I don’t know about you but I am always losing my glasses. I remember my grandmother having her glassses on a very non descript cord..not very chic. I started trying to find something that had style and was fashionable so I was beyond ecstatic when I found out about La LOOP. They are the chicest chains to hold your glasses. Each one is like a gorgeous necklace. Such a brilliant idea and I loved learning about Elizabeth’s aha moment and how she created La LOOP.
Give us an overview of your career.
I started out working for Figaro Madame in Paris as an editorial assistant. I had grown up in Paris and I wanted to re-immerse in Parisian everyday life after my American high school and university years. In my early 20s I went to work for a New York public relations firm that focused on the fashion and beauty industry in Manhattan. There I was surrounded by a small group of smart, engaged and go getter women who taught me how to write a persuasive pitch and package products that people didn’t necessarily need in a way that made them absolutely need them. From there, I followed Jean Paul Guerlain the master perfumer working for his family 180-year-old fragrance company where I was tasked with telling his story to the American press. As I soon learned, storytelling is an art, and my bosses at Guerlain were incredibly gifted and guided me . GUESS Jeans in Los Angeles was next—real entrepreneurs who were building their business overseas. There I found myself most often on a plane from Quito to London, Florence to Toronto opening up GUESS retail stores. My role was to make sure that our international partners were adhering to the authenticity of the GUESS brand. Here , too, I was charged with telling the company’s story. After several years on the road I decided in my next chapter to settle (I was also pregnant with my first child) in New York. There I met a woman who later became my business partner … the day we met for lunch she was wearing a necklace which she had made. Her glasses were hanging through the loop. And from that moment , La LOOP was born.
Did you have a La LOOP aha moment? Can you describe it?
I did. It was at that lunch that I realized that anything practical was typically black, leather and masculine. I wondered why? When I saw the necklace I immediately envisioned a whole world of functional products that were stylish—the idea of fashion marrying function.
Did you design the actual loop or just the beautiful chains and necklaces.?
My business partner designed the loop with the help of a 3rd generation jeweler that we still work with today. Since its inception we have designed and created two collections a year with new necklace styles using materials sourced from around the world.
Where do you find inspiration for your beautiful necklaces and materials?
I find my inspiration from suppliers who share their craft and expertise. I also find inspiration from art—art that not only hangs in museums and galleries, but also art that I am surrounded by in the streets… it could be a doorway, a jacaranda in full bloom, a geometric pattern on a chair.
Do you have a favorite La Loop moment, perhaps when you saw a special woman wearing one?
I run into people – men and women wearing La LOOP and love rediscovering the styles on our fans. The pieces take on a personality of their own through their wearers. A favorite of the moment is one that I designed about 10 years ago called the Roman. I was inspired by a Roman coin necklace my grandmother wore daily. It was her signature. The necklace, her golden skin and the Roman coin necklace. The Vintage cable chain has a worn look to it and every time I wear it I think of my grandmother.
Can you name the top three women you would invite for tea and why?
Elizabeth Duncan, lead advocate for Human Rights Watch ,Children’s Division. She has spent the last 15 years advocating for child protection laws in California. She investigated and worked tirelessly to pass legislation which would allow kids to be tried as kids, and remove them from being sent to adult prison. And even though she failed 3 times, she did not quit. She persevered and was able to get a win. Children are now tried as kids in the State of California.
Dr. Lisa Abdishoo who has spent years on Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles trying to heal those who are experiencing homelessness. Dr. Abdishoo treats all humans with dignity and respect and for this, I greatly admire her.
Any of the young women who serve in the IDF. At 18 years old thousands of young women serve the mandatory military service in Israel. These young women protect the borders. They are the eyes and ears of the country. I am inspired by people who step into responsibility and own it.
How old were your children when you started La LOOP? Was it difficult to manage raising a brand and raising children at the same time?
My oldest daughter was one. I then went on to have two more children. I really did love doing both…. and still do. The kids are part of La LOOP in that they have grown up with the business—and me flying to a tradeshow or coming with me to sort through inventory. I think that finding the balance is key…. but I am not sure that there is really ever any balance. I just try to be present in what I am doing at any given moment. And leave the rest for someone else to worry about.
It seems your company mission is quite “giving back” focused. As company leader, how do you foster this mission?
We foster the mission of giving back by celebrating people around us who model this type of living. I was meeting with a supplier last week and he shared with me that his 9 year old son had set up a lemonade business, raising money for pediatric cancer. I could tell how proud he was of his son by the way he was telling me this story. I listened and shared in his joy. I believe that we foster our “looped in” campaign of giving back by listening to others and celebrating how they are engaged in their communities.
Culturally, aging is viewed as this sad thing. In reality, I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t feel bad or sad. I feel better than ever. What’s the key to changing the conversation about aging? Any ideas?
I completely agree with you. I think it’s about modeling through conversation. For me it starts at the dinner table. My daughter is home from college and last night she had a few of her college friends over. We talked and talked and talked about reproductive health and each one of us shared our thoughts and reactions to the recent legal changes in the South. When I shared my experiences of being a child in Paris where we were taught to be seen and not heard, or being a 19 year old studying in China where as an American woman I was silenced by the lack of language and cultural knowledge—I noticed that these stories of being silenced helped my 21 year old daughter and her friends understand how important it is for us to speak out—especially since we live in a country where we can.
What’s the best thing you’ve read lately?
I just finished David Brooks’ Second Mountain… and absolutely loved it. Authentic. And great storytelling.
Craziest thing you learned this year?
That a number of states have passed laws making abortion illegal even in situations of rape and incest.
What’s the last thing you bought online?
Ingredients for dinner tonight… Taco Tuesday!
If you could have one superpower what would it be?
Bring healing and joy to people.
If you had a warning label what would it say?
I may overwhelm with my passion, empathy and determination.
Assuming you might enjoy having one, what would you put on your menopause registry?
Any gadget or piece of clothing that will cool me down at night.
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