Who are you?
What’s the name of your company/organization?
The best movie of all time is clearly….
Hmm..that’s a tough one! I’d probably have to say Space Jam and She’s the Man :)
What’s your favorite local restaurant?
I just recently went to The Deck on Laguna Beach and it was amazing! Yummy burgers and a sunset view while sitting on the beach? Pretty sure it doesn’t get much better than that!
How would you spend your ideal day off?
It would probably start with a big cup of coffee and some heart-pumping workout class to wake me up and get the day started. I love anything to do with being outdoors so you could probably find me hiking, bike riding, paddle boarding, or just hanging with friends at the beach all day. Then we’d probably wander around searching for the best taco spot and end the day with ice cream, of course! I’m a huge ice cream fan.
If you could go anywhere in the world you haven’t been, where would you go and why?
Oh, there’s so many places on my list! But I’d say I’m most eager to check out Peru. I love planning out my next big hiking adventure so of course Machu Picchu is a must-see. I’m also really drawn to the textiles, art, and culture. (Fun fact: my family has 6 alpacas as pets, so I think it’s only fitting that I visit their homeland!)
What do you do for work? Tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today.
My mom and I started JOJI a few years ago and while it started as a fun mother-daughter project for a while, we soon turned it into a give-back business that we are now running full-time. Together, my mom and I have been volunteering and traveling to Guatemala for about 8 years, volunteering with a non-profit called Xela AID. We immediately fell in love with the culture, the art, and most importantly, the people. After being struck by the level of poverty and lack of economic opportunities available for women, we decided to blend our love for fashion and philanthropy and create a handbag company that would directly support and empower women weavers. Our weaving cooperative started with 5 weavers, and today we employ 15 women who are receiving a sustainable income, health care, and education. I absolutely love what I do and I’m forever grateful that Guatemala has become my second home, filled with family that have completely changed my life.
How do you stay inspired? Productive?
Much of what motivates me is the fact that my work is making a difference in the lives of the women I love so dearly. Without JOJI, these women would not be employed and ultimately the harder I work, the more lives we can potentially impact and that right there is enough to stay inspired. I also love following entrepreneurs that inspire me and that I look up to. Whether that means just following their social media accounts, listening to their podcasts, reading their books, or going to networking events to meet others – I’m always looking to soak up as much knowledge as I can from people that I admire. My bookshelf at home is stacked with every entrepreneur book I can find so I love flipping through those!
What’s your favorite part of your work?
I never imagined I’d be running a business so honestly I just love the excitement of it all. One day I’m working on marketing strategies and the next day I’m hunting fabric stores in downtown LA for the perfect lining for a new tote style. Every day is filled with different experiences and challenges and I love that I’m able to just be fearless in trying new things.
What are some of the biggest challenges of your work and what advice would you give to someone experiencing similar challenges?
Sometimes when I dream about all that I hope JOJI to become and realize all that needs to be done to get there, it can be quite overwhelming. I’m sure others can relate to the feeling that there is always something that I could be working on and always more that I could be doing. It’s easy to get swept away in thinking about the future and all that I should or should not be doing, but honestly it just comes down to focusing on one task at a time. Because I have so much flexibility in choosing what I work on during a normal day, it’s easy to focus on the fun stuff and put the mundane stuff on the back burner. But I’ve learned to prioritize and crack down on finishing the tough stuff right at the beginning of my morning. I’m always most productive in the first few hours, so most of the time I’ll wake up and go straight to my computer to get them out of the way before I do anything else that day. I’m a huge “to do” list kind of girl, so those help me over the course of the day to determine what is the biggest priority.
Why did you decide to work out of FLDWRK?
I loved everything about FLDWRK immediately after visiting – the environment, the good vibes, the community, and of course, the coffee! I love being surrounded by people that are working towards making the world a better place however that might mean to them. And let’s be real, working from home just never works the way you want it to.
What are some ways we can support you and get involved with your work?