We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah Alys-Marie Guzman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hannah Alys-Marie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Although socute did not start until 2020 the research and development process began in 2018. In summer of 2018 I downloaded TikTok and at the time it was in the early stages of what we know TikTok to be today and there were not that many users on the app but it was a key element in the development of socute. The app was a looking glass into people’s lives from all different walks of life and I fell deeply in love with the fashion side of the app because it broke so many boundaries and had such a powerful influence. I was so in love with seeing all these real people just living their life; it was so different and refreshing at the time and all these people making content were my inspiration at the time.

I had this desire to make people feel beautiful and confident and I wanted to do it in a way that anyone could have access to regardless of socioeconomic standing. So finally I came up with the plan to create a jewelry company because to me jewelry is something that is so small but has the power to make people feel so beautiful and confident, you can put on a pair of earrings and suddenly feel like you can conquer the whole day. My number one rule that I gave myself when creating the brand was to always be respectful of people’s money, and by this I mean offer them super cute high quality pieces at an affordable price point. I am very conscious that our customers are choosing to spend their hard earned money with us and I feel honored that they choose us and trust us to deliver a product that they feel good about. I want all our customers to not only feel confident in their jewelry but be confident in their purchase and feel respected.

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 think what sets us apart from others is how hard we work to deliver the best product possible, I have spent so many hours learning and researching every aspect of our industry and work so hard to not only produce high quality pieces but make them cost effective without sacrificing quality. More recently what I’m most excited about is really growing and evolving the brand, I feel like right now were going through our brand is in its awkward tween years and behind the scenes were trying to really improve every single aspect of the brand as a whole and get it ready to really take off and grow from a small little business I started out of my apartment to a well respected brand within the industry. Business-wise I would say I got where I am today from watching my parents, they are both very business savvy individuals and over the years watching them grow from nothing has really inspired me and shown me how to navigate a business world, but additionally I feel like I’ve paid my own dues and made my own fair share of mistakes that I’ve had to learn to navigate and resolve those issues. It has definitely not been easy, and there are always times where I feel like giving up but I just love my little business so much and I’m so passionate about the brand that even though it’s been hard and stressful it’s all worth it. One of the biggest challenges for me has been navigating the social media space because there’s just so much hate online and as much as you want to ignore it and not acknowledge it when you work so incredibly hard on a business or brand any negative mean thing people say is going sting and hurt, and it can often feel like your drowning. This is a challenge that I’m still actively working on and trying to get through. I feel like the fear of negativity online has held me back tremendously but I’ve been able to slowly get over this fear through focusing on the tremendous amount of love and support from all our customers. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is to put good energy into your business and give people your best and make people the focus of your business, not money. When you focus on the people the financial blessings come naturally. I want the world to know how much I desire for everyone in this world to feel beautiful and confident in themselves and I hope we can radiate that through our brand.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Monday/Day 1/ First Day – First item on the agenda and the most important item on the agenda, coffee. Pick up a New Orleans Cold Brew with a splash of Oat Milk from Blue Bottle Coffee in Malibu. Then probably take some cute IG pictures for my friend who is visiting. Next up, Come to the office and let my friend raid our old sample bin so I can make sure they are sparkling all week long and get some work done. Next is late lunch at Bad Ass Tacos in Thousand Oaks, simply because I’m Latina and I love tacos. I love going to this taco shop because its also Latina owned and I love supporting any fellow Latina owned businesses. After Lunch I love to take people driving down PCH and just drive and talk. At 7pm I’m taking my friend to Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, I love roller skating and try to go a few times a week. It’s been one of my biggest stress relievers because it’s just such a great vibe and so much fun I’m always dragging my friends to go with me. Skate sessions normally end around 11 pm so next I’m taking them to one of my favorite late night spots, Mel’s Diner on Ventura Blvd in Studio City. I love the all-Americana vibe in Mels plus they have amazing chocolate milkshakes and French Fries!

