MS Venture hosts Harlen founder

Julie Cantor P’26 joins MS Venture club to share entrepreneur advice

Entrepreneur and founder of Harlen, Dr. Julie Cantor P’26, joined MS Venture to speak with students on Wednesday, Jan. 4. Cantor shared advice based on her experiences and discussed the key elements of constructing and maintaining a successful business.

Harlen – named after Cantor’s grandparents, Harriet and Lenny – has advocated for equality through its original Italian products for the past 10 years. The Harlen collection consists of a variety of handbags designed to secure all belongings while maintaining a fashionable appearance.

Cantor shared that she created the product around her own desire to eliminate the common frustrations of carrying workplace materials.

“Harlen was born from a need when I was working for a lawyer at a downtown [Los Angeles] firm to have a really great rolling bag that I could bring to court, or bring to some kind of meeting and not feel like it was going to fall on the floor,” Cantor said. “It had to exude the right message. That was the goal of it.”

In addition, Cantor displayed the Dissent Cuff, Harlen’s most recent limited edition product, composed of various symbols representing freedom.

Cantor shared that each feature within the cuff was intentionally designed to carry a specific meaning. For instance, the word “Dissent” is engraved in the center, standing for Harlen’s mission of autonomy and liberty.

The informative conversation led by Cantor gave students an opportunity to ask their own questions regarding entrepreneurship and marketing.

Donna Enayati ’27 shared that she was inspired by Cantor’s ability to explore various fields and apply the lessons learned along the way.

“I thought it was really interesting how Dr. Cantor went from medical school to law school and then decided to enter entrepreneurship using what she had learned,” Enayati said.