We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisset Verde and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisset, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Three years ago I was laid off from a job I loved, I was good at, and I was recognized for. That got me thinking that no matter how good one is at her job, we are always at the mercy of corporate and their decisions. That gave me the push to start my own business.
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?
Our motto is “beauty with conscience” and we try to apply it to everything we do. First, we work directly with our Wayuu partners, respecting their traditions and paying them above-market prices. We also work with The Wayuu Taya Foundation helping them feed hundreds of Wayuu children who have been negatively affected by the Covid-19, and the political and economical problems of the are they live. Finally, we want our customers to purchase not just a beautiful item, but an item that has an impact in the world.
It has not been easy being a small business during a global pandemic. We have had to cut costs in order to survive. We took a scientific approach to business: changing one variable at a time and observing the results. In that way, we have learned (and we are still learning) what works for us.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love being a tourist in this amazing city! One of our stores is in Santa Monica. Santa Monica is a must, and besides the pier, promenade, and Wuitusu, I’ll tell my friends to visit the Camera Obscura in Santa Monica.
Our other store is in Hollywood. The Chinese Theater is a must, as well as the Walk of Fame, The Dolby Theater and Wuitusu (right in front of the stairs that lead to the Oscars!). A quirky stop in Hollywood is the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, specially in the summer with their movie nights.
I also love downtown (Grand central Market, Angel’s Flight, The Last Bookstore, the Bradbury Building), Little Tokyo, and old Chinatown.
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?
My husband and child for their help and support; family and friends for their encouragement, help, tokens of love; our Wayuu partners for their skills and creativity, our assistants, new and old; and our customers who have kept us going.