Fabiola

After winning three Emmy Awards, raising a family, and building an international career as a media maven, this month's Woman in Control continues to stay humble and set massive goals. With her new media company, Tuiris, Fabiola Kramsky inspires the world through empowering content, one platform at a time. 3, 2, 1, we're live! 

 

 

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF ~

I was born & raised in Mexico City. I have been awarded three Emmy awards and have 20 plus years of experience working on tv and radio stations along with the internet. I founded Tuiris, Inc. a Global media-tech platform in Spanish to produce empowering content and to build bridges that allow our communities to grow and shine.

 

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

 

TELL US ABOUT TUIRIS ~

Tuiris is a lifestyle digital magazine for the Spanish Speaking Millennials. We produce articles and videos to entertain, engage and empower our audience. We provide our users with the tools to improve their lives in a fun way. We’re cultivating connections between Hispanics around the globe. Shortly we’ll be launching Tuirishop, an e-commerce platform to support small businesses to sell their products.

 

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

 

 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHOSE YOUR CAREER? WHAT CONTINUES TO DRIVE YOU?

I'm inspired by the fact that I can make a difference in people’s lives by giving better content to improve their and their families’ lives. I am passionate about my job researching, digesting and organizing the information in a fun and entertaining way for people to enjoy a better life through consuming our content.

When I see that people can improve their life through the information we provide, it makes me really really happy and accomplished. 

 

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

 

CAN YOU SHARE AN EXPERIENCE THAT HELPED LAUNCH YOUR CAREER?

My career changed three times from working in tourism, to translating, to journalism. I started each, not by mistake but yes by unique “coincidences”. I took key opportunities that knocked at my door and used the experienced gained in each, on building the next stage of my life.

Today I’m happier than ever with my company. It has allowed me to grow in so many ways.  Every day I learn something new that keeps me excited and very alive. Women have a difficult path in general, and by surpassing so many challenges every day I know I’m contributing to making a difference and setting a higher standard for women. 

 

 

HOW HAS WORKING IN BOTH MEXICO AND THE USA SHAPED YOU TO BECOME THE WOMAN YOU ARE TODAY?

My profession is very competitive regardless of where I am. In Mexico I had to push myself to stand out. In the U.S. I had to prove myself even more. I always had to prove to executives in both countries that women are strong, reliable and—in my case—trustworthy on and off camera. 

Being Hispanic I thought that it would be easy to get support from my peers, instead I found much competition. I became tougher and much more sensitive to the community needs. I understood that we need each other more here than in my own country.

 

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

 

"Mistakes will happen, but they’re the best way to learn fast and become a better person."

 

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

HOW DID IT FEEL TO WIN EACH OF YOUR THREE EMMY AWARDS?

The first Emmy I won, I knew I had a good chance. When I did win I felt extremely excited of what I had accomplished. It meant the whole world to me and humbled me—especially as a Mexican-immigrant-woman living in the U.S.

The second Emmy was a total surprise. I knew I had worked for it but I wasn’t sure of the outcome. I thought to myself that “two is better than one”, and that I was very fortunate to have won it a second time. 

The third Emmy… I was desiring to win… and I did! I was extremely grateful—it allowed me to dedicate those three Emmys to my two sons and  dear husband.

With these three awards PLUS the Premio Nacional de Periodismo (highest award given to journalists in Mexico) I feel very accomplished and committed to growing and delivering my best to the audience and the community. Media must produce better content to really be helpful to the community. We need to give the public the best tools for valid information so that they can enjoy a better life.

 

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HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR LIFE AS A MOTHER, WIFE, AND ENTREPRENEUR?

I have not stopped working since I was 14 years old, not even during my two pregnancies. I would bring my babies to the TV/Radio studio and newsdesk. I’d place them underneath the newsdesk during my live newscasts!

I’m also very fortunate to have an amazing, supportive husband who embraces and celebrates my successes. He knows the perfect way to challenge me to do new things, and is always aware of how he can help me overcome any problem.

Becoming an entrepreneur has taught me to be even more responsible, humble, patient, aware, sensitive. You're responsible for the company, the team, and for the audience to receive high quality content.

 

 

WHAT SINGLE PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG GIRL, ENCOURAGING HER TO BE A WOMAN IN CONTROL?

That she can do ANYTHING she wants; It’s all about being focused, disciplined and responsible. That hard work and kindness will take her a long way. To find those mentors who are willing to guide her in life and build a smart and strong network to support her. I’d encourage her to appreciate every lesson she learns and always give back to her community.

 

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

On Fabiola - Anka Dress

 

 WHAT DOES BEING A WOMAN IN CONTROL MEAN TO YOU?

It means to be humble, to learn new things, and to apply any experience you gain throughout your life. To be able to use all the tools that you’ve got in your toolbox. To be confident in yourself, and handle life in a serious but fun way. To be positive that you’ll figure out a way to be creative and solve any situation. To trust your heart and gut, and know that there’s always room for improvement. Mistakes will happen, but they’re the best way to learn fast and become a better person.

 

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ASPECTS OF THE LIA LARREA BRAND?

It is very elegant, simple and classy. A great asset for any practical woman of today’s rush life. Very versatile and easy to use/wear. It’s a problem solver.

 

Photography by

 

IF YOU LIKE THE STYLES FABIOLA IS WEARING

 

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CONNECT WITH US IF YOU ARE WOMAN IN CONTROL

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Maria

For Maria, raising a family in a foreign country has been a challenge all its own. Raising her family while building a career required another level of dedication, and then taking a leap of faith to pursue her passion in the competitive fashion industry has shown yet another tier of tenacity. This is what this month's Woman in Control did and continues to do, pulling lessons from her colorful Spanish upbringing and integrating them into her modern American life.

 

On Maria - Ella Dress

On Maria - Ella Dress

 

Tell us about yourself - 

I’m a mom of two, an entrepreneur and fashion stylist from Spain living in San Francisco for 8 years now.

When I moved here I decided to change my path from being a renewable energy consultant and follow my passion to be a fashion stylist in an attempt to balance my personal life with my professional projects.

Since then, I’ve been working with my clients’ closets and managing projects like having a boutique full of European brands and local designers, named Trendy Mondays.

 

Lia Larrea_Maria Del Puy_WEB-0187.jpg
Lia Larrea_Maria_Woman in Control

 

How has being a mother empowered you?  

When I became a mother, I learned about how challenging life can be, I learned to adjust my life in order to be balanced and happy. Thanks to them I learned that nothing is impossible, happiness doesn’t just come from your achievements or success, but also from the way you must walk to get to them.

Having kids made me a stronger and more determined woman, not just about my goals but about the way I want to live life with my family and achieve those goals.

My kids are always watching me. At this early age they are my number one fan, and they know they are my priority. They are proud of me when they see my work, and that is such a very beautiful feeling. I show them what this woman can do!

 

Lia Larrea_Maria Del Puy_Woman in Control
Lia Larrea_Maria Del Puy_Woman in Control
On Maria - Ella Dress

On Maria - Ella Dress

 

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

It means being a confident woman, fearless and happy in her life. A woman in control is inspiring, interesting and strong.

 

On Maria - Ella Dress

On Maria - Ella Dress

 

How would you describe growing up in Spain and how has it influenced you?

Spain is a beautiful country full of warm people, where family and traditions are very important. Fashion and knowing how to dress is part of our lifestyle, we learn the importance of our dress code wherever we are.

On top of this I grew up in a family full of amazing woman and very talented seamstresses and tailors. They are hardworking women. They managed their family and their own business. I learned from them more than basic skills or how to dress the clients, I learned how powerful women are.

 

On Maria - Ella Dress

On Maria - Ella Dress

Lia Larrea_Maria_Woman in Control

 

How would you encourage other mothers out there who have their own business, work, and family to take care of, to keep going when all the challenges come in at once?

I’d say that it is hard to develop your career and you family, but it is not impossible. It may require a change about your priorities, patience and determination.

There is no job that is worth exchanging your family time, it is a compromise. If you really want something, things will happen. Sometimes it just takes a different path and time, but you have to learn what works for you and your family. Do not give up, be patience and perseverant. Doesn’t have to happened all at once!

 

“Set your dreams and fight for them, and always be happy on the way.

Remember that you are the only one who can judge your success.”

On Maria - Rogue Hat | Alana Top

On Maria - Rogue Hat | Alana Top

 

What inspired you to choose your career? 

I enrolled at the Academy of Art University when I was looking to start working after I moved to San Francisco. Being there was the trigger and I started sketching and creating pieces for my daughter. My passion for fashion and my vision about helping other people to achieve their image goal became my focus.

Our personal image is very important, we send messages with our dress code, styling choices and I enjoy helping my clients to find the way to express themselves and feel a reflection of themselves about the way they look.

 

On Maria - Rogue Hat | Alana Top

On Maria - Rogue Hat | Alana Top

Lia Larrea_Maria Del Puy_Woman in Control

 

How did studying biology merge into fashion?  

Being a Renewable Energy Consultant was beautiful and I had an amazing career experience, but having a family was incompatible with my job profile at that point.

I was lucky enough to have an amazing husband who encouraged me to follow my passion when I had the chance. When I went to the Academy of Art to experience Fashion illustration, Business and Design, I completely fell in love with all of it and I found a way to make it happen for me and my family.

 

 

 

What do you love about styling?

I love everything about it, but one of the things I love the most is being able to capture each client's projection about themselves, and translate that into their exterior image.

Feeling the happiness of others through my work is the best reward.

 

On Maria - Ella Dress

On Maria - Ella Dress

Lia Larrea_Maria Del Puy_Woman in Control

 

What would you say to a your daughter encouraging her to be a woman in control?

I would keep telling her everyday how amazing she is and how proud I am to be her mom, and now I keep telling her: “Set your dreams and fight for them, and always be happy on the way. Remember that you are the only one who can judge your success.”

 

 

So it is obvious that you look amazing! How do you do it? 

☺ (Big smile: Thank you!!)

I like to take care of myself, it helps me to raise my energy and stay positive. I eat healthy and I exercise regularly, I do a little of everything, and nothing in particular. I have an exercise routine and this year I’ve joined a group of amazing moms from my kids’ school to run 2-3 times a week and they are awesome!

 

On Maria - Ella Dress

On Maria - Ella Dress

 

What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?

I love the concept behind the design and the hard work that makes it possible. The cut and materials are amazing, the clothes are flattering and very comfortable. When I wear Lia Larrea I feel confident, sexy and a part of the Woman in Control world!

 

On Maria - Ella Dress

On Maria - Ella Dress

Photography by Quincy Stamper

IF YOU LIKE THE STYLES MARIA IS WEARING

 

 

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CONNECT WITH US IF YOU ARE WOMAN IN CONTROL OR KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE US TO FEATURE!

