her company on instinct and gut feel. She joined EO because she wanted to become a better leader. The organization gave her access to a network of over 14,000 business experts. At every point, the organization taught her to lead by example. Marcelle considers herself a better leader because of this.
And three, be consistent. Marcelle is a strong believer in her inner scorecard. She makes sure to hold herself to the same principles that she expects from her peers and staff. She regularly reevaluates these principles and adjusts when she finds herself off-center.
Great entrepreneurs go after their dreams
Marcelle is a force to be reckoned with. When she is not working on The Velvet Box, she is traveling between cutting horses competitions. In 2021 Marcelle made a run at the Amateur World Cutting Horse Championship ending her season as number ten in the World. Working with horses has always been her first love. Like other great entrepreneurs, she makes time for the important things.
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