Chicago native Leslie Nuss caught the music bug at age four, spending hours singing into the handle of a jump rope. Little did she know then that it would be well over 20 years and several career detours later before she would finally embrace music as her true vocation. Arriving in New York City fresh out of college, Nuss held various jobs -- working as a nanny, a recycling coordinator, a concert promoter, and a lifeguard. She honed her designer skills by studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology and caught the eye of retailers Abercrombie & Fitch, Timberland, and Bag Bazaar. In 1995, she was picked to create headpieces for designer Betsey Johnson's fall line, andNuss' signature pink glass beaded tiara designs were showcased on the cover of YM magazine's spring 1998 prom supplement, setting off a mini teen fashion craze. Yet, the desire to create her own music was so strong she used proceeds from her accessories business to finance the making of her March 1999 folk-rock-styled debut,Heliotrope. Inspired by the success of independent female singer/songwriters such as Ani DiFranco, Nuss started her own label, Little Leaf Records, Inc., and released her sophomore recording, Action Hero Superstar, in April 2001.