We had the good fortune of connecting with Cathy Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cathy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I got my first job as a designer out of design school, I was so excited about the job and I worked all the time. I was working 12 to 14 hour days on average and had to go in on weekends too. When I calculated the amount of hours I worked vs my annual salary, I was getting paid next to nothing. I didn’t care. I thought that was what it required to work in the fashion industry, to be a designer, to live my dream since I was a child. But after doing this for a while, I burned out. And I was miserable working those hours and completely exhausted. The experience made me understand the importance of having a good work life balance. It meant so much to me to work as a designer and I was willing to put in 200% into it. But I learned I needed to take breaks and enjoy my life with my friends and family, do activities outside of work, because that will give me the brain fuel to go the extra mile for the next thing and stay healthy and happy in the long run.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My brand LEYT (pronounced light) – a resort inspired womenswear collection that focuses on sustainable and ethical production methods to make clothes. Built on the idea that beauty comes with ease and comfort, I only use natural renewable fibers to create high quality, easy-to-wear statement pieces for today’s women and work with a fair trade Bangladeshi handwoven supplier to develop one-of-kind artisanal fabrics. To reduce carbon footprint on the fashion supply chain, I work with local NYC factories to make all our styles in small batches. I created LEYT with two main goals: to be light on the environment and light on you.

Having been on my own for a while, I have learned that no path is ever really easy, so don’t get discouraged by the one bad day, or week, or that event you have been planning for and didn’t work out. There will always be bumps in the road and you have to be ready to find a solution to the problem while looking on the bright side. Sometimes it might take a little longer to get to where you need to be, just don’t give up.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love NYC and its five boroughs. It’s one of the most exciting and diverse places I have ever been and the reason why I live here! There can never be a dull moment and I am constantly fueled by the pace and energy I am surrounded by. Since I live in Brooklyn, I will focus on everything Brooklyn related. If I had a friend visiting, I would start out at Brooklyn Bridge park, it’s right on the water, you get a beautiful view of lower manhattan, Brooklyn heights and the famous Brooklyn bridge. For lunch, head to Grimaldi’s or Juliana’s pizza for a casual bite. walk along the Brooklyn Bridge park path or take a stroll in Brooklyn Heights’ quiet neighborhood streets. For the afternoon, head on to Williamsburg/Greenpoint neighborhood, get a classic donut from Peter Pan’s bakery and take walk on Franklin Street in Greenpoint and chill out at one of the many restaurants/bars along the street.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband and my son. They are the force that grounds me and keeps me going on this solopreneurship path. I couldn’t have started on this journey without my husband’s encouragement and support. And my son who is 3, keeps me level headed and focused on the goal — he challenges me everyday with his tenacity, intelligence, and grit. He makes me want to be to be the best version of myself.

Website: www.leytworld.com

Instagram: leytworld

Facebook: leytworld

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