Belize-Bound in 3, 2, 1…

Lela Barker



On Friday afternoon, I’m boarding a plane headed for Ft. Lauderdale and the anticipation may be the death of me. From there, I’ll board a Royal Caribbean ship bound for Cozumel + Belize with 28 of my favorite entrepreneurs on the planet. Now in its third year, INDIEcruise is a mastermind session at sea, where I have the opportunity to rub elbows with some of the savviest women on the planet while sipping run-infused somethings on a beach.  That formula is a recipe for success… but if you’re not on the ship, you’ll have to take my word for it (at least this year!). I recently interviewed Donna Maria Coles Johnson, our host for the event, who gave me the skinny on the affair to share with all of you!


It’s not an exaggeration to say that the stories from years past have become somewhat of a legend. There have been snorkeling  trips in Cozumel, makeout session with stingrays in Grand Cayman, waterfall hikes in Jamaica, wobble contests in the ship’s disco, and even an tequila-infused tattoo session in Mexico (my hand to God’s- you can’t make this stuff up). I’ve met some of my best friends on this cruise and always look forward to seeing the new crop of faces (who return the next year, more often than not). This year, we’re bringing the largest group to date and two new souls have signed up for the party just this week. Bananas, yes? There are rumors of tubing through the caves of Belize and swanky beach clubs in Cozumel and all I can say is: “Yes, please.”


Me, in my very best "Bo Derek" braids, kissing a sting ray in the Cayman Islands on last year's #IndieCruise!
Me, in my very best “Bo Derek” braids, kissing a sting ray in the Cayman Islands on last year’s #IndieCruise!


I’m particularly excited this year because I’m leading a 3-hour teaching designing to help entrepreneurs land their creative goods on store shelves. I looooove wholesale and I’ve landed Bella Lucce products on the shelves of 1000+ establishments from Los Angeles to Dubai and New York to Nairobi. My decade of experience in the wholesale world has enabled me to develop a set of techniques that I’m super-eager to share with my shipmates. I’m coming armed with oodles of worksheets for our breakout sessions and I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.


I’ll be tweeting as I’m able, so consider this your invitation to the virtual party. I’m @LelaBarker on Twitter and there might be a few pics turning up at the Lucky Break Facebook, too. Bon voyage… see you soon!


About the Author

Lela Barker

Lela Barker hails from the deep-and-dirty south (ATL, represent!), where she spends her days helping makers and product designers navigate the pitfalls of product pricing, brand development, and wholesale strategy. She launched her apothecary brand in 2003 and bootstrapped the hell out of that little business to cultivate a portfolio of 1500+ stockists worldwide, generating $12million in revenue and establishing successful distributorships in the Middle East, EU, Scandinavia, and South Korea. Lela is the keeper of a well-worn passport and the maker of the finest lemon meringue pie you’ve ever put in your mouth.

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