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Claire

You are worthy!

What does it takes to build a million fan following? Meet Claire Sulmers, Media Maven and Founder of Fashion Bomb Daily, one of the top 50 style blogs on the internet. Claire inspires us to own our self-worth knowing we deserve The Bomb Life we’ve always dreamed of!

On Claire - Rogue Hat

On Claire - Rogue Hat

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I’m a fashion entrepreneur, Harvard graduate, Francophile, and an innovator. My goal is to change the fashion industry one blog post at a time.

 

On Claire - Rogue Hat

On Claire - Rogue Hat

 

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

A woman in control is a woman who knows her value and asserts herself when necessary. She is someone who is ok with saying, “No” and only does things she values and treasures.

 

 
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What inspired you to chose your career and what continues to drive you?

I was inspired to start Fashion Bomb Daily because I yearned to see women of color in magazines and just wasn’t finding the representations we deserved. So I decided to create the change I wished to see in the world.

On Claire - Rogue Hat

On Claire - Rogue Hat

 

When did you realize that you wanted to create your own fashion blog and follow your passion?

I’ve always loved to write and have always loved to shop. I discovered my love of and talent for writing during an internship at Upscale magazine. I attempted to pursue fashion in the traditional way for years, but when I was met with resistance, I decided to start a blog.

 

Claire on Instagram | Fashion Bomb Daily on Instagram

 

"The Bomb Life is about living life on your terms.

Going for your goals no matter what stands in your way." 

 

 

How does the Bomb Life and being a Woman in Control go hand-in-hand?

The Bomb Life is about living life on your terms. Going for your goals no matter what stands in your way. Not accepting the life others see for you, but controlling your own life story and your own path.

 

On Claire - Rogue Hat

On Claire - Rogue Hat

On Claire - Rogue Hat

On Claire - Rogue Hat

What has helped you throughout the years to take control of your life and the challenges that come along doing what you love? 

I think understanding your value is key. People will set their sights lower than yours or tell you what you can and can’t do. I think it’s always important to have confidence and also to know that you are worthy of receiving everything you want out of life.

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say? 

Set goals, dream big, reach for the stars. Know yourself and know your worth.

Lia_Larrea_Claire_Sulmers_Fashion_Bomb_Daily_Woman_in_Control


What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?

They are easy, fun, versatile pieces that can be incorporated easily into any wardrobe.

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On Claire - Rogue Hat

On Claire - Rogue Hat

Photography by Quincy Stamper

Dream BIG and go for it!

 

IF YOU LIKE THE STYLES CLAIRE IS WEARING

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Susanne

When following your passion is a risk worth taking!

This month we are proud to feature Susanne, a lawyer turned fashion blogger who believes that risks worth taking are the ones we have passion and ambition for. She is not afraid of change and inspires us to follow a different path, because some of the best things in life happen when we push ourselves to visit the unknown.

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

Tell us about yourself?

I am a Dutch girl who is living the Californian dream in San Francisco. Eleven months ago we moved from Amsterdam to the Bay Area and we are moving to Houston in a few weeks. I am happily married to a loving lawyer who brings new adventures in my life every day. I am very passionate about fashion, travel and a real family girl.

How would you describe your experience moving from Amsterdam to San Francisco?

A M A Z I N G. The time that we spent here, from the beginning until now, has been absolutely great. The people have been very welcoming, friendly and outgoing. We took every opportunity to travel through California and we barely ate at home because we had to try each of the wonderful restaurants in San Francisco.

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top

What inspired you to choose your career and what continues to drive you?

It has been quite a journey to be honest, since I started my career as a corporate lawyer. However, I believe that the most important thing to do is to follow your passion and ambition. Because of this I started my fashion and travel blog, Bag at You, I am getting out of bed with a big smile at 6 am every morning to work on my blog.

When did you realize that you wanted to create your own fashion blog and follow your passion?

I thought I figured it all out. I graduated from law school and worked as a lawyer at a big international law firm in Amsterdam. I realized I wasn’t happy so I decided to pursue my dreams by following my passion which was bags. Therefore, I started my own blog, Bag at You, which has brought me so much already. I constantly have to get out of my comfort zone and push boundaries. I love everything about it!

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

How would you encourage others to take a risk?

Someone once said to me: "You can better regret the things you did do, than the things you didn’t do" - I always take that into account when I have to take a risk. It goes without saying that it has to make sense to do it in terms of finance, timing and safety, but you don’t want to not do something right now just because of anxiety; then you will really regret it in 10 years.

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

A woman in control is happy. She gets up every morning and is excited for a new day, to develop herself, learn new skills and meet new people. She smiles, is kind and caring. She is not afraid to face things that make her insecure and she is proud to make choices that will help the people she loves.

"I believe that the most important thing to do is to follow your passion and ambition".

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say?

Let’s do it! Don’t be afraid to fall, you will stand up being stronger and wiser. Be kind. Be smart. Listen to people and learn. But then, you have to choose your own path. Invest in relationships - friendships, love and work - as those will improve your quality of life. Don’t be afraid to say sorry and be strong: life is a journey and only you can turn it into a party. And… don’t forget to smile!

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

On Susanne - Alex Hat | Alana Top | Tara Clutch

What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?

Everything about LIA LARREA breathes passion for fashion, the materials, the design and her customers. These pieces made me feel strong, beautiful and confident to pursue my dreams, just like the designer herself. I love how you can mix and match each of the garments and wear these pieces both day and night. They are versatile, reversible and unique, which makes it perfect for any woman with any lifestyle.

IF YOU LIKE THE STYLES SUSANNE IS WEARING

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Carolina

With a lot of love, commitment, and dedication, anything is possible!

This month we are proud to share our first bilingual interview with Carolina, a Woman in Control who believes this is what has made her relationships stronger and her goals more attainable. As February is a month filled with love, and Valentine's Day is just around the corner, this lover of life shares her smile and positive message.

On Carolina - Ella Dress

On Carolina - Ella Dress

Tell us about yourself -

I'm a Venezuelan woman who emigrated to the United States two years ago. I feel that this change in my life has marked a new chapter that has challenged me to use all the strength I've had inside me in order to achieve my goals. I've been involved in the arts as a producer or an actress for many years, and now I am also a radio host. I feel that this has been a beautiful opportunity where I have been able to have a voice and share a positive message.  I am filled with optimism, joy and determination, and I've been focusing on sharing good vibes! 


Spanish-

Soy una mujer venezolana que emigró a los Estados Unidos hace dos años. Siento que el emigrar de mi país de origen marcó un reto definitivo en el rumbo de mi vida y que me obligó a sacar todo lo que tenía dentro de mi y potenciarlo para alcanzar las metas planteadas. Desde hace muchos años me dedico a la producción audiovisual y a la actuación, ahora tengo un espacio radial y siento que ha sido una oportunidad hermosa en donde he tenido una voz para compartir un mensaje positivo. Soy una persona llena de optimismo, alegría y empeño, y he estado enfocada en compartir esa buena vibra!

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

What inspired you to chose your career? 

My family, unknowingly, raised me to be a producer. I'm the oldest of three siblings and I've always been very independent. When I decided I wanted to do something I would create all the necessary conditions to make it happen. I started to study acting and theater since I was 7 years old. I  learned that this was my passion in life and there was something special there for me. However, it was when I studied cinematography that I discovered my interest in production.  Everything made sense because I realized that it was what I had always done with my family, from an event, a meeting, a trip, and so on. For me, production is labor of love which I greatly enjoy. It motivates me to be able to undertake new projects that can have a positive impact in the community. This year I had the opportunity to have my own radio show with the 3 Lopez P. It has enabled me to support Latin talent and motivates me to find new challenges every day.


Spanish-

Mi familia, sin saberlo, me crió para ser productora. Desde niña siempre fui muy independiente, y cuando decidía que iba a hacer algo lo hacía, y creaba todas las condiciones necesarias para hacerlo. De pequeña estudié actuación e hice teatro, y siempre supe que mi pasión y lo que movía mi vida estaba allí. Sin embargo, fue cuando estudié cine que descubrí la producción. Todo tuvo sentido porque me di cuenta que era lo que había hecho siempre con mi familia, producir un evento, una reunión, etc. Para mi la producción es una hermosa labor que disfruto enormemente. Me motiva poder emprender proyectos nuevos que puedan tener un impacto positivo en la comunidad. Este año he tenido la oportunidad de tener mi radio show junto a los 3 Lopez P. He podido apoyar al talento latino y me impulsa a encontrar nuevos retos todos los días. 

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

What is 3 Lopez Productions, how did it start?  

3 Lopez Productions was born out of the need to work together with my sister-in-law, Eliana Lopez, and my husband, Alfonso Lopez. Eliana is an actress with many years of experience in film, theater and TV; and Alfonso is a director, writer and composer.  We wanted to join our efforts to present an original play based on a real-life episode that happened to our family, and because of our experience we were able to take that story to the theater in the Bay Area. We started working from Caracas-Venezuela, having online meetings with Eliana, and at some point we realized that we had to be here. So we moved to the US and spent almost 18 months presenting this work in different cities and theater festivals. Throughout the course of all that, we thought we could offer much more, so we developed the video aspect of the company. We saw the need for artistic events in Spanish or bilingual for the Latin community in San Francisco, and that is the niche we are addressing.

 

Spanish-
3 Lopez Productions nació por la necesidad de querer trabajar juntos con mi cuñada, Eliana Lopez, y mi esposo, Alfonso Lopez. Eliana es actriz con muchos años de experiencia en cine, teatro y tv; y mi esposo Alfonso es director, escritor y compositor. Queríamos unir nuestros esfuerzos para presentar una obra de teatro original y basada en un episodio de la vida real, y por nuestra experiencia creímos que teníamos las piezas fundamentales para llevar esa historia al teatro en el Área de la Bahía. Empezamos trabajando desde Caracas-Venezuela, haciendo reuniones en línea con Eliana, pero en un punto nos dimos cuenta de que teníamos que estar aquí. Vinimos a los Estados Unidos y estuvimos casi 18 meses presentando la obra en diferentes ciudades y festivales de teatro. En el transcurso de todo eso, pensamos que nosotros podíamos ofrecer algo más, y entonces desarrollamos la parte de video.Por supuesto nos dimos cuenta de la necesidad de ofrecer eventos artísticos en español o bilingües para la comunidad latina en SF y hacia ese nicho nos dirigimos.

 

A Woman in Control..."embraces the changes, every change is a challenge that offers endless opportunities, and we decide if we take the opportunities or not".

