We had the good fortune of connecting with Richele Silva and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Richele, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
When I first started my business 15+ years ago I worked day and night to get it off the ground. I often described running my own business as having a baby that never grows up. It constantly needs your full attention. I did that for about 6 years working nights and weekends to make it happen. It was not a good balance then and looking back at it I feel like it was more fear based than anything else. I wouldn’t recommend that train of thought. I made an agreement with myself a number of years ago that I don’t work Sundays anymore and generally I take off Saturdays as well. I feel better when I have more rest and I’m able to think more clearly so I would say that balance is very important. On a rare occasion I’ll have an order that requires some weekend work or getting ready for a trade show but other than that I stick to a 9-6 schedule. My body and mind both need the rest.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Richie Designs was born of a love of sending letters to family and friends. I moved from Northern California to Southern California in grade school. I felt lost, away from friends and family so I began sending letters when I was quite young. I had always been interested in art and the two merged for me in college. I didn’t know you could make a living making greetings. It was a secret dream of mine to have a line, I just had not seen anyone do it. That being said, I had to earn my stripes. My years in advertising were needed. I needed to see creative people making a living and learn from that. I needed to see business decisions play out and learn from that. I think we often overlook the need of Life Education before going out and starting something. I know if I had done this at 25 I would not have made it. As my husband says, we all end up where we need to be. I also had to learn the art of letterpress printing and I didn’t do that until I was in my mid 30’s. One day it just clicked that perhaps this printing style and my illustrations would make good stationery. Just before my 40th birthday I got laid off and it was then I decided to go for it. Richie Designs was born from love. Love of paper, love of craft, love of making someone else smile or laugh. Our greetings come from real conversations, messy life-stuff, real feelings to be shared.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a friend visiting for a week [which definitely has happened] Los Angeles is the dream spot to visit isn’t it? I live outside the city in Long Beach so I tend to sway south [traffic ease] I’d start us off with a delicious breakfast at Ubuntu a new cafe near us. If they wanted a beach day I’d head to Laguna Beach, There is something very magical about driving down PCH and hitting that hill that takes you into Emerald Bay, It feels like a European city. Shopping in Newport’s Lido is a nice treat with little boutiques and a waterfront lunch at Zinc Cafe. Definitely stop into Jolie an amazing boutique with women’s clothes and accessories and also a stop at Wild Child Party to see what new treats are in. In long Beach there is an amazing collection of vintage shops at Retro Row and a coffee break with a treat at Gusto Bakery would make the afternoon perfect. If the person had not been to LA ever before I would drive into the city and show off Frank Gehry’s Disney Hall and head to Silverlake to show off the amazing shops and vibe that we all love. I might finish off the week with dinner in Venice at Gjelina and a little window shopping in Venice. Each pocket of our great city is so unique and beautiful. It’s a treat to visit all these places with people from out of town. It’s like viewing it with fresh eyes when they get so excited.
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 can’t recognized my success without giving a shoutout to my husband. He is my biggest cheerleader and supporter. I would have not had the guts to step out of my job without his encouragement. That being said, I have to make mention of all of the wonderful art directors & photographers that I’ve worked with over the years in advertising. That education has been invaluable to me. I learned to see in a new way and also how to approach business challenges in a professional manor that has helped me with every step of my business.
photography Eric Hameister and Richele Silva