Brooklynites Lauren Riley and Merlyn Oliver show love to their city with plenty of style! As the founders of the Brooklyn Mavens, a creative outlet that highlights Brooklyn’s shops, restaurants, and other creative mavens, Lauren and Merlyn started their unique brand to show the authentic side of Brooklyn. I caught up with these fashionistas as we chatted about their personal styles, the power of partnership, and overcoming adversity and setbacks.
Lauren Riley (left) & Merlyn Oliver (right), Brooklyn Mavens
Congratulations on making 2 years of running The Brooklyn Mavens. What inspired the startup and what’s your mission?
Lauren- “We want to be your go-to women for all things Brooklyn. So we highlight, local businesses, entrepanuers, events and more! As Merlyn mentioned, we first started out as a fashion blog and rebranded to expand our focus to not only fashion but Brooklyn as a whole.”
Going in business with a partner can be a challenge sometimes! What are the pros and what advice can you give about a person considering partnership?
What is the funniest experience you’ve had together since you started your brand?
Merlyn– “Yea, that was funny. Only one person passed us and I think he was just jogging lol.”
What have been your most awesome fashion finds so far?
What does style mean to you? What is your own personal style?
Lauren – “Style is being your own individual person. Expressing yourself in ways that make you feel happy. I love being comfortable when it comes to my style, so sneakers are a must, you’ll never catch me in heels for too long. Sexy but comfortable is my thing.”
Who are your fashion influences and why?
Merlyn- “I have a lot. My top influences are Juliette Fox (@romeosfashionfix), Rihanna, and Alyssa Forever, @foreverflawlyss. They all represent how I like to switch it up from sneakers to heels and still keep up with trends.”
Lauren – “I love @wuzg00d, @Msmelina, @londongirlinnyc, and @Shionat (I have a not so secret obsession). They each have such a unique style that I look up to and are constantly giving me ideas on how to revamp my own style.”
What is the most important thing to remember when you’re running a business?
Lauren – “Always be professional and prompt!”
What was the best piece of advice you were given when you were starting out?
Lauren– Keep going, even when you think you aren’t doing well, don’t get discouraged. Just keep doing what you’re doing.”
In moments of adversity or setbacks, how do you build yourself up?
Lauren– “I like to remind myself that there will always be setbacks. Very successful person didn’t get to where they are today without adversity. This is just part of my story.” *