 

Tell us more about La Parranda -  

After we started to walk the path with the events, the opportunity to have our own radio show opened up. Without thinking about it twice we took it, and from there our mission has been to promote Latin talent in the Bay Area. We are a window that shows the world how many professionals and artists we have here. It also allows us to give back to the universe and open doors for others in the same way that those doors were opened to us a year ago with our own projects.

 

Spanish-
Luego de que empezáramos a recorrer el camino con los eventos, se dio la oportunidad de tener nuestro propio show en la radio.  Sin pensarlo dos veces lo tomamos y desde allí nuestra misión ha sido impulsar al talento latino en el Área de la Bahía. Somos una ventana para mostrar al mundo la cantidad de profesionales y artistas que tenemos. Nos permite devolver al universo el favor y abrir las puertas de la misma forma en que un año atrás nos la abrieron a nosotros con nuestros proyectos.

On Carolina - Ella Dress

On Carolina - Ella Dress

How is it to work with your sister-in-law and how has your relationship changed throughout the years?

It has been really special and totally amazing because we really work as a team. We have learned to know each other and adjust our duties according to the best that each one can contribute to the project. We have worked together, traveled together and even lived together in the same house, so as any relationship it requires a good communication, trust and work. The most beautiful part is that we share goals and dreams for which we work together!

Spanish-

Ha sido especial y totalmente maravilloso porque realmente trabajamos como equipo. Hemos aprendido a conocernos y ajustar en función de lo mejor que cada uno puede aportar para un proyecto. Nosotros hemos trabajado juntos, viajado juntos e incluso vivido juntos, y como cualquier relación si requiere una buena comunicación, confianza y trabajo. La parte más hermosa es que compartimos metas y sueños por los que trabajamos juntos!

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

How has acting and having a voice through radio influenced your life? 

The radio show has been a wonderful experience. This channel of communication has been such a powerful part of our work and we want to share a positive and impactful message with our community.  When we were promoting our first project, there were many people who opened their doors and supported our work. Now we have the opportunity to return the favor and help others through our show.  

 

Spanish-

Hacer radio es una experiencia fenomenal. Este medio de comunicación ha sido una gran parte de nuestro trabajo y queremos transmitir un mensaje positivo e impactante en nuestra comunidad. Cuando nosotros llegamos y estábamos promocionando nuestro primer proyecto, hubo muchísimas personas que nos apoyaron y nos abrieron sus puertas en los medios. Ahora tenemos la oportunidad de devolver el favor abriendo las puertas de nuestro show.

 

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

For me, a woman in control is a woman who is empowered by her self-confidence, she is willing to listen to her heart and willing to make her dreams possible. She is confident of her talents and is willing to work to reinforce her weaknesses. She is a woman who embraces the changes, every change is a challenge that offers endless opportunities, and we decide if we take the opportunities or not.

 

Spanish-
Para mi una mujer en control es una mujer empoderada por su confianza en si misma, una mujer dispuesta a escuchar a su corazón y realizar los sueños que se plantea. Ella es segura de sus talentos y dispuesta a trabajar en reforzar sus debilidades. Es una mujer dispuestas a abrazar los cambios, cada cambio es un reto que nos ofrece infinitas oportunidades, y somos nosotros quienes decidimos si tomamos la oportunidad o no.

On Carolina - Ella Dress

On Carolina - Ella Dress

any favorite projects you have worked on? 

I have two special projects that comes to mind. “What is the scandal?”  is the first play we did in the US based on a real episode that Eliana lived through a few years ago. She was able to tell her story as an immigrant woman of color and how she had to face many social biases to defend her family. The second one is "The Vagina Monologues"  in Spanish, which is another project with a beautiful message that allowed us to work with incredibly talented women from the Bay Area.  We had the support of various local businesses including Lia Larrea, with wardrobe for our actresses and host,  that joined in the effort to promote Latino theater. 

 

Spanish-
Tengo dos proyectos especiales. "Cuál es el escándalo?" fue la primera obra de teatro que hicimos en los Estados Unidos, basada en un episodio que Eliana vivió hace unos años. Contaba su historia como inmigrante y como se tuvo que enfrentar a muchos prejuicios sociales para defender a su familia. La segunda es "Monólogos de la Vagina", que es otro proyecto con un mensaje bellísimo y que nos permitió trabajar con mujeres increíblemente talentosas del Área de la Bahía.  Tuvimos el apoyo de empresas locales y de
Lia Larrea para vestir a las actrices y presentadora, que se sumaron al esfuerzo de apoyar el teatro latino. 

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

Are there any upcoming projects this year that you would like to share?

Many things! Among them, on February 18th, we are going to host Julio Bevione in San Francisco. He is a well-known communicator, author and motivational speaker from Argentina that is also successful in the United States.  This event excites me because it gives the community tools to be a better person each day.

 

Spanish-

Muchas cosas! Entre ellas, el 18 de Febrero vamos a presentar a Julio Bevione en San Francisco. El es un comunicador, conferencista y autor muy reconocido de Argentina que es exitoso en los Estados Unidos.  Este evento me emociona mucho ya que es otra manera de aportar a la comunidad con herramientas para ser mejor persona cada día.

 
 
On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

What would you say to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control?

Listen to your heart and go in search of your dreams, because everything that you believe in your mind is possible. Don't let others influence your courage by the labels or limitations that society places on us, the only limit is in our mind. So go for it with the best smile you have and the world will turn to you with the same smile.

 

Spanish-

Escucha tu corazón y ve en en busca de tus sueños, porque todo lo que crees en tu mente es posible. No dejes que otros influyan tu coraje con etiquetas o limitaciones que la sociedad nos coloca, el único límite está en nuestra mente. Así que anda con tu mejor sonrisa y el mundo regresará a ti con la misma. 

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

On Carolina - Rogue Hat | Niya Tunic | City Jacket

Your husband - how do you manage love and work at the same time in your relationship?  

It hasn't always been easy, but it is also not impossible. I met my husband in college. We are both moved by the same passion for the arts and that is a great advantage, this is my DREAM TEAM! It requires a lot of commitment, love and dedication, as everything in life. It has been a great challenge that we have enjoyed because we have managed a great relationship both professionally and personally. We complement each other, and thanks to excellent communication we have been able to grow and learn together.

 

Spanish-

No ha sido siempre fácil, pero tampoco es imposible. Conocí a mi esposo en la universidad. Los dos tenemos la misma pasión por el arte y eso nos beneficia mucho personalmente y profesionalmente. Este es mi EQUIPO DE SUEÑO! Requiere de mucho compromiso, amor y dedicación, como todo en la vida. Ha sido un gran reto que hemos disfrutado el poder manejar una buena relación tanto en lo profesional como el personal. Nosotros nos complementamos y gracias a una excelente comunicación hemos podido crecer y aprender juntos.

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What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?

LIA LARREA is a brand that fits perfectly on every woman, especially for those women who are doing many things at the same time. We want to be comfortable but also feel beautiful. I love that it is a creative brand, offering pieces that can be combined and used in different ways; it is always a plus. If I had to define it in three words: comfort, beauty and quality.

On Carolina - Ella Dress

On Carolina - Ella Dress

Photography by Quincy Stamper

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Jennifer

January is a great time for new beginnings! We want you to focus on loving yourself while being grateful for what life has to offer. We are proud to feature Jennifer, this month's Woman in Control. She finds passion in life by learning and teaching through yoga to help others live a happier and healthier life. 

On Jennifer: Zuria Top | Brea Skirt

On Jennifer: Zuria Top | Brea Skirt

On Jennifer: Zuria Top | Brea Skirt

On JenniferZuria Top | Brea Skirt

On Jennifer: Zuria Top | Brea Skirt

On JenniferZuria Top | Brea Skirt

Tell us a about yourself -

I’m an everywoman — a student, teacher, dancer, yogi, daughter, sister, friend, lover, artist, writer, speaker, consultant, mentor, facilitator, and coach. I’m always growing, learning, hunting, gathering, releasing, shedding, and awakening into an ever more brilliant version of myself. Professionally I’ve developed a program called ‘Upgrade Your Being’ that works with individuals and organizations who are passionately committed to achieving the next level of awesome by living the core principles of yoga.

On Jennifer: Aura Knit Top | Convertible Skirt
On Jennifer: Aura Knit Top | Convertible Skirt

What inspired you to choose your career? And what continues to drive you?

I’ve always loved learning, although as a child school wasn’t fun. I had some pretty rotten teachers. I was initially drawn to teaching elementary school because I knew I could do better — learning can be joyful! I incorporated yoga into the classroom, because it was obvious that healthy bodies, and a healthy environment, make for healthier, happier and more successful students. I now teach the core principles of yoga as a basis for personal and organizational transformation.

On Jennifer: Aura Knit Top | Convertible Skirt

When did you realize that you wanted to make yoga your way of life and teach?

I first fell in love with the beauty of asana (yoga poses) in 1996. I took my first teacher’s training two years later and came to appreciate its breadth and depth as a system for wholehearted living. Today, by helping individuals and organizations to embody yoga’s core principles, I’m supporting the understanding that living yoga goes beyond the mat. I will be teaching these principles, and the new understandings I glean from yoga for the rest of my life.

On Jennifer: Aura Knit Top | Convertible Skirt

How has yoga changed you? 

At the age of 46 I feel fit, fast, and fierce — more so than I ever felt in my twenties. Living yoga has made me a better person, a better friend, and a better lover. Most importantly, yoga has deepened my sense of compassion and connection to others, and has helped me to be of service both on and off the mat.

On Jennifer: Aura Knit Top | Brea Skirt

On JenniferAura Knit Top | Brea Skirt

"I THINK WE’RE A LITTLE OBSESSED WITH WHAT WE THINK IT LOOKS LIKE TO BE HEALTHY - SOME OF THE UNHAPPIEST PEOPLE I’VE EVER MET WERE HEALTH NUTS. IF YOU’RE JOYFUL, YOU HAVE EVERYTHING."

 

On Jennifer: Aura Knit Top | Brea Skirt

On JenniferAura Knit Top | Brea Skirt

How would you encourage others to live not only a physically healthy life, but also mentally and socially?

Healthfulness begins with joyfulness. Fill your days with magic, dreams and good madness. Be creative! Dance, sing, play, make art. Wag more, bark less. Embrace kaizen (constant and never ending improvement). Put your house in order. Resource yourself with support to move through the things you're not great at and don't enjoy doing. Embrace your body as a multitude of miracles. Eat sensibly and drink plenty of water. Exercise daily. Live each day in gratitude.

