Leslie Kay is the founder of Disney Bound, a Tumblr account that features Polyvore outfits designed after every Disney character imaginable. Yes, these Polyvore sets are pretty much fashion masterpieces...but can you believe that Leslie's turned them into a full-time job with a clothing line spinoff?! She currently has more than 2.7 million likes and 60,000 followers on Polyvore. We got the chance to chat with Leslie about her obsession with Disney, running half marathons and following your dreams.
CAMBIO: So where did this all start?
LESLIE KAY: I was heading to Disney World for the first time. I finally hit my early 20s, I had my own money and my parents couldn't tell me what to do with it, so I was like, I'm going to Disney World. I started my own Tumblr blog called Disney Bound because I was literally Disney bound! It was just a general Disney fan blog like many others you can find on Tumblr.
One day I was on Tumblr and someone had posted a Polyvore set, and I was like, "Oh thats super cute!" I went on there and started playing around. As a kid I always loved dressing up, so I just kind of started creating an outfit off Rapunzel, who was the newest princess at the time, and I posted it to my blog. When I look at those old ones they are so embarrassing! Suddenly the 500 followers that I had on my blog were like, "Can you do it for this character?" Within a week it had gone from like 1,000 views to 10,000 views.
How has your business grown?
When I started Disney Bound, I was working at an entertainment production company in the legal department as an executive assistant, which is not what I went to school for. I went to school for marketing. I was just kind of lacking any sort of creativity in my life, so that's why I started using Polyvore, because I needed an outlet when I came home from work. Then I moved into social media and with the success of everything, I've been able to work freelance. I have a couple social media clients, but my main client is me.
What advice would you give a girl who has a great idea but doesn't know where to start?
Don't let anyone tell you that your idea's stupid or that you can't do it, because I had no idea that I would be here today and people told me I wouldn't be.
In terms of marketing, if you're trying to do anything, social media is great these days, there's so many girls that know of the [term] "personal brand" now. You can develop it and you can grow it. Just using social media, like Instagram, can be a personal advertisement for whatever you're doing and you can reach anyone. You can write on Rihanna's wall and she can respond to you and that's not something that you used to be able to do. It's very easy to access the entire world with whatever ideas you have through social media.
What's next for Disney Bound?
Definitely continuing to grow the clothing line. This year, we finally felt like we hit our stride and we have lots of fun with our branding. Disney Bound has always kind of led me. I have always been like, "OK, where do you wanna go now?"
It's giving me the opportunity to work with The Walt Disney Company so anytime they approach me it's always something fun and exciting. Last year I was actually doing something with runDisney, which is their house marathon company. I'm not a runner, and I had to go and run once a month at Disneyland or Disney World and do public speaking. With that, I've actually done my first half marathon. They actually gave me my own DVD [that came with the Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition DVD] that launched in Walmart in North America. And there's another project that I can't really mention, but it's another DVD that I'm working on with The Walt Disney Company coming out in January.