Fourteen years ago, out of the trunk of her car, Mitzi Rivas started a business with the intent of spreading joy (and selling darling kids’ shoes!). Along with her close friend, Amie Garcia, she created the mission-based children’s shoe company, Livie & Luca. Today, she dedicates herself to building a company whose pillars are based on using the force of joy to create impact and change.  This mission includes a commitment to operationalizing joy in their offices and with her team, radiating these energies out to their customers and community.

Soulivity Editor-at-Large, D’angelo Thompson, spent some quality time talking more about her business and being an entrepreneur mom.

DT: Tell us what inspired your children’s shoe company? How did you come up with the business name?

MR: One spring morning in 2004, as I was strolling my toddler Luca through the Berkeley hills, my heart felt restless. When I allowed it to speak, I heard, “your job is to spread joy.”  And, at that moment, I accepted it. My heart went calm and the landscape of my well-defined career path changed to a beautiful unforged terrain. I