On Jennifer: Zuria Top | Brea Skirt

On JenniferZuria Top | Brea Skirt

On Jennifer: Zuria Top | Brea Skirt

On JenniferZuria Top | Brea Skirt

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

Effective systems are a precondition of magic. It is significantly easier to exercise control when you limit the variables, so I live simply and plan for spontaneity by keeping my world neat and orderly. Happiness is a well packed bag. I move light and fast in the world because I value love, joy and freedom above all else. A woman in control can create more magic when she knows exactly where to find her wand!

On Jennifer: Zuria Top | Brea Skirt

On JenniferZuria Top | Brea Skirt

On Jennifer: Zuria Top | Brea Skirt

On JenniferZuria Top | Brea Skirt

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say? 

Forget Disney - you’re not a princess, and the world doesn’t owe you a living. Go out into the world. Explore. Dream. Discover. Take what’s yours. Consume consciously. Be your own person. Don’t wait on a (wo)man to make you complete. Work hard and roll with the punches. Enjoy your body. Nurture your mind. Be a woman who lifts other women. Argue compassionately. Don’t be a bitch.

On Jennifer: Aura Knit Top | Convertible Skirt

What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand? 

The LIA LARREA brand supports my active lifestyle where work overlaps with play, travel and adventure. By being able to pack lightly, making multiple outfits with a few gorgeous, reversible, coordinating pieces, I can show up to a boardroom meeting, jump on a plane to a speaking engagement, or meet up for a casual lunch or a night out on the town, casually glamorous in comfort and in style. Phenomenal fabrics and brilliant design allow for freedom, flexibility, ease and grace.

On Jennifer: Zuria Top | Brea Skirt

On JenniferZuria Top | Brea Skirt

Photography - Quincy Stamper

If you like the styles Jennifer is wearing

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Maja

This month, we are proud to feature Maja Ruznic, a talented and inspiring artist who is incredibly passionate about her work. We had the pleasure of attending her recent exhibition, seeing her paintings, and witnessing how well she was received by her audience. It was clear that she embodies the woman in control.  Enjoy getting to know Maja. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I was born in Bosnia & Hercegovina in 1983 and immigrated to the United States in 1995 due to the war.  I am an artist and my work deals with inherited trauma, folklore and mythology.  My background and early memories of Yugoslavia deeply influence the work I create.

On Maja: Alana Top | Lara Maxi

What inspired you to chose your career and become a painter? What continues to drive you?

I don’t think that I chose to be a painter.  It’s something that was always in me.  As a kid, I remember paying attention to things that most children found boring--clouds, sand, the way wet soil feels in your hands.  I think one is born an artist and those who end up pursuing it later in life are lucky.  I feel incredibly lucky.  

How are you influenced by your Yugoslavian heritage?

I was eight  years old when the war started in Bosnia and spent three years living in various refugee camps with my mother.  The sense of being adrift is what I have taken from my experience of fleeing Bosnia and it is now the biggest theme in my art.  Experiences leave stains on our psyche and I believe that my early childhood years are what pulls me to the ideas I like to explore through painting.  

"I think one is born an artist and those who end up pursuing it later in life are lucky. I feel incredibly lucky. "

To see more of Maja's work visit her website here. 

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

Being in control means having love and support in your life.  I don’t think that it’s only a mindset.  It takes a village to feel empowered.  I’ve had wonderful mentors throughout my life and it’s because of them that I feel confident.  Each of them has left a wonderful trace, a unique gift which helps me feel strong.  

On Maja: Alana Top | Lara Maxi

How have sports been part of your artistic life?

I ran track and field in high school and it's actually how I got into UC Berkeley.  My dream was to be in the Olympics.  Plagued by injuries however, I quickly shifted my focus to the arts.  I find there to be many overlaps between being an athlete and being an artist.  Both passions require a tremendous amount of focus, perseverance and confidence.     

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say?

Listen to your gut!  I’d tell her that being emotional is not being crazy.  I’d also encourage her to pay close attention to how she feels about things, people, situations and that by doing so--she will get closer to her Truth.  

On Maja: Alana Top | Lara Maxi

On Maja: Alana Top | Lara Maxi

On Maja: Alana Top | Lara Maxi

What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand? 

Wearing Lia Larrea makes me feel powerful.  I love the long, sleek lines in her designs and the minimal aesthetic.  There is something regal, androgynous and timeless about her clothes!  

"I find there to be many overlaps between being an athlete and being an artist. Both passions require a tremendous amount of focus, perseverance and confidence."

Above:  Rogue Hat

Photography  - Quincy Stamper

If you like the styles Maja is wearing


Connect with us if you are Woman in Control or know someone you would like us to feature!

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Pam

This month we are so excited to introduce Pam, co-founder of the Lifefactory glass water bottle company, a product we're sure you're all familiar with. As a self-proclaimed "accidental entrepreneur", Pam shares a variety of lessons learned from her experiences negotiating as a woman in the boardrooms of Silicon Valley, to the fulfillment she gets from her other career as a "Baby Whisperer", working as a nurse in infant care units around the San Francisco Bay Area. So grab your Lifefactory water bottle, take a sip, and enjoy getting to know this month's Woman in Control. 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I would say I am a curious person, full of ideas, always stretching myself to see where I can go and what I can learn. I discovered this later in my life, in my mid-40’s when I started Lifefactory, so I’m here to tell you it’s never too late to change careers, find your passions and evolve as a person. Starting off as a physical therapist, then becoming a founder, CEO and serial entrepreneur were never things I dreamed of doing. That experience has given me a platform to do what I love: mentoring others, speaking about environmental and health issues and actively doing what I can to make this a better world.

 

What inspired you to chose your career? And what continues to drive you?

My mom was a nurse and I was always interested in health care. She discouraged me from becoming a nurse because “you have to take doctor’s orders and the hours are bad”. She encouraged me to volunteer in the physical therapy department at her hospital. It was then that I decided I wanted to be a physical therapist. I have since specialized in working with premature infants in Neonatal Intensive Care Units. What drives me is the knowledge that I am making a difference in the outcome of these special babies at the earliest and most crucial time in their lives.

How did you come up with Lifefactory and what motivated you to build the concept?

I’m an accidental entrepreneur. I never set out to become a businesswoman. I was bottle-feeding babies in the NICU at Kaiser Oakland. I was disturbed we were feeding these vulnerable babies with undeveloped brains from plastic bottles. News about BPA and toxic chemicals leaching from plastics was coming out at that time. I wanted to do something about it. I felt glass was the best solution and that designing a silicone sleeve to protect them from breaking would encourage mothers to use glass.

What would you say are some challenges that women entrepreneurs face today? And how did you face them? 

There are many challenges that female entrepreneurs face and I encourage you to read Elephant in the Valley. This is a survey of what it is like to be a women working in Silicon Valley. I too have experienced being excluded from social opportunities because of gender and being told I was too “aggressive”. As an only female on a board, it was often difficult getting a word in edgewise and being taken seriously. I also think that there are too many men making decisions that are not based on the target audience of the female consumer. Look, women are only 7% of VC investors and only 10% of venture dollars globally between 2010 and 2015 went to startups with at least one woman founder. I guess I was lucky, but this is a huge problem. As far as facing these problems, I had a lot to learn. This inequality needs to change, but with our culture, it may take a while.

Tell us about your dog Jet and how he brings joy to your life

Jet is a real people dog; he would rather hang and be with me (or someone he is close to), than anything else. Dogs like this bond easily and are good at reading body language and knowing how you feel. Jet is my special buddy. His dog walker said that he is not like any of the other dogs that she takes care of. She said Jet is more like “a colleague” because he just wants to be with her doing some kind of job rather than playing with the other dogs. She thinks he looks wise and said she would ask for his advice if she could.

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

It means being true to you. Listening to your intuition because that is probably one of your biggest assets. A woman in control is someone who has done her research. She is someone who foresees the problems and questions and has answers for them. She is not afraid to take calculated risks because she knows that is how change is made. And even if she doesn’t always make the right decisions, she recognizes her failures and learns from them. She is diplomatic with others and isn’t afraid to tackle difficult situations. She is confident, trusting her instincts.

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say? 

I came from an Asian family and had somewhat of a Tiger mom, where there was always more criticism than compliments. Therefore, I didn’t have a great role model in that regard. Hopefully young girls have had nurturing parents and if not, I would tell them to seek good mentors around them. Listen to those with experience because they don’t want you making the same mistakes they did. Develop confidence and good self-esteem. Tending to this helps with good decision making in both your professional and personal lives.

 

What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand and why would you wear it?

What I like the most about the Lia Larrea brand is that it is multifunctional, classic and can be worn well by women of any age. I look at those three attributes and see the similar Lifefactory pillars which were function, design and being eco-friendly. Keeping these principals with each piece is not an easy thing to do. Lia does not compromise fit, quality and attention to detail in being true to her mission. In fact, it makes her line stand out from the competition.

Photography - Quincy Stamper

 

If you like the styles Pam is wearing

 

 

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Deb

A lifelong self-employed Woman in Control, this month we meet Deb, a high performance coach, factory owner, mother of four, and lover of life - no matter how difficult things may get.  We truly connected with her advice about loving your own unique journey and valuing relationships as our most important assets.

Can you tell us about yourself?


First of all, I'd like to thank you for the opportunity to be included in your blog profiling Women In Control. I admire confident, kind, hardworking women. A southern California transplant, I now live in a rural farming community outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. I moved 35 years ago and love it here in the Midwest. Not too crowded, peaceful, Indy is a magnet for startup entrepreneurial companies.  I’ve been self employed my entire career, I love being around other like minded people. I have owned transmission shops, general auto repair shop, a car wash, a landscape company, a leasing company and a consulting company. I am the CEO of a certified woman-owned precision machine shop and I am a Certified High Performance Coach.

What inspired you to choose your career? And what continues to drive you?

My career chose me. My parents divorced when I was young and my Mom suffered a nervous breakdown followed by schizophrenia. My grandparents moved my sister and I into their home and raised us. My Grandpa was a pioneer of Roundhouse Products, in the seventies it was one the largest Model Train Manufacturers in our country. I spent many hours working with him, saw first-hand how a manufacturing company operated. Early on, in my mind's eye, I harbored a dream to be a manufacturer myself.

I met my husband shortly after I moved to Indiana. He owned his own transmission shop, with one employee. When I took over the books, didn’t know the difference between a debit or a credit. Together we grew the business to 28 employees and over a million dollars in sales. We built several businesses and I had the pleasure of having four kids, two daughters and two sons. In 1999, we bought his Dad’s business and I became CEO of my own manufacturing facility.

Why is life coaching such an important part of your life and what do you hope to achieve with it?

