We also sell a line of greeting cards and gift tags online and in retail stores worldwide. Our products are printed on a manually operated circa 1889 letterpress using the most beautiful materials. I also offer design services such as Art Direction, Branding, Layout and Production and Graphic Design.
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?
I've taken steady, manageable steps to maintain growth and stay focused and passionate.
I fell in love with letterpress when I was attending college at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, but prior to starting Lilikoi, I gained experience working for a diverse range of businesses to gain an understanding of what I was passionate about and what kind of work I wanted to do. I worked as an Art Director for a large international corporation directing and creating everything from packaging to 100+ page catalogs; I also worked for a boutique advertising and branding agency as a Senior Designer and Account Executive, focusing on ad campaigns, website and print design. I directed photoshoots, created packaging for food products and designed logos. I worked hard in the office and also took on clients at home—I was always working on freelance projects to fulfill and balance out my creativity and to save for my business but I have never worked harder than I have owning a business.
My plan, patience and finding the right printing press to invest in fell into place in 2007 when I started Lilikoi. I started with offering custom projects, which allowed me to continue to work on design projects and build my own company. I have since opened a second studio location and launched a line of greeting cards and gift tags.
FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?
Too many times have I seen a brilliant design stripped of its integrity because the designer did not plan strategically with a print design background.
I work with a lot of designers and I find that they typically lack the understanding of print design, or thinking beyond the design on screen. They might be a talented designer on screen, but they need to think of the end goal of a design—what type of ink and substrates are going to make it come to life, or to consider how the design will change in look and feel with different applications.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?
I'm working on a new catalog for Lilikoi products and reaching out to wedding planners by sending them printed samples of our work. We are printing a lot of stationery and business cards for technology companies in the Bay Area and hang tags for fashion companies in Los Angeles. I'm also working on various design projects for a design build company and a wine importer.
WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?
My style is clean, graphic and classic. It's modern and clever.
WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?
I'm an Art Director who thrives in a collaborative, creative work environment. Owning a small business has allowed me the experience to create a brand and line of products I'm passionate about while simultaneously managing timelines, vendors and project workflows, so I prefer my role as an art director. I dream of more projects in fashion and packaging.
WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?
Emails are such a distraction! Also, splitting my time between LA and SF is amazing but challenging, especially being a mama to a baby girl. Tasks that end up at the bottom of my To Do list are billing, taxes and emails. Also, I'm looking to move my studio in East LA closer to my home so I can manage my time better and not spend time commuting, so the time it's taking to increase my funds and find the right space is frustrating.
IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?
My next hire would be to take over writing estimates, answering emails and sorting through all the financials which would allow me to run and build on the creative side of my work.
LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?
If I could tell my younger self anything it would be that balancing work and being a mama is really, really hard and owning a business requires you to work all the time. But even if I did, or if I could have told my younger self, I don't think it would help prepare me for the life I live now. I'm a year and a half in and don't think there is a balance of work life when you become a parent; it's how you adapt and integrate those things all while maintaining your creativity, self awareness and the relationships with your loved ones that's most important. No big deal. Ask me this question in 10 years.
IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I would ask an expert about refining a brand after being in business for 10 years. The look, feel, services offered. How to grow from here on out and their opinion on my work and what the future holds for unique, tangible goods created by hand that tell a beautiful story.
WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
I'm looking for projects that will utilize my skill set in an industry I'm passionate about and working with smart, innovate and wonderful people—layout and design, art direction, packaging design. I'm open to working remotely or working on site by contract either part time or full time.
DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.
My ideal client would have a brand or product that I would really connect with, which would be inspiring and fuel my creativity. Company culture would be a priority to this client of mine. We would work on or collaborate on an ad campaign for the launch of a new fashion line, a new retail store or a new beauty product. I'm also health conscious, so I would be thrilled to work on branding and/or packaging for food product.
WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE?
I offer my work as an hourly rate. I provide a consultation to gain an understanding of the project and what it entails, followed by a cost estimate including the hours based on the scope of the project.
HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?
I can be reached by phone or email with project details and a timeline and if a client would like to request for me to work remotely or work on site.
HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?
Music, fashion, travel, art, ocean, laughter
This member profile was originally published in July 2017.