Tuesday/ Day 2/ Self-Care Day – Whenever friends come and visit from my hometown I always love to take them on a self care day because Los Angeles has some of the best and unique self care places that I’ve grown to love over the years. In the morning I take them to a Soulcycle class, I’ve grown to LOVE soul cycle classes not only for the physical fitness aspect but more for the mental health aspect. It’s a challenging class and it makes you feel like you can really do anything once you’ve done a soul class. My home studio is the Soulcycle in Westlake Village, I love the location of this studio! After class we will walk to Starbucks, it’s in the same shopping plaza and its nice to walk and cool down after a workout. I’m ordering a Grande Iced Soy Vanilla Latte, its been my go-to drink since I was 16 years old and it’s always a solid drink choice. After coffee we’d do brunch at Ubatuba in Thousand Oaks for some acai bowls, my favorite is the Brazilian Style Ubatuba Bowl which comes topped with banana, strawberry, granola, and honey. I usually take off the granola and sub it for hemp seeds and add extra strawberries. After Acai bowls we’d probably come back to the office so I can get a little bit of work done. Then we’d head to Ventura Blvd to Squeeze for some of the best massages in Los Angeles. After squeeze we’d head over to West Hollywood to a place called Float, Float is a sensory deprivation tank and its one of the wildest self care experiences. Sensory deprivation is a giant tank or visualize a very large bathtub filled with salt water, the salt to water ratio is so dense that you don’t sink in the water you float. The water is the exact same temperature as your skin so you are not too hot or too cold its just perfect. At float you get you own room for an hour and you get in the tank and then you turn all the lights off and it gets pitch black in the room and you simply just lay in the water and float. Its meant to help relax your thoughts and relax your body and tune out all the noise of the world. After our float session we’d head over to Urth Cafe for a casual dinner. My favorite thing to order is the Pesto Chicken Salad with a Lemonade. After dinner wed come back to my apartment and probably watch a movie on Disney+

Wednesday/ Day 3/ Disneyland Day – Doing a Disneyland day is a must for me! Pre-covid I would go at least once or twice a week, Disneyland for me is an escape from reality and I always have so much fun when I go with friends.

Thursday/ Day 4/ Beach Day – I love taking my friends to the awesome beaches in Malibu, we’d sunrise at the beach and obviously pick up some coffee for our morning beach walk. We’d do lunch at Malibu Farms and then Explore the Pepperdine campus before my MBA class. Unfortunately Thursdays are my school days and since I’m in the MBA program I cannot skip any classes but the great thing is the campus is so beautiful it’s a great place to chill and hang out! We would probably just sit and chill and enjoy the campus and spend the time catching up while taking in the breathtaking views. Dinner is at Tavern Tonys in Malibu, I love ordering their vegetarian feast. It’s one of the best spots in Malibu!

Friday/ Day 5/ Shopping Day – It’s always fun to take any of my friends who come and visit shopping because there are some great shops here in southern California, specifically orange county. My favorite mall to take friends to is South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Fashion Island in Newport Beach, and Irvine Spectrum. Since we’d be traveling from Thousand Oaks to Orange Country we would pick up Urth Cafe for a Spanish latte to start our day off. After Shopping id take my friend to one of my favorite places to eat when I’m in Orange county which is Pho Ha Plus in Anaheim California, the Pho Ga is my favorite to order. We would walk across the street to an awesome desert place called Joe’s Italian ice, lines are always long but it’s definitely worth the wait!

Saturday/ Day 6/ Whatever Day – On Saturday id let my friend call the shots and wed go wherever and eat wherever they want to go and try! Often when friends come to visit they have a list of place they find on Instagram they want to try and I always want to make sure we hit any wishlist places they might want to go to.

Sunday/ Day 7/ Chill Last Day – Sunday morning we’ll pick up some coffee, probably from Starbucks because its the quickest option because we’re headed to church early in the morning. I always bring my friends to church services with me at ZOELA church in los angeles, it’s great vibe there. After church is brunch, were brunching Lovis in Calabasas. Lovis is one of the first restaurants I went to when I moved here 6 years ago so its sentimental to me and I love to share it with my friends. My favorite thing to order for brunch is their French Toast. Then i’d take my friend to the movies, because all my friends and I love going to the movies. My favorite theater is the Cinepolis in Westlake Village and I’m definitely ordering coca cola icee and sneaking in some strawberry sour punch bites!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to thank my Bestfriend/Mom for being my biggest supporter and for always pushing me to be the best person I can be. Often she sees potential in me that I don’t see in myself and she always encourages me to max out my potential. She’s always willing to drop everything to come and help me and shows me endless love. Without her I definitely would not be where I am today in both life and business. Also I would like to thank my boyfriend, Bryant, he’s helped me navigate so many aspects of the business and has been a huge support system to me and is always willing to jump in and help whenever I need it. Most importantly I would like to thank our most loyal and loving customers.

Website: https://socutejewls.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/socutejewls/?hl=en

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