Working with family is difficult. I had no training on how to effectively manage my relationships. I tried various methods, but my inability to communicate in a way people could hear me without getting triggered, cost me important relationships. We are not taught how to manage the two most important relationships we have in life, how to manage our interpersonal relationships and how to manage money. We get trapped, like I was, in habits, repeating the same behavior patterns. Even when these habits alienate and ruin relationships.

After my divorce, I asked myself, "I’m a smart woman, why did I repeat the same behavior over and over for years, never changing my internal self? Why was change so difficult." My High Performance Coaching is my way of giving back. My mission is to help others, offering solutions to help salvage relationships before they lose them. I believe our relationships in life are our most important asset. I learned this the hard way through loss.

You have led a male-dominated business for many years, how have you been able to do so?

I'd say my confidence, lack of fear, positive outlook, desire to grow, and work ethic to name a few. I never gave up when things got tough - and they did. One by one my competitors dropped by the wayside, going out of business. My team and I navigated in a dying industry. With the off shoring of many Manufacturing Plants, my job has been filled with ups and downs. A pioneer, a woman in male-dominated world, I was often the only woman on the trade show floor (that wasn't a promotional model). That’s not the case anymore, many women are joining the manufacturing workforce.  I love our country and I love manufacturing. I am an advocate for keeping it Made in America.

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

Having the ability to manage emotions and stay present. I believe our world is so rushed and impatient we miss out on the things in life that matter the most - our relationships. Having happy, supportive relationships with others, and most importantly our internal relationship with self. I think it’s important to learn to listen to our internal voice of intuition and follow what we feel. I feel a woman in control is her own best friend.  Her inner confidence, her clarity and lack of fear. Having knowledge of and focus on her own unique values, ideals and beliefs enable her to make choices that create a life filled with happiness and satisfaction.

 

"I feel a woman in control is her own best friend."

 

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say?

Honor yourself and your journey. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Nobody is perfect and no relationship is without bumps. I don’t know anybody that has had a perfect relationship. Lower your expectations of others. When others disappoint, don’t take it personally and self-destruct. When we expect things from others and they don’t deliver, we often punish ourselves. Just because someone fails to meet our expectations, that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. It’s their problem. Don’t place your happiness in the hands of others, take control of your life. Your attitude will determine the quality of your life. Learn to control your emotions to overcome yourself and what comes out of your mouth. Learning this powerful mindset will enable you create the life of your dreams.

 

"Don't place your happiness in the hands of others, take control of your life."

 

What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?

I love the sleek lines and details of the LIA LARREA brand. Classically elegant, yet so comfortable, I feel beautiful in her brand. Her attention to detail, the quality of the fabrics and the versatility of each design are a few of the things I love. I like the colors and how easily I can mix and match pieces to create a stylish and elegant wardrobe. I really admire Lia, her devotion to her brand, its quality, innovative design and most importantly, what a great role model she is for all Women in Control. Thank you for the opportunity to wear these designs and be a part of your blog.

 

Photography - Quincy Stamper

 

If you'd like to preorder any of the AW17 items seen here, please email us at: 

sales@lialarrea.com

 
 

IF YOU ARE A WOMAN IN CONTROL OR KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE US TO FEATURE, CONNECT WITH US!

 
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Kali

This month's Woman in Control is not afraid to try new things, travel the world, put herself out there, and make mistakes along the way. We introduce Kali, international actress turned consultant, turned fashion blogger, an inspiring example of a passionate woman committed to leading a creative life.

Ella Sheath Dress | Tara Clutch

Tell us a little bit about yourself-

I grew up in the Midwest as part of a large extended Greek family. As kids we were expected to entertain our elders by singing, playing musical instruments or Greek dancing. This taught me to draw my energy from those around me - I'm definitely an extrovert - and appreciate the art of performance and theatricality. I didn't realize it at the time, but it would go on to shape the course of my life. 

Ella Sheath Dress | Tara Clutch

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What does being a woman in control mean to you?

A woman in control constantly strives to reach her full potential. She supports other women in their goals. She can laugh at herself and understand that failure is part of the journey. What makes her different is that she keeps going. She never stops being curious, she perseveres and fights the good fight. All of the women I greatly admire are not necessarily the most powerful, but they are the most adaptable. Their grace is their fortitude.

Ella Sheath Dress | Tara Clutch

What inspired you to choose your career and how is it evolving?

In college I majored in business, but spent my free time taking theatre classes. Coming from the Midwest I never really thought I could make a career out of acting, so after graduating I got a job in mortgage banking. When the housing market crashed my company went under and I was forced with two choices - go back to corporate America or try something new, so I moved to Hong Kong and took a shot at acting and modeling. Living is a city of 7 million people with a culture a world away from my own was the catalyst that made my realize I could live a creative life. Upon my return to the US, I attended acting conservatory in New York, and then got representation in LA. Since my background was in the corporate world, I began working in healthcare consulting to support myself. The two worlds of corporate and creative have always worked to my strengths. I love helping people - which is the core of healthcare - and collaborating with people - the core of acting. 

"Living in a city of 7 million people with a culture a world away from my own was the catalyst that made me realize I could live a creative life". 

How did fashion come into the picture?

I've always been one o those hyphenate people pursing both "practical" and creative endeavors. When auditioning stalled, I still wanted a creative outlet to balance my corporate career. It dawned on me that my default reaction was to focus on fashion - reading about, looking at it, curating it - and the idea to start In Spades was born. Fashion blogging has opened up so many opportunities. Like acting, work begets work. I've styled editorial shoots, television pilots, recapped red carpet fashion on the news, and currently serve on the board for the non-profit Fashion Group International. I'm so thankful for all of the people and opportunities that have come into my life because of fashion. It took me longer than most, but I finally found what I was meant to do. 

Zuria Halter Top | Brea Pencil Skirt | City Panama Hat | Manhattan Tote Bag

What continues to drive you to create content for your blog?

I adore fashion. It truly is an art form and something that affects all of us, everyday - we all wake up and get dressed. It's important to me to give my readers something that they can feel inspired by. While it's easy to brush clothing off as mere necessity, fashion allows people to express themselves and share a piece of their personality with the world. I want to encourage people to develop their own personal style. That keeps me going. 

Zuria Halter Top | Brea Pencil Skirt | City Panama Hat | Manhattan Tote Bag

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say?

No one knows you, better than you. Trust the inner voice that sparks your creativity. It's honest and all knowing. It will lead you on the path you're meant to pursue. Be kind. There is great power in lifting up. Have confidence. We all start out as beginners, nut there is something incredibly unique inside each of us. It's not our place to set a value on it or compare it to others. Simply let it out and be open. The rest will fall into place.

Zuria Halter Top & Brea Pencil Skirt (AW17) | Manhattan Tote Bag

What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?

Lia's clothing evokes confidence and strength. She designs with the modern woman in mind, using clean lines an flattering silhouettes that easily transition from day to play. I love the comfort and versatility of her pieces (the reversible Zuria Halter Top and Brea Skirt are brilliant and water resistant). It's sophisticated with an edge. 

Zuria Halter Top & Brea Pencil Skirt (AW17) | Manhattan Tote Bag

Zuria Halter Top & Brea Pencil Skirt (AW17) | Manhattan Tote Bag

Zuria Halter Top & Brea Pencil Skirt (AW17) | Manhattan Tote Bag

Photography - Quincy Stamper

 

If you'd like to preorder any of the AW17 items seen here, please email us at: 

sales@lialarrea.com

IF YOU ARE A WOMAN IN CONTROL OR KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE US TO FEATURE, CONNECT WITH US!

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Sheetal

As a mother, consultant, yogi, and impact entrepreneur, this month's Woman in Control personifies balance. She a TEDx speaker and the creator of Shanti Life, a non-profit working diligently to alleviate poverty India. Welcome Sheetal and enjoy her dynamic perspective on what it means to be a Woman in Control. 

Tell us about yourself- 

I have been living in the USA for about 4 years now and previously moved from London though I grew up in Canada. This has given me a very international background and I love traveling. Because of my travel I feel at home in many places where I belong to incredible communities of people. I am married to an Irish entrepreneur Paul Walsh and have a beautiful little girl Sara Swati - Hindu Goddess of Wisdom. She has taught me so much about life and myself. I teach yoga, play drums and love the outdoors. I am passionate about Education and getting to know people who are here for a reason. I love fashion and shiny things but I know they are temporary! My parents have played a huge role in giving me incredible opportunities and teaching me values about community and giving back.

Tell us more about the work you do and what you have created. 

I started my career in finance and technology and spent many years at Microsoft where I initiated the VC Relations activities on a global level. My own consulting company is about working with entrepreneurs who are making a difference in the world. I am founder of Shanti Life, an international charity that helps alleviate poverty in India and promotes sustainable living. We provide financial literacy, training and access to capital so that poor women can build toilets in or near their home and focus on building small businesses. We give funds directly to the women via bank accounts we help them open. Upon repayment of their loan the funds are reinvested to help others in the community.  I also work as Deal Maker (by appointment) for the UK Government’s Global Entrepreneur Programme, and I am on the Board of MetaCerta San Francisco based mobile security company. I am an angel investor and sit on the Board of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Ireland, I am advisor to London School of Economics mentoring and careers team and I am advisor to the University of Alberta’s venturing mentoring services group.

"We provide financial literacy, training and access to capital so that poor women can build toilets in or near their home and focus on building small businesses."

Shanti Life is an international charity that alleviates poverty in India and promotes sustainable living. 

 

What inspired you to chose your career? And what continues to drive you? 

I always wanted to ensure that whatever I do I would be able to make a difference and impact - I also wanted a flexible schedule that would allow me to raise a family. My work has always been international so while it isn't easy, it beats going into an office everyday and I think I can be a good role model for my child to know that she can do anything she wants in the future. What drives me is the interactions I have with the women we work with in India. With very little resources they are so positive and willing to work hard to support their families. They have numerous socio economic issues to deal with not to mention cultural restraints and obligations. Still they don’t complain they just get on with it and that inspires me deeply. I want to expose my child to these experiences so she also develops a sense of community and social impact.

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

In all of my experiences I have felt most in control when I realized no matter how much we want to control we have to go with the flow. That realization has given me so much peace and ability to be more effective. I have always suffered from anxiety and sometimes OCD - both illnesses are symptomatic of control. I have a deep spiritual belief that someone up there is looking after us and we need to do our best and then trust all will work out.

 

How has yoga influenced your life and developed your teaching?


