We had the good fortune of connecting with Madie Antara (Ira) and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Madie, we’d love to hear more about your end-goal, professionally.
First of all, I had already narrowed down my passions and tried to force myself to stick with just 1 but unfortunately, I couldn’t. 😁 I’m a multi-passionate, business-oriented person, with an overly ambitious trait. haha I enjoy learning new things, and staying busy doing what I love. I still have tons of energy and I thought why not also explore all my options. My learning background and work experience is mostly e-commerce. I’ve been in the e-commerce industry for over 15 years. My 3 passions are: e-commerce, environmental sustainability, and real estate. My professional goal would be to embrace my multiple passions. When my kids are more independent I would like to be able to run and manage all my businesses efficiently.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I will talk about my green business because it’s a fairly new found passion (started a little over a year ago). It’s a small scale but is one that I’m most proud of. Something led me to this journey. This business shows my life purpose. To be an advocate for the environment and to improve the well being of people living in rural areas makes me feel that my work is more meaningful. My contribution may not be much compared to big companies out there but a little adds up and a little can go a long way. It feels good to be able to give back to the community and bring economic benefits to people by creating job opportunities for them. My journey isn’t always easy. Throughout my journey I’ve learned that I have to take my time to find my tribe. Choosing the right partners was my biggest challenge. I can’t count how many times I encountered the wrong kind of people. People who don’t have good intentions and just want to take your resources, and run. After a few stumbles and falls, I’m currently in partnership with 4 trusted and reliable leading artists who have incredibly artistic spirit and entrepreneurship. Quality sustainable products are what I aim for and so far these 4 amazing leaders are able to deliver what my business and consumers need. My 14 year old daughter is sometimes involved in my business, too. She helps make some digital and manual designs in the summer when school is out. Now that I have the right people in my team, my focus is to maintain a good relationship with them. If I have a new design to propose, I make sure I give them as much time and freedom to explore and use their creativity to complete the project. It’s amazing that when you empower people, great things happen. I am always impressed with the final outcome of their creation. They go above and beyond my expectation everytime. I am proud of them. 🙂 What makes my small business stand out from other competitors is that I take pride in my products and my business ethics. I’m highly organized and somewhat a perfectionist. I don’t know if that’s considered my weakness or my strength haha. If I’m not satisfied with the quality of my products, I openly communicate it with my artisan partners to ensure that product quality is maintained and improved. The materials used in my products are always ethically sourced and they are discarded raw materials being repurposed so that they don’t just end up in the landfills. My cleaning products for example, come from scrap woods left behind by furniture makers. My artisan partners process these raw woods and handcraft them the old-fashion way (with only simple tools, and no high tech machines involved. You’ll find that no two items will ever be identical). My production partners and team are paid fairly and there’s no fast or mass production. I keep everything transparent and I strive for the well being of my partners and team, and most of all, for my customers’ satisfaction.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
All over Southern California, of course! 😁 I would start with my town first, Irvine. We have beautiful big parks and trails here. They are well kept, clean and green which makes it an enjoyable recreational area to be with friends and family. We also have the best restaurants of all types of cuisines. My foodie friends will never have to worry about a lack of dining options here in Irvine. Never have to drive far. They’re all within easy, 2-10 minutes reach. Then I would take them to Newport Beach, which is only 15 minutes away from my town. Newport Beach is one of my favorite beach towns. Great weather with lots of greeneries, scenic spots and plenty of outdoor activities we can do here. Hike, bike, have a picnic while enjoying beautiful, magical sunsets. There are also cute shops and outdoor oceanfront shopping center. Even if they don’t plan on shopping, they will enjoy the beautiful view and fun experience. I’ve been to Newport Beach far too many times and never tired of it. When I have friends or family coming from out of town I always take them here. Then I would drive them around Los Angeles (about an hour from where I live). My favorite spot in LA is the Getty Center. It’s a huge (can feel overwhelming for some) art museum center and library, free of charge for everyone. The museum architecture is incredible. Inside of it is filled with great exhibits. Even if they’re not into arts, they will be impressed coming here. The artisan gardens are filled with gorgeous flowers. The breathtaking, panoramic view of the city and the ocean alone is worth the visit. We could find a spot to sit, relax, have a picnic and enjoy the beauty of nature. I’ve fallen asleep here before. haha. That’s how relaxing it is and a total distraction from our daily routine lives. I would take my friends and family here anytime and highly recommend anyone to check out this amazing place.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
It’s hard to pick just one person to give credit to because I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a positive and supportive environment. First credit goes to my family, who gives the mental support I need to pursue my passions. Also my best friend of 33 years, Ida. She’s been helping me manage the financial aspect of my businesses and the one who’s always there for me through the highs and the lows of being an entrepreneur. I would also like to give a shout out to other entrepreneur friends/networks in all industries who have inspired me in many ways and contributed positively to my business and personal growth. I’ve followed and watched their journeys and become so inspired by them. I owe it all to every one of them. Last but not least – Gary Vee, a well known internet personality, and a successful, self-made entrepreneur whose podcast I listen to everyday on my way to work, when I clean, cook, do laundry, etc. Being an entrepreneur is NOT easy. The highs are high. The lows are low. People like Gary Vee, Tony Robbins, Joshua Dorkins, and many other successful entrepreneurs are inspiring and encouraging people like me to live life to the fullest. Through their free online education and business podcasts, they help boost my self confidence and inspire me to keep going.