Maven to Know: Leslie Bailey

Maven to Know is a weekly series by Indy Maven highlighting a member of our community. Want to be featured? Join us!
Maven to Know Template Leslie 2

Maven to Know is a weekly series by Indy Maven highlighting a member of our community. Want to be featured? Join us!

Leslie Bailey

Leslie is the woman behind everything you see here at Indy Maven. She has more than 15 years of experience as an award-winning writer, editor, and media consultant. She has been honored on the Forbes Next 1000 list and as one of Indiana’s 250 Most Influential Leaders by the Indianapolis Business Journal. In 2024, she was named “Best and Brightest” in the Media, Sports, and Entertainment category by Junior Achievement of Central Indiana.

Before launching Indy Maven, Leslie worked as the lifestyle editor at Indianapolis Monthly magazine and as a columnist for The Indianapolis Star, where she penned a popular column called “The Adventuress.”

She started Indy Maven because she saw a gap in the market for storytelling and news for women…and because she really likes parties.

Originally from Michigan, Leslie lives in the heart of Indianapolis with her husband, sons, and one very large slobbering dog. She enjoys traveling, cooking (and eating), connecting with women, and sharing recommendations for all Indianapolis has to offer.

Follow her on Instagram @Lesalina and LinkedIn.

My Maven Superpower is …  

Having a vision. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not always the best at execution (is my Enneagram 7 showing already?) but vision, I have.

Best book I’ve read lately is …

I love recommending things, especially books, so I’m excited to answer this. However, it’s hard to choose, and since I make the rules around here, I have three:

  1. This is How It Always Is” by Laurie Frankel (Novel)
  2. Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away” by Annie Duke (Non-Fiction)
  3. Million-Dollar Habits” by Rachel Rodgers (Audible)

Self-care habit I swear by … 

Travel with girlfriends. I most recently went to Sedona, Arizona, with my best childhood friend of 35 years, and it was so good for my soul.

My first job was …

Working as a hostess at the Clarkston Cafe, in my hometown of Clarkston, Michigan.

The best advice I can offer is …

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind,” which is a quote that is not mine, and apparently, nor is it Dr. Suess’ as I learned on my Internet search but, instead from a man named Bernard Baruch, who was a presidential advisor to FDR. I’m sorry to quote an old white man but alas, here we are.

A purchase I’ve been loving lately is …

My air fryer. I feel as though I’m late to the game because I resisted buying one forever because I needed another kitchen appliance like a fish needs legs (is that even a saying?), but I finally gave in, and I’m so glad I did.

I feel most confident when … 

I’m sharing advice or knowledge about something I’ve experienced.

My favorite local restaurant dish is … 

The Cuban at Cafe Patachou is the dish I order the most consistently. Inspired by my friend Jesika, I order it with sauteed white onions and an over-medium egg.

The thing I’ve been binging lately is…

“The Big Breakfast” on Max with my friend Andre. We’re anxiously awaiting the return of “The Bear” as well.

A fun fact about me is …

I’m naturally blonde. I swear I tell people this all the time and everyone is so surprised…with the exception of anyone who knew me before age 25 or so.

The skill I most want to learn is … 

I have a list of 40 skills I want to learn or master now that I’m 40, inspired by Jesse Itzler—who, by the way, I had no clue about until I saw him shave his head on stage at VeeCon. (And yes, this is now an opportunity to link to my conversation with Gary V.) Anyway, I’m only at 25 so far, and if I had to pick one, it would be learning to do those really loud whistles—like with your fingers. My husband is very good at this. Big goals, friends. Big goals.

A Maven you should know is … *

I just met this amazing person named Sloane at the bouquet bar at PNC’s International Women’s Day at Maven Space. They’re the founder of Out + About, which creates safe social spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. And, after following them on Insta, I learned they were also on Season 1 of the Netflix Show “Surviving Paradise”…as one does.

My favorite nonprofit to support is … 

Coburn Place. I have experienced several types of violence, so it’s personally important to me. I previously served on the board and now try to volunteer in the linen pantry monthly.

What’s next for you? What can we expect to see over the next few years?   

My word of the year is “curious” because there’s so much in store this year that could go in a number of directions, so I’m curious to see what happens next. I can’t say much, but I am in the early stages of planning a workshop that I think will be really helpful, especially for the community of entrepreneurs, business owners, and side hustlers we have at Maven Space.

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