We had the good fortune of connecting with Lawrence EM Hart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lawrence EM, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I had worked in the corporate world and realized I was being dictated to constantly and decided that being the boss was the best way to go to achieve my goals.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am very creative, motivated and aware of everything that surrounds me. My preference in creating jewelry is by using simple elegant and uncomplicated lines that are enduring. I listen to what my clients are looking for and want and then give my very honest opinion and advise. In all my years in business I have never had to remake an item because my customer isn’t happy. I believe that being an immigrant drove me to be successful. I arrived in the USA with $400 a backpack and a suitcase. I wanted to prove to myself, my family and friends and those that questioned me that I would succeed. After working with a partner in a store in LA and being fed up with how hard I worked for no gratitude I abruptly left and decided at 26 years old I would never work for anyone but myself. I started looking for a business and after being promised a bank loan found my first store in OC and named it JH Lawrence Fine Jewelers after my mother ad Father and myself. I worked very hard for years, opening up two more additional stores, a partner in one who eventually ran away with everything and disappeared and the other being fraudulently represented to me and closing it after a year. That was a huge setback for me, financially and personally but I never gave up. I believe in myself and in people and am now smarter because of it. I continue to believe in the human spirit and now being a Kidney transplant survivor and seeing the remarkable support I have received from my customers and friends many of who I have met through my business I fight on. My integrity, personality, authenticity and honesty attention to detail, the fact that I work one on one with you and am not greedy and all about the $$$. No matter what it takes, I believe in what I create, the quality and my relationships is what keeps my customer loyal to me and my brand and continue to support me.
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 would take a motorcycle trip up the coast to Carmel. Driving up through Malibu and Zuma beach along the PCH 1 stopping at Gladstones in Malibu for lunch. Next stop would be Ojai for the night and then onto Solvang for the day working our way through the Danish pastries. From Solvang head north along the backside of Santa Barbara on the 192 looking down over the whole city and amongst the magnificent homes most folks don’t see. Through Carpentaria and the agricultural farm lands to San Luis Obispo and the Madonna Inn, must stop and have carrot cake, one slice feds three. Next stop Morro Bay and stay at the Inn at Morro Bay, it is beautiful and I have very fond memories of taking my parents there on one of their visits. Hearst Castle, San Simeon, Cambria, Big Sur, Nepenthe and continuing the winding 1 to reach Carmel. there are many stops along the way as the motorcycle need to top up every 100 miles and I don’t ride on the freeway unless it is necessary. Great fish restaurants and coffee spots in the middle of nowhere are the best. I talk to everyone, even it is making a remark about what they are wearing, compliment or their ethnicity or where they may have come from or going to and of course what they do if opportunity arises. I love local history and view points, nature I find very calming and comforting. Food always tells a great story from 5 star restaurant to a food cart I don’t discriminate.
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 am dyslexic an struggled with academics in school. Once leaving school, doing my apprenticeship and then getting into the corporate world of the largest retail Jewelry chain in South Africa, American Swiss, I worked my way up through the company, the youngest person to ever do it at the time. The head of HR had heard I was planning on leaving and moving on, not knowing I was moving to the US, he had been an alumni from my school and had always enjoyed sharing stories with me, he was the only person at that time who told me that one day I would be very successful and that is what drove me.
Linkedin: Lawrence E. M. Hart
Facebook: Lawrence E M Hart