Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was raised in both Houston and Medellin, Colombia. I consider both places home. I love to travel between both locations and anywhere else I get the chance, of course! I have a slight dog obsession. I own two mutts and love taking bike rides with them in the mornings. I also enjoy working out and collecting plants.
What exactly is Luca Love?
Luca Love is a business I started with my mom and sister. Mom designs each of our bracelets and then teaches low-income Colombian women how to make them. They learn how to become artisans. Each bracelet sold helps create an opportunity of employment. Also, it sponsors our free English program in rural Colombia.
What inspired you to start Luca Love?
The creation of Luca Love was inspired by all of the things I am passionate about. In a bowl I mixed everything that I love and made something unique and meaningful. Artisan work, philanthropy, creativity, global exchange, business, faith and family.
How did you come up with the name?
Luca Love was named after my uncle Luis Carlos. I just took the first two letters of his initials. He dedicated his life to helping others. My uncle made a huge impact in my life and many others. The name was the perfect fit.
Where are your products sold? Are they sold in stores?
Our products are sold in our website www.luca-love.com. We also sell through pop-up & events along with a few local stores.
What is your favorite part about running Luca Love?
My favorite part about running Luca Love is the people we’ve met along this journey and the impact we’ve all made on each other. The stories we’ve heard, the opportunities we’ve received and overall the connections made with amazing people with all kinds of backgrounds.
What is your least favorite part about running Luca Love?
My least favorite part about running Luca Love is that I have 100 million ideas I would love to bring to life but I need to have patience in the process. I have a journal with a never-ending list of projects I want to create. However, I’ve learned everything takes a lot of time and hard work. I have to remind myself it’s a marathon not a sprint!
Is there a favorite product?
Once I believe I have found a favorite my mom comes up with a new one that takes over. It’s honestly hard for me to decide on one.
You help women who are unemployed, can you tell us about that?
In Colombia it is very difficult for a woman with no education or background to have a steady job. They are simply lacking opportunities. These women are all so eager to work and help their families thrive. Mom met the first artisan Isabel. She was trying to go back to school and fulfill her dream of becoming an English teacher. She had a few gigs cleaning offices and homes but was tired of that labor. Mom taught her how to make bracelets and we helped her finish studies. Isabel now leads the free English program we set up a year ago in rural Colombia. We have 10 artisans currently employed and we support the goals they dream to accomplish.
How do you spread the word about your company?
We spread the word about our company through pop-ups, events, social media, influencer collabs, University of Houston collabs and lots of networking.
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
There are a lot of books, podcasts and articles with great advice but if we don’t put them into action nothing will come out. We need to have faith in the process and remember why we are doing what we are doing when the going gets rough. Also, for some of us, it might be hard to recognize achievements and give ourselves a little pat in the back. We can’t be so hard on ourselves!
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying?
Favorite quote, “La luz de adelante es la que alumbra” it means, “the light that is in front is the one that shines.” Also, “Thank you” I feel extremely grateful to practice what I love.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
The English program we started began in an elementary school of rural Marinilla, Colombia. Classes are held in a borrowed classroom afterschool hours. At the beginning of this year the parents of the students requested a meeting. They asked if we could extend the program for them and teens. Parents were so impressed with the results of their children that they wanted an opportunity to learn a language that could help them with employment as well. The added bonus is that it creates more bonding opportunities with their children. Luca Love decided to designate funds to create a perfect learning space for the community. We are currently building our very own English classroom in a community building next to the school. It’s a project we are super excited about and anticipate inaugurating fall 2018.