Charlotte-based marketing and branding company Level Brands just went public on the NYSE Friday, then closed Monday at $5.41, below its opening price of $6. In the Regulation A+ IPO, Level Brands raised nearly $12 million. Kathy Ireland, Chief Brand Strategist and Chairman Emeritus at the company, says Level Brands is using the funding for brand development and expansion for companies it believes in.

Ireland says brands that struggle to reach millennials don't listen. Today, millennials are demanding transparency. As a result, the most transparent brands are the most successful according to Ireland.

In September, Level Brands licensed kathy ireland® Health & Wellness. Other Level Brand business units include Beauty & Pin-Ups, Ireland Men One, and Encore Endeavor One. Ireland says she's encouraged by the initial days of trading on the NYSE. Bringing democracy from Wall Street to main street was important to Level Brands in this IPO, says Ireland.