Marlee Rabin is a Montreal-based entrepreneur. She studied Business & Marketing at McGill University and spent over 10 years working in the fashion industry in Sales, Marketing & PR positions, for companies including Derek Lam in NYC and Rudsak in Montreal.
Marlee is currently working on her second business venture, called Homie Collection. Launched in July 2021, Homie Collection is an e-commerce business selling home organization products to help their customers achieve an organized, functional, and *aesthetically pleasing* kitchen.
YES: What were some of your goals when you started?
Marlee: On a broad level, my goal was and still is to build and grow a scalable business from scratch and to achieve financial freedom. I also have annual financial goals that I set for myself, along with learning goals, such as improving my financial literacy. An important goal for me is also to give back to others during this process.
YES: What stage are you at now? What have been your greatest achievements?
Marlee: Presently, Homie Collection is in the post-launch / growth stage. Some of my greatest business achievements have been launching and running two businesses, creating multiple viral Tik Tok videos with immense social media growth from scratch for both my business accounts (over 10M views), selling over $10k in revenue in under 3 months for Homie Collection, mentoring business students, and most recently, I’m proud to have achieved the Amazon’s Choice badge in my category. Beyond the official ‘achievements’, I’m extremely proud to have pushed myself beyond my limits to go after my goals, while having fun along the way.
What were/are your biggest struggles?
Some of my biggest struggles in business were to figure out how to finance my ventures. My husband and I have been personally financing all of my business ventures without outside funding, and I have learned to cut back financially and sacrifice more than I have in the past. This experience is and has been challenging, but also very eye-opening and humbling.
What was the problem you were experiencing before you came into YES?
Before coming to YES, I was in the process of figuring out how to pivot my first business (since it was hit hard during the pandemic). I was constantly spinning my wheels trying to find solutions, and I often found myself stuck and returning to square one.
What did you find as a result of using our services? What was the best thing about it?
When I applied for the ELLEvate Pre-Accelerator Program, I was anxious to launch a new pivot plan for my business. During the process of this program, I put my idea to the test and built out a complete plan. Though I won the 3rd place prize in the pitch competition, I learned from this program’s exercise, my business coach, and mentors that perhaps this business was not the most viable or most aligned to my personal and professional goals. Being able to move on from a business that I ran for two years and pitched publicly was an extremely challenging and significant lesson. Without this experience, I might not have launched my second business, Homie Collection, nor would I be realizing this level of business success. I am also extremely grateful for the wonderful, intelligent, and warm individuals that I have met through YES’s services.