Yoga has evolved into a way of life for me. I don't always get to a class but when I do I embrace the way my incredible teachers flow and remind us about bigger things in life. Yoga for me is something I think of in my every actions - it is a reminder to get up gracefully when I fall down and that just because I am not on my mat doesn't mean I cannot benefit from a deep practice. I became a teacher not to teach but to learn more about myself and to challenge my thinking and actions. In teaching others I happen to have learned so much more about myself and those around me. Yoga which includes breathing, movement, thoughts and actions has guided me through many difficult times and helped me celebrate through fabulous times. I am appreciative that my mother used to make us participate in satsang and yoga at home. Now, I teach my daughter yoga and she loves it. This makes me feel whole and real.


 

What are some of your favorite aspects or pieces from the LIA LARREA brand?


Having lived all over the world and being a shopper especially at boutiques in London, I love that Lia’s clothes are multidimensional - I could wear these clothes to work and dress them up or down. The quality of the material she chooses is exceptional and the way they sit on my body make me really comfortable but still confident. The colours are elegant and the style is classic but funky. Lia’s designs make me feel like a woman in control who is content not fighting for control.

How was your experience being a TED Speaker?

It was an incredible opportunity to speak in my hometown Edmonton, Alberta and I was very honored to be asked to speak.I spoke at a venue that I had performed Indian dancing at some 30 years before so it was surreal to see how life had evolved. The topic was about entrepreneurship and access to resources - or lack of in the case of India. It was very early days of Shanti Life and I was keen to debate the method by which entrepreneurs in poor communities manage to succeed in building their businesses with so little resources. Comparing them to entrepreneurs in other parts of the world, especially women entrepreneurs, was the highlight. The Indian women we work with are breadwinners, full time carers for their children, live with in-laws and manage to keep it all together though many of them are not allowed to leave the community. I really enjoyed participating in the event but I was really nervous and find it hard to listen to myself speak! 

Can you tell us about your tattoo?

My tattoo is of Goddess Saraswati - she symbolizes knowledge and wisdom. She is elegant and beautiful and brings music to the world. To me, she is a reminder of strength and elegance all in one and she represents the ultimate being in control - who goes with the flow. My grandmother’s name was Saraswati and she was a woman who dedicated much of her life to alleviating poverty. That really gave me goosebumps when I found out about that because it made me feel like she (and my mother) inspired Shanti Life. I also love this Goddess because I teach yoga and her meaning and values are something I like to bring into my practice. Two years after I got my tattoo I had the miracle of a beautiful baby girl. I couldn’t imagine she would inherit the name but it was so fitting and I will forever remind her what her name and her grandmother’s name symbolises.

 

Can you share an experience where you have felt like a woman in control?


Whenever I walk into a board room (often only men) I feel really in control when I feel confident and dressed well. The way we dress is really important and sends a message about why we are there and sets the tone. Dressing proffessionally is key.

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say? 

I would tell her to live everyday to the fullest, be true to herself and never compromise on her goals in life. So often women take a step back (because they think they should) and I think we need to encourage young women to take a step forward in a way that works for them. Most of all I would tell her to behave in an elegant way as it costs nothing to be gracious and direct at the same time.

Photography -  Quincy Stamper

Edited by Ashley Tateo

If you'd like to pre-order any of the AW17 items seen here, please email us at:

SALES@LIALARREA.COM

IF YOU ARE WOMAN IN CONTROL OR KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE US TO FEATURE, CONNECT WITH US!

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Dara

When you combine a passion, ground-breaking technology, and a selfless drive to provide for underserved communities, what do you get? You get just a few parts and qualities that make up this month's Woman in Control. We are honored to introduce you to Dara, an Industrial Designer and co-founder of Field Ready, rebuilding humanity one 3D-printer at a time. 

City Jacket (SS15) | Middleton Stipe Shirt  (AW16)

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, passions, experiences?

Traveling, designing, solving problems, I love working in teams, taking on lots of interesting projects, "making", exploring new cultures. I’m passionate about working with underserved communities, sailing, applied anthropology, making friends, doodling, and unfortunately, fixing 3D printers. Meeting new people, figuring out what excites them, exploring people and life, listening, hugging, dancing, playing, hanging out in maker spaces, surrounding myself with people more talented and smarter than I am. I love learning. I have an intense curiosity. I am constantly searching for new ways to apply technology to support the other 90% of the planet. For example flying drones in Nepal post-earthquake for search and rescue missions.

Tell us about the work you do and what you’ve created...

I focus on working with vulnerable populations. My goal is to empower people at the fringes from outer space to the edge of disaster. I’ve worked, studied, and lived in over 37 countries. Upon recognizing a common denominator - supply chain challenges in disaster struck areas - and machines, constantly broken for lack of a screw, or simple disposable medical devices missing completely, I deployed the first 3D printer to Haiti and then initiated the first Maker Lab run by Haitians. However the real impact to be had in my life was when we cofounded “Field Ready.” To create a humanitarian organization comprised of engineers, designers and real experts in humanitarian aid to focus completely on on-demand manufacturing during the onset of disasters.  Beyond manufacturing, Field Ready is really about collaborative design and building resiliency through co-creating solutions in the field with those that need and know it best. We then trained locals in Haiti to use 3D printers to create their own solutions such as simple medical devices like umbilical cord clamps. We were able to teach them to manufacture these at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of the time to traditional methods. In essence on-demand and as-needed solutions built using co-creation by and for locals.

 

"I’ve worked, studied, and lived in over 37 countries."

 

During this time I was also part of the team that created the first off-planet manufacturing facility. Essentially we designed and launched a gravity independent 3D printer to put on the International Space Station. Allowing us to deliver solutions to the astronauts via email instead of the traditional approach involving rockets. Our approach reduced the time to send a solution from months or years to days or minutes .

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CHOOSE THIS CAREER? WHAT CONTINUES TO DRIVE YOU?

When I discovered industrial design, I was like “What?” I can make things for a career? I’m in! I have always wanted to “be of service” since I was a child. And design enabled me to find practical ways to do this. I feel that generally not enough attention is given to the other 95% of the population. People are remarkably industrious in various parts of the world. So how can we amplify this?  What tools can we create to give them the power to help themselves? It is with Industrial Design that I am able to explore tangible solutions, work with a variety of cultures, and most importantly learn new things everyday. Great joy comes from the fact that I am constantly working on 15-20 different projects any given time. This keeps life invigorating, frustrating at times, and remarkably addictive.

City Jacket (SS15) | Middleton Stipe Shirt  (AW16)

I am incredibly grateful that I have been able to choose my path and find others that support the same initiatives. It is not only the “need” or “greater good” that drives me, but the support system that keeps me going. I am exceptionally blessed to  have such amazing friends and mentors in my life. I absolutely could and can not ever do any of this alone. Nor would I ever want to. The best part of my career is that I get to work with truly phenomenal people every day.  For example, this past fall I have had the pleasure of working with an amazing woman named Lisa. She is without a doubt the most badass woman I have ever met. She is a true HERO. She left her leg in Afghanistan 4 years ago and since meeting and working with her my obsession has only grown to humanize prosthetics. Not just in personal expression, but mostly in fit.

Engineers and designers always want to make super cool prosthetics, but forget about the end user and how it actually fits the human. For women in particular sockets are uncomfortable and painful. Our weight fluctuates monthly, and more things most men don’t consider or even understand. Lisa once said to me “I don’t care if its a rocketship you strap to my leg, if it isn’t comfortable I’m not going to wear it!”-  Now daily, I am constantly researching new composites and smart textiles - hunting for an adaptive responsive solution. These are things that drive me. If we don’t do it, who will?

City Jacket (SS15) | Middleton Stipe Shirt  (AW16)

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

Sticking to it. Doing what you know to  be right. Following one’s beliefs whether or not others believe in it or you. Make your decisions, letting things just happen is a decision on its own, to not be active or responsive in your own life. That is giving away your own power. Taking risks, although taking calculated ones. Giving yourself permission to learn, forgive, and move on. Whether that’s with someone else, or more importantly, yourself. Being strong on your own two feet.

Hold eye contact, meaning be in your power, don't hide it. Be fully present while interacting with others. I constantly make mistakes over and over again - my biggest downfall or cause of these snafus/challenges I have created myself because I didn’t listen to the little voice in my head saying “Mmm… not so sure about this one” and then talking myself out of this decision with “who am I to judge? I know nothing of this person or situation.” Without fail - this always led to chaos and danger. Being a woman in control means trusting your instincts - they are usually correct.

Middleton Stripe Shirt, 4-in-1 Tara Clutch

Can you share an experience where you have felt like a woman in control?

When everyone said I wasn’t smart enough to go to college - you know what? I did anyway. Being the first in my family to go to college - that feels good. It means that we are moving forward as a family.

Anka Dress (AW16)

I also felt this way when I was deployed to Texas with a team to help with an influx of child refugees. There were signs all over the walls that said, “Don’t touch the girls” because so much of these children’s lives had been in cultures and in scenarios where women and girls were seen as property or worse. We were brought in as part of a prototype edu-project to talk about technology; something only heard of and certainly not done by women.

It was when I began to show the boys about and how to build robots that I saw a dramatic shift in the perception of these young men. Literally slack-jawed. It was to put it simply - EPIC. Shortly after this, the girls that had learned to survive on the crossing to America by being wallflowers, were suddenly stepping up and leading class activities. Girls were becoming the Women they were meant to be. If we as women can show what can be done… imagine the permission we give to others to do the same.

Another time was when I had to woman up, face my fears, and do public speaking. This last summer I did a live TedX in front of 3,000 people. It was terrifying and everything in me wanted to run and hide. What drove me to do it against all survival instincts?

Two things:

1) To prove to myself that I could face my fear

2) To show my niece. I wanted her to believe that “if she can do it, I can too.”

 

"I have an intense curiosity. I am constantly searching for new ways to apply technology to support the other 90% of the planet. For example flying drones in Nepal, post-earthquake, for search and rescue missions."

 

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control what would you say?

Choose your life don’t let it just happen to you. This is crucial. One day - you will ask yourself…how did I get here? This is not the life I dreamed of…or maybe if you are lucky - it will be even better than you ever imagined - and the choice is really up to you.

Stay curious! Do things that make YOU happy, not what makes others happy - or you will always be miserable.  Answer your calling no matter how small or insignificant you might think it is to the rest of the world. There will always be naysayers, it’s up to you if they are right. Whether you can or can’t you’ll never know which is true until you try.

Anka Dress (AW16)

As my good friend Rich says, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Learn from EVERYTHING. Celebrate failures, although it’s easier said than done. Amazing learnings can come from this. Self-reflection and personal accountability are rare skills. Hone them and you shall be the master of your own life. Unfortunately, bad things happen to everyone. The choice is up to you whether you are a victim or a survivor. This will dramatically effect how your life moves forward and unfolds.

Ask for help when you need it. Vulnerability is a strength. Trust me. Protect yourself, but stay open. Listen to your elders, they know more than a few things and have literally been around the block. Surround yourself with people you admire, eventually they will rub off on you.  A sign of a good night out for me? It's when I know I was the most un-intelligent person in the room. Remember, luck is simply where preparation and opportunity meet. So get prepared for the life you have always wanted.

City Jacket (SS15) | Middleton Stipe Shirt, Aish Bag (AW16)

What are your favorite aspects or pieces from the LIA LARREA brand?

Lia’s line is truly a line for the independent woman. Sharp, flattering, feminine with a twist of power and “Say So.” I could wear it riding motorcycles in Haiti, flying drones in Nepal, at a cocktail party in SF, or presenting at TED. I absolutely adore the line of her clothes. Not just the sharp contrasting colors, or patterns of the cut. But how overall it flatters the body as a woman without too strong of sexual overtones. This is the line I had been waiting to find that celebrates the strong modern woman in a way that doesn't sacrifice femininity. I simply love the quality of the material, the attention to detail, and most importantly that I can wash it! Dry cleaners are in short supply in many places I go.

My two favorite pieces right now, are the Mila Dress, which I lovingly call “the Star Trek Dress” as I am a space geek, and the City Jacket because it makes me feel as though I can wear anything, walk into any room, and most importantly own it.

BEHIND THE SCENES

Photography -  Quincy Stamper

Edited by Ashley Tateo

If you'd like to pre-order any of the AW17 items seen here, please email us at:

SALES@LIALARREA.COM

 

 

IF YOU ARE WOMAN IN CONTROL OR KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE US TO FEATURE, CONNECT WITH US!

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Marika

 

When she's not writing about the latest Japanese trends + international styles on her culture and fashion blog JPinsider, Marika is motivating and helping to manage a team of software engineers at one of San Francisco's hottest tech companies. 

She's part fashion blogger, part "Girl in Tech" and ALL Woman In Control. Let's get to know Marika!

AW16 Zuria HalterTop & Brea Pencil Skirt (Reversible/Water Resistant) 

AW16 Zuria HalterTop & Brea Pencil Skirt (Reversible/Water Resistant) , Aish Envelope Bag

AW16 Zuria HalterTop & Brea Pencil Skirt (Reversible/Water Resistant) , Aish Envelope Bag

AW16 Zuria HalterTop & Brea Pencil Skirt (Reversible/Water Resistant) , Aish Envelope Bag

 

Tell us about yourself!


Many people I meet say, "Wow, you don't have a Japanese accent!" I was born and raised in Yokohama, Japan and went to an International school. I then moved to Boston to pursue my dream to work in tech. Living in Japan, it’s hard not to get inspired by technology. After being an Engineer and UX Designer, I am now a Engineering Program Manager. I'm passionate, energetic and very curious about beauty.

 

What inspired you to chose your career? And what continues to drive you? 

Take a step into Japan and you'll quickly realize that it’s all about creating the best customer experience. My father is also an "early adopter" of technology. I grew up with all the newest gadgets. However studying Computer Science in college was tough. Add the culture shock of moving to the US and you get a sad little girl. I didn’t give up though. Passion kept me going.

 
 

What does being a woman in control mean to you?

Life is too short to be afraid to try something you are curious about. A woman in control to me is somebody who never gives up. She loves to constantly learn and improve herself, even if she’s satisfied. She's passionate and has goals. Once she achieves one, she keeps going...Cause this world is too crazy to settle, right?

 

AW16 Zuria HalterTop & Brea Pencil Skirt (Reversible/Water Resistant), Tara Clutch

AW16 Zuria HalterTop & Brea Pencil Skirt (Reversible/Water Resistant), Tara Clutch

 

What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?

It was all love at first sight. Lia's clothes are simple, beautiful and yes, definitely versatile. When I heard that I could spill wine on her new collection and it'd be fine, I was astonished. It's high fashion made for women like me. The shape and use of lines in her collections are complimentary to every woman's shape. It shows off all our individual curves. Her designs are feminine, clean and cool. It's "kakkoii" in Japanese.

 
 

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say? 
The world is made up of so many people. You don't live alone. As a girl I was super shy - I could never talk to a stranger. However, I've realized that my interaction with other people usually becomes the source of my inspiration & motivation. Life is too short to be worried or afraid. Explore, engage and try as many different things as you can. Ask questions. Be thankful. Show your emotions, because we're human after all.

 
Convertible Skirt Cape (Reversible/Water Resistant)

Convertible Skirt Cape (Reversible/Water Resistant)

 

Photography by Quincy Stamper 

Edited by Ashley Tateo

If you'd like to pre-order any of the AW17 items seen here, please email us at:

sales@lialarrea.com

IF YOU ARE WOMAN IN CONTROL OR KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE US TO FEATURE, CONNECT WITH US!

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Olia

This new year, let's make our dreams happen!

We start by talking to this amazing woman - mother, wife, business owner, and creator of fashion blog Oliamoda -  about what it is to live her dream and be a woman in control. 


 

Zuria Halter Top,  Brea Pencil Skirt (AW17) | Manhattan Tote Bag 

 

Tell us about yourself -  


I am originally from Moscow Russia. I moved to US in 2003 with one suitcase and many dreams. I worked in every aspect of hospitality as I earned my second degree in Advertising at AAU. While working in hospitality I met my husband, Andy, with whom I opened our first restaurant together, Skool San Francisco. We have been in business for six years and are a few weeks from opening our second location in downtown Sacramento. My desire for fashion has always been present and influenced by my European background and worldly travels. My passion and entrepreneurial background led to the creation of my fashion blog, Oliamoda, which is rapidly gaining steam. On this blog I share my outfits, current trends and hopefully inspire other women.

 
 
Reversible Jacket | Tara Clutch | Zuria Halter Top (fully reversible AW17)

Reversible Jacket | Tara Clutch | Zuria Halter Top (fully reversible AW17)

 
 
Olia_0627_WEB.jpg

What does being a woman in control mean to you? 

A woman in control defines a woman who has a clear vision of her dream and does everything in her power to achieve it. She is driven, persistent, confident and educated. A woman in control owns her destiny; she knows what she wants and appreciates what she has.

 
Zuria Halter Top,  Brea Pencil Skirt (AW17) | Manhattan Tote Bag 

Zuria Halter Top,  Brea Pencil Skirt (AW17) | Manhattan Tote Bag 


What inspired you to chose your career? And what continues to drive you?  


My career is entrepreneurship. I love to wear numerous hats. The diversity of my daily tasks, the workload, the excitement of a new project, love for people, new relationships as well as the love of working side by side with my husband are the driving force behind running restaurants and taking risks. Fashion is my passion. It makes me happy. I love inspiring others with an idea for an outfit or a look they otherwise might not think of or be too intimidated to pull off.

Zuria Halter Top | Brea Pencil Skirt (AW17)

Zuria Halter Top | Brea Pencil Skirt (AW17)

 

Gavin Sweatshirt | Zuria Halter Top | Tara Clutch

Photography by Michael Moore

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say? 

Believe in yourself. 

 

What are some of your favorite aspects of the LIA LARREA brand?


I love the edginess of her designs. The lines, the materials and the diversity of each piece. Lia's designs represent and go hand in hand with my style and personality.

 
 
 

If you'd like to preorder any of the AW17 items seen here, please email us at:

sales@lialarrea.com

 

IF YOU ARE WOMAN IN CONTROL OR KNOW SOMEONE YOU WOULD LIKE US TO FEATURE, CONNECT WITH US!

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Erica

Today we embark on a very important and inspiring dialogue about what it means to be a woman in today's world. Kicking off our "Women In Control" series we met with Erica Andracchio, a San Francisco resident who is pursuing her dreams and working to make a difference. 

Above: Aria Tunic - Ivory Stone/Black Chrome, Convertible Skirt - Villanova Blue/Black Chrome & Tara Clutch - Gold/Black | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

Above: Aria Tunic - Ivory Stone/Black Chrome, Convertible Skirt - Villanova Blue/Black Chrome & Tara Clutch - Gold/Black | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

Above: Eva Dress - VIllanova Blue | Manhattan Tote Bag - Black Chrome | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

Above: Eva Dress - VIllanova Blue | Manhattan Tote Bag - Black Chrome

| Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

Erica is a Bay Area native who moved to San Francisco in pursuit of a Bachelor's degree at San Francisco State University while simultaneously honing her craft as an actor. She is no stranger to life's balancing act of work and fulfilling passions, and we couldn't be more intrigued by her philosophy about woman in control and how she is making that a priority in her life.

What do you do?

Everything, I feel like! I am an actress. I have this running joke that to "support my habit", I have two jobs. One being a receptionist at a high-end hair boutique in San Francisco, Harper Paige Salon, and the other an usher at the SFJAZZ Center. I am also the co-founder, board member, and co-organizer of a non-profit organization, Roanne's Race. I am a self-diagnosed over-achiever.

Tell me about Roanne’s Race?

I would like to think that most people growing up have some core friendships. They are the people you got into mischief with, remember every break-up and goofy moment, and who you would do anything for if they needed it. Well, Roanne was one of those people. She had been one of my best friends since we were 13. 

About a year after high school, she was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer, a huge shock to all of us as most had no idea what colon cancer even was, let alone a clue about there being stages. We were determined to stay by her side through it all, and over the course of 5 years we did the chemo, the surgeries, the remission, the relapse, more chemo, more surgeries, the eventual stage 4, and the hysterectomy at 23 years old. Then, our worst fears came true - she had to be put into hospice care. Nothing changes people more than facing mortality, especially at 24 years old. She was scared. We were all scared, but we never let her see that, and when she expressed fear that she would be forgotten once she passed, we were determined to not let that happen.

Roanne's Race was her idea. We asked her how she'd like to be remembered, and she told us a 5k to raise money for colon cancer. We created this organization as a 5k/10k/Kid's Fun Run that takes place every November in our hometown of Livermore, CA. We raise funds to donate to the Colon Cancer Alliance's under-50 research and awareness programs. This year will be our 4th race, and it's already gearing up to be another spectacular event. Roanne's Race set out to do two things, contribute to colon cancer research and remember Roanne, and within 3 short years we've more than reached that goal.

Erica wearing the #lialarrea Aria Tunic - Ivory Stone/Black Chrome, Convertible Skirt - Villanova Blue/Black Chrome & Tara Clutch - Gold/Black | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

Erica wearing the #lialarrea Aria Tunic - Ivory Stone/Black Chrome, Convertible Skirt - Villanova Blue/Black Chrome & Tara Clutch - Gold/Black | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

What does “a woman in control” mean to you personally?

A woman who holds the reins to her own life. I think 1950's "Pleasantville" is archaic, and, flash forward, we are no longer expected to be stay-at-home moms or housewives. In the movie, she makes decisions based on what she wants and needs, not based on what someone else tells her to do.  I think she has to be a financially independent person, because I just don't know how you can be in control when you depend on someone else for money. She is confident, she is proud of her life, and when it comes down to it, she is happy with her decisions because she made them, they are hers.

Above: Eva Dress - VIllanova Blue | Manhattan Tote Bag - Black Chrome | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

Above: Eva Dress - VIllanova Blue | Manhattan Tote Bag - Black Chrome

| Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

How do you embody “a woman in control”?

I'll be honest, I don't always feel like I'm in control! I'm a 28 year old woman living in one of the most expensive cities in this country, (which is maddening about 90% of the time). I have two jobs, three if you count my acting career, a non-profit, and a limited social life. It's a lot, and it doesn't always balance, but I do it on my own. I have a live-in boyfriend, but neither of us depend on the other one financially, which is important to me. I also have made decisions regarding my life that I don't regret, and even though I sometimes think maybe there was another way to go about it, when I sit back and think about what I've accomplished and how I live, I'm happy. I set goals for myself, based on what I believe I'm worth, and I don't waiver. 

What qualities/obstacles promote/hinder being a women in control?

I think the main quality of a woman in control is a mixture of confidence and self worth. With both of those attributes a woman can feel like she can rule the world! If she's not confident in what she's trying to do then it simply won't happen, but if she also lacks the ability to see herself as deserving of the opportunities she's trying for, then she's being destructive of her own goals. Even though there will always be someone telling you "you're not worth it" or "you can't do that", the fact is you can if you believe you can. It's no longer a world where a woman's place is "in the home", unless that's where she WANTS to be!

What inspired you to start acting? And what continues to drive you to stop at nothing to pursue it?

I realized when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old that I was more comfortable being on stage reciting lines of a character than I was just being myself in class. Plus having a slightly out of control imagination didn't hurt. Nothing is more accepting of craziness than the stage. When I was in college, I was in a production of "The Laramie Project". At one point I was onstage and could hear members of the audience crying. It was this experience that made me realize how powerful theater and film can be, and how storytelling can be more than just entertaining. It can be eye opening. 

What does acting mean to you?

Acting is a state of mind. It's being able to look at another person’s life and interpret it with a little flare of you in there. Asking hard questions where you have to look just as hard at yourself as you do someone else. Everyone has a bias, and everyone has been hurt by something. You have to set all that aside in order to portray a character honestly and truthfully.

Above: Aria Tunic - Ivory Stone/Black Chrome, Convertible Skirt - Villanova Blue/Black Chrome & Tara Clutch - Gold/Black | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

Above: Aria Tunic - Ivory Stone/Black Chrome, Convertible Skirt - Villanova Blue/Black Chrome &

Tara Clutch - Gold/Black | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store

Who are some of the people in the Film/Movie/Theater industry whom you admire or inspire you?

I admire people who just want to do honest work, like Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. 

 

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say?

Always know that you are good enough, and you deserve whatever you set your mind to. People will tell you otherwise, and you will run into obstacles, but as long as you believe in yourself and work hard, you will have all the power your life possesses.

 

Above: Aria Tunic - Ivory Stone/Black Chrome, Convertible Skirt - Villanova Blue/Black Chrome & Tara Clutch - Gold/Black | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store. 

Above: Aria Tunic - Ivory Stone/Black Chrome, Convertible Skirt - Villanova Blue/Black Chrome & Tara Clutch - Gold/Black | Available now www.lialarrea.com/store. 

 

SOME FUN FACTS:

Who is your spirit animal?  

Jennifer Lawrence! Haha, I know she's not an animal. However, she is completely who I would be if I were famous. 

Favorite quote?

"If you can dream it, you can do it." - Walt Disney

A must have in your life? Something you just can’t live without?

My iPod. I love music, all kinds of music. It's the best thing to jump start my imagination because I can be sitting in a symphony hall in the 1850's or at a rock concert within 5 minutes. I use music to get myself into character when I'm acting. 

If you could meet 3 people alive or dead who would you want to meet?

Meryl Streep. Audrey Hepburn. Michelle Obama. Three amazing and inspirational women if you ask me. 

 

Who is your hero? Why?

My mom. Cliche I know, but it's true. She told me when I was a kid to live life the way I wanted to, and not to be dependent on someone else for my happiness. It's something she has lived by throughout her life, and I admire her for it. 

I'd also have to say Roanne. Because of her I realize how valuable life is, and how you only get this one chance to make your mark on the world. You don't get redo's. You get one chance, and you have to make the most of all of it because you never know at what point the lights will go out.

By - Ashley Tateo | Photography - Ashley Tateo

 

 

If you are woman in control or know someone you would like us to feature, connect with us!

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A Look Behind the Brand

 

Woman in control is the underlying vision and inspiration behind the designs of LIA LARREA, but who is the woman behind these designs and how is she embodying this vision for herself?

Lia Larrea, the creative mind behind the LIA LARREA brand, whose passion for design started with coloring books and drawing shoes for characters that were commonly brought to life without any (think The Flintstones), began exploring her own imagination and desire to create things that were not just beautiful, but also practical at a young age. She quickly moved on from those early years of coloring books to free sketches inspired by people she encountered everyday. This encouraged her to design for a purpose combining practicality, carefully picked materials, and aesthetic beauty to solve problems. Through these creations she hopes to serve a greater cause inspiring women everywhere to ask the question, “What does a women in control mean to me, and how can I emulate that in my life making it my own through self expression?”

We sat down with Lia to get to the bottom of this exact question as it resonates within her, getting to know “The Woman In Control” that is Lia Larrea.

 

What does a Woman in Control mean to you personally?

“It is about being in charge of your own life, making your own choices, and being accountable for your own failures and successes. Ultimately, it is about your own freedom.”

 

What makes you a Woman in Control?

“Lately, I feel like it has been finding that control within the uncontrollable. It is a lot about growth and learning from mistakes, whether I like it or not. I am in control of my own life and the choices I make.

Before starting my own brand I chose to move to San Francisco and go to art school. After finishing I chose to quit my job and build my own business. I have been very lucky in that I have an amazing family and people that have helped me along the way, but it has also been my choice to let go of relationships that have hindered me and strived to surround myself with energy that fuels my life. I’m still learning everyday.”

 

What qualities/obstacles promote/hinder being a women in control?

“Confidence. Strength. Trusting in yourself. These qualities aren’t often associated with women. A woman in control carries herself confidently in a world where promoting these qualities isn’t a high priority. It's not about physical strength or how much money someone has, but about owning who you are, not being afraid to be yourself and being heard.

In many ways milestones have been made for women over the last few decades, but we still have a long way to go, especially when it comes to promoting confidence and self love in women. Two of my favorite quotes from Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In, “Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about,” and “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” really resonate with me. Seeing women, like Sheryl, out there in the world being successful, confident, and hard working, are qualities in women I look up to and the kind of woman I want to encourage through my designs.  

To me, a woman can be confident, smart, and capable of having a conversation in a variety of subjects. A woman in control is successful in her own way, and focused on living a happy life. She encourages herself to feel beautiful and confident in her own skin, and respects herself, whatever that may mean to her. She is a woman who is in control by choosing to be so.”

 

What was your first inspiration into fashion?

“Being confined to uniforms in school in Ecuador, I had to find ways to express myself and not feel like everyone else. I would do subtle things like rolling my sleeves or wearing a tighter fit polo shirt under the baggy sweaters, it had to be almost hidden, though, so that we wouldn't get called out by our teachers. I was also very much into 90s fashion. I would find ways to watch MTV music videos whenever I could just so that I could see what the American artists were wearing, crop tops with bell bottoms, chokers, platform shoes, etc.”

What inspired you to start designing?

“It was during one of my summer breaks, I was in second or third grade. In Ecuador, our teachers would give us notebooks to work on that we would turn in the following year. I think this was their way of ensuring we wouldn’t forget what they worked so hard on teaching us the year before. My parents supported this a lot, and they didn’t want us to be inside the house watching TV all day, so they bought us books and encouraged us to read. I didn’t really enjoy reading much, so I started going through Disney books and just looked at all the pictures. I would trace the cartoons, and then started drawing even more. I then realized I could change their clothes, and that’s when my imagination started coming up with all sorts of ideas. The first thing I drew were shoes, the Flintstones didn’t have any so I thought I’d design some for them. They were ugly shoe drawings, but it became something I loved doing, an outlet, my own creation.”

What do you love most about fashion and designing?

“The ability to make an idea, or anything that we imagine, tangible. I love the process! It could start with a dream, then a drawing, and then figuring out the puzzle of how to make it, choosing the right materials, going through many samples, and, finally, getting to be the first one that sees it. That’s my moment, I can touch it and see why that whole process was worth it.”

What does fashion mean to you?

“Fashion gives you the ability to express yourself in a world where sometimes not everyone is noticed or listened to. It is about being able to live your own lifestyle whether it is comfortable or edgy, whether it is about looking your best everyday or not caring at all. Fashion is not just in magazines and catwalks, it’s everywhere, and it has evolved so much over time. Today, we have more freedom as women to dress the way we want, and that is empowering. Therefore, fashion shows evolution, and a change in people’s mindset. The beauty of it for me, is that I get to make choices, exercising my freedom of expression, and also helping people to feel great and look their best at the same time.”

 

If you could say one thing to a young girl encouraging her to be a woman in control, what would you say?

“Take risks. By being uncomfortable we challenge ourselves to find new ways to achieve balance. When we don’t let our fears get the best of us, we may see that maybe things aren’t as bad as we had anticipated, and if they are then by embracing these challenges we give ourselves the opportunity to grow. So take risks, fail at something, learn and get back up again.”

 

Who are some of the people in the fashion and design industry who you admire/inspire you?

  • Jean Paul Gaultier, he made himself be heard, and he wasn’t afraid to do so.
  • Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, who changed their careers, took risks, and despite being young proved themselves talented.
  • Frida Kahlo because she was a fighter, and despite her physical condition, she took control of what she wanted to do. She was beautiful and sexy through her confidence, and she was not afraid to take risks and be different.”

 

Fun Facts

Favorite accessory?

"My leather bags, and midi rings."

 

Piece you can't live without?

"Tennis shoes"

 

Favorite quote?

"'En el pais del ciego el tuerto es rey,' It means that in the country of the blind, the one-eyed is the king."

 

One thing you can’t live without?

"My pencil and/or  sketchbook"

 

Who is your hero? Why?

"My mom. Yes it’s cheesy but why not!
She always found ways to take care of us and make things happen.

By - Ashley Tateo | Photography - Ashley Tateo