We had the good fortune of connecting with Lavinia Aghakhani and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lavinia, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
The hardest part of taking risks for me was battling my own fears of failure and the unknowns.
Being from an immigrant family, my parents have always advised me to follow a more “direct” path. So the pressure of going against the grain was difficult. As the older child, I understood the sacrifice my parents had made to give me and my sister a better chance at success. So, I shied away from taking risks and became caught in a cycle of “what-ifs” and I still find myself battling those thoughts from time to time.
However, knowing this about myself, I started to read books about investing and how some of the most successful people in America have achieved their greatness by taking many risks. So now I actively work on reorienting my mindset. I see risk and even failure as a sort of necessity for success. I think the biggest way I was able to acclimate to taking risks was by investing in the stock market and crypto which essentially helped me work up the courage to take the leap and start my own business, even though I had no idea what I was doing starting off. All I knew was that I had a love for art and enjoyed working with my hands. In fact, both my parents are a great source of inspiration for me as they have always been quite artistic themselves and had even ventured into artsy careers, though they didn’t end up pursuing them. So, I decided to take a leap of faith with my own art. Now I get to do what I love and work towards further growing my business whilst remembering that great things can come from taking a few risks.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve always been fascinated by nature specifically plants and flowers but have also had a love for fashion, design, and art. Once I learned I can combine all of them together and create jewelry and accessories by preserving the beauty of flowers and plants around me I knew I had to share them with others! So in the summer of 2020, my sister and I created L&K Elegance.
I think quality and comfort in addition to a minimalist and elegant natural look is what sets my work apart. Though I love fashion, I’m a big advocate of comfort and the natural look. When I create my pieces I ensure they’re as comfortable as can be and are made from the best materials. I use high-quality resin which lasts much longer and is much more shiny and clear. I also hand-form many of the jewelry frames with quality wire. This allows my pieces to be super lightweight and comfortable for all-day use.
One of the challenging aspects of getting started for me was learning how to properly work with resin as well as the best methods for drying flowers. And it took me some time and quite a lot of failures before I learned how to reliably create quality results. But perhaps the most challenging part was starting a business for my craft. I didn’t know the first thing about starting and running a business. But after getting my bachelor’s in psychology at UCLA I realized I really wanted to pursue art. So, I decided to jump right in and figure it out as I go because I knew if I just waited around for answers I would overthink it some more and scare myself out of it. With much research and learning from making my share of mistakes, I managed to do it! As of now my goal and what I’m most excited about is to also offer my jewelry as wholesale to shops around LA.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I haven’t grown up in LA so there are certainly a lot of places I myself have not yet seen/experienced, but I am a foodie and one of the first places I’d recommend is The Hat in Alhambra for the best chili cheese fries of all time. I also love all the flea markets and art shows that happen around LA, most notably I love the Jackalope Art fairs in Pasadena and Burbank where you can meet so many amazing creatives and support local LA artists.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m blessed for having so many wonderful friends and family who’ve helped and supported me in my journey. My parents have been major contributors to growing my business and my little sister Kamelia Aghakhani has been my business partner since the start of this venture. I couldn’t have done this without her. My partner Wade F. Wilson has been my rock and has encouraged me to keep going and is always there to reassure me when I have doubts. I owe much of my more positive outlook to him.
Other: TikTok: l.k_elegance