Sunflow Founder Leslie Hsu Realizes the Importance of Work-Life Balance

The entrepreneur and her business partner husband have learned to separate business and family time.

Since launching Sunflow in the spring of 2020, Leslie Hsu is constantly thinking of ways to improve the beach accessories line she founded with her husband, Greg Besner. Currently, the couple is working on perfecting a pillow that will have adjustable heights for their chairs. Hsu opens up to Kate Bock in SI Swimsuit’s “How She Built It” series, admitting that it is hard to shut off work discussions when her better half is also her business partner. She tells Bock about how the couple’s daughters, Lana and Willow, staged an intervention, telling their parents to actually enjoy the beach and not think 24/7 about ways to make their trips better. “We try to respect that,” Hsu says. “We try to have family dinners without talking about it.”

When it is time to have those important conversations about expanding their business, the duo plays off each other’s strengths. “My husband, he’s perfect with the numbers. I’ll stay on the creative side,” the former bag designer mentions. “I’ll touch on all the design and the function, the engineering. We’ve worked together on other businesses, so we have good synergy. We stay in our lane. We respect what each other does. I’m proud of what he does, and he’s proud of what I do.”

Starting a new business can be a stressful endeavor. Hsu and Besner took a risk and launched Sunflow in May 2020 at the height of COVID-19 and everyone being quarantined. Earlier this spring they appeared on Shark Tank. “They were fans of the idea and the concept,” Hsu reveals. “And we had pretty good stats that first year, considering the pandemic.” (Spoiler alert: they struck a deal but ultimately went in a different direction.) Watch the video to learn what the most nerve-racking part of the show experience was and why you should be nice to everyone in business and life.

Alisandra Puliti


Alisandra Puliti is a NYC-based entertainment journalist with over 15 years of experience. Before joining the SI Swimsuit team as a contributing editor, the Penn State alum held several positions at HELLO! and HOLA! Media, Us Weekly and OK! Magazine. Throughout her tenure, she has been a fixture at events such as the Golden Globes to the Cannes Film Festival and has interviewed the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Eva Longoria, Jay-Z and more of Hollywood’s elite. A self-professed ‘social homebody,’ when she isn’t home binge-watching the newest streaming series or perfecting pasta dishes, her constant wanderlust has her packing her bags and heading out for a new adventure –most likely back to Italy!