What is your biggest struggle right now?
Going beyond my comfort zone, has always been and continues to be a struggle for me, but I’m putting extra attention and awareness on this, to drive and challenge myself. As an introvert, putting myself out there in certain social spaces IRL or on social media, for example, gives me a certain level of anxiety.
The funny thing is while I find the resistance building when it’s leading up to a certain social event, I actually find myself enjoying it once I am there in that moment. So I try to remember this and trust myself and ability that I can be myself and true to myself in any situation.
What and who inspires you?
Creative people inspire me. And while back in the day I would cite very well-known folks in different creative fields, in literature, architecture and the art world, artists who inspired generations of people for that matter, most recently, I’m inspired by a few close friends who continue to forge their own paths. Knowing their personal struggles and stories of overcoming and persisting when they could just as easily chose to stay in their comfort zone, of job and financial security, but instead they continue to test their limits and be motivated by their personal creative drive and to reach self-actualization. And that inspires me because we’re on a similar journey and sharing our stories and struggles regularly – we support and motivate each other.
Worst and Best Memory?
Worst: the sheer disappointment when a strong collaboration falls through. It’s like losing a good friend, losing a relationship like that felt personal although it was business, but of creative minds. Not to mention having to start over in the search, and feeling like finding that special partnership and trust-building is hard to come by.
Best: In retrospect, the best memory was meeting people along the way, my trips to Italy where I knew nobody at first, I met people who encouraged me or believed in my aspirations. And that was completely unplanned. These people remain my friends and business associates today.
What advice will you give?
From what I thought was a bad situation or outcome, sometimes, these events or situations make you or the brand stronger … and they taught me so much, so in retrospect I feel they had to be experienced and be part of the journey to grow.
Throughout your personal journey, what do you want people to remember?
That relationships and connections with good people matter most. Personal and professional relationships alike. It’s deeply rewarding to work with good people who love what they do, it’s rewarding to connect with people who mutually appreciate and support each other or connect in some way contributing each person’s expertise or passion. It’s truly something to appreciate and cherish. It grows our empathy and love beyond close friends and family.
How would you like to introduce yourself?
My name is Anna Lee, the founder of a start-up fashion label, AINSLEY NEW YORK, launched in 2021.
How do you like to wear your OSAY?
I like to wear my Osay shoes with jeans. And I think the orange color is a nice pop of color and again that marriage of great style and tradition. I love to know it was handcrafted and the artisan is proud to have made them and I’m appreciative to wear his creation.
What do you like the most about your OSAY?
The shape of the shoes are elegant and can be worn dressed up or down, casual – so it’s very versatile.