We had the good fortune of connecting with Caroline Hagerty and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caroline, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Between myself and my cofounder, we have over 25 years of corporate experience. I am Brazilian-American, my cofounder Eliana Reynoso is Mexican-American. Throughout our careers, we would find ourselves in these 9 to 5 settings, the sole Latinas around any given office. Nearly half of the population in LA County is Latino…so why have so few of us found opportunities in the corporate world? Of the few of us who “make it”, hardly any are in executive or stakeholder positions. Brands LOVE to promote their efforts toward inclusion and diversity with dubious statistics. Sure, your favorite brand may claim to have 25% Latinx staff…but within that percentage, how many have roles where they can actually impact REAL change?

…And, let’s be real. 9 to 5’s are more like 7 to 7’s. We grew tired of dedicating half of our time plus all of our talent to giant corporations where we didn’t see ourselves reflected: not in the product offerings, not in the decision making, and definitely not in the creative direction in an authentic way.

Thus, Lini Victoria LLC was born. I am an award-winning designer with an intense passion for my work. My partner is a mastermind of all things strategic and operational. Between the two of us, we knew we had the skills to offer creative work of the highest quality to a broader audience than existing creative agencies. Our mission is “Creative Problem Solving, For All.” Simply put, that is why we started our business- to make creative services democratic and attainable for a wider range of clients.

What should our readers know about your business?
Our business is a boutique creative agency with a mission of creative problem solving, for all. For us, this means we offer services in English, Portuguese, and Spanish. We do not require minimums, retainers, or pre-existing knowledge from our clients. We empower our clients to make informed creative decisions without expecting them to be experts themselves. We offer a robust creative menu, but our biggest strengths are Graphic Design, Environmental Design, and Brand Development.

We are so excited to continue to grow our business to allow us to bring on more staff in the future! Our business is still a baby, we just had our first anniversary!  We cannot wait to see what the future holds for us and our clients.

Easy is absolutely never a word I would use to describe being a creative professional, a designer, or a business owner. But, it isn’t a word I would use to describe life in general! I do hope over time, ease does become part of our work. For now, I can say I do find joy and pleasure in it. Challenges are inevitable. In our first year of business, we had clients stiff us on thousands and thousands of dollars. This could have been the end for Lini Victoria LLC. However, our mission is rooted in creative problem solving, after all! So, we had to figure it out and keep it moving. Obstacles may tempt me to give up, but instead I always choose to take the lessons I’ve learned and apply my knowledge in the future.

One of our business goals is to create opportunities for Latinx to have creative careers. Culturally, Latinx are actively discouraged from pursuing creative professions. This unfortunate, and outdated, mindset is reinforced by a severe lack of consideration by larger companies. Cultural and creative businesses are the fourth largest business sector in Los Angeles County, generating $115 billion in revenues annually. Clearly, there is wealth to be made in creative career pursuits! We want the world to know we’re here for a slice of that billion-dollar pie. We hope our existence and eventually our legacy shows we are all living proof that there IS a path for monetary success as a creative professional! There is economic space for our work and our work is exceptional.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am an Eastside girl! I live in City Terrace [East LA] with my family and I love showing guests this part of Los Angeles.

Some of my favorite places in LA are not operating as usual due to the pandemic, but for the purposes of my fantasy itinerary/manifesting into reality, let’s pretend they’ll be open again soon!

Here it goes: The Lini Victoria’s choose your own adventure[s]:

• Grab picnic food things from Konbi, a Japanese-style sandwich shop in Echo Park. Everything is great, but the egg salad sandwich is a must. Grab drink things from Ototo LA, enjoy their robust and incredible sake options. Once your picnic basket is fully-stocked, head up Sunset to Vista Hermosa park for some beautiful DTLA views. Rent a scooter and finish off your day zooming around DTLA- be sure to ride past Grand Avenue and check out the incredible architecture there like the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Broad Museum.

• Power up with some Kindness & Mischief coffee and then catch an early showing at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in Highland Park. Look, I know it sounds odd…but you just gotta trust me on the marionettes. For lunch, stop at Joy, a Tawainese eatery sure to delight your taste buds. It’s my daughter’s favorite restaurant and one of ours too! Check out the Highland Park Bowling Alley- even if you don’t play, the food, drinks, and vibes are totally worth the visit. Do some shopping at Owl Bureau Bookshop, Big Bud Press for locally made clothes and accessories, Shorthand for stunning paper goods, House of Intuition for spiritual goodies, and Merci Milo for really stunning toys. You’ll be sure to find even more unique shops during your strolling.

• Take the Gold Line to Chinatown and walk over to the Chinatown Central Plaza. Take lots of fun pictures, there’s plenty of incredible structures and colors to pose with. In the plaza, check out Cakeland LA, an immersive art installation by Scott Hove. I’ve gone multiple times and never grow tired of it. Get your aura portrait taken at the Auragami Studio, you’ll get a polaroid showing the colors of your aura and a reading explaining it all. Enjoy Yang Chow for lunch, be sure to order the Slippery Shrimp and save room for boba from Bubble U afterward! Thien Hau Temple, a Taoist temple, is also well-worth a visit. I think reverence and appreciation of all the cultures that make up our city is essential.

• Taco Tour!! You could live in LA for 100 years and still never try all the incredible Chicano food offerings available. Current favorites include Sonoratown, home of the greatest flour tortillas of all times plus the carne asada of your dreams. Cinco Puntos, simple, straight forward, authentic. A must-eat! When in doubt, I visit Javier Cabral’s of LA Taco’s IG page. His recommendations never disappoint. To try different tequilas and mezcals, check out Las Perlas. LA bars come and go, but this one is a forever-favorite for me.

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?
I could not do anything without my business partner, my earth angel Eliana Reynoso! I cannot stress enough how partnering with her allowed our business to grow in the direction I always dreamt of. Also, a major shoutout to Joanna Tejada, a mega-talented designer who supports us on larger projects and brings so much beauty and spirit into everything she touches.

I would also like to shoutout Be An Arts Hero. Via their site: “[we are] an intersectional grassroots campaign comprised of Arts & Culture workers, Unions, and institutions in the United States pushing the Senate to allocate proportionate relief to the Arts & Culture sector of the American economy.” Creative work is a major contributor to the American Economy, especially in Los Angeles! We believe strongly in equity and respect for art workers.

Finally, a moment of so, so much gratitude for my family! My daughter Amaia, my mother Katia, my partner Ricardo Vivas, and so many more who inspire and support me always.

Website: www.linivictoria.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/linivcreative/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolinehagerty/

Image Credits
Joanna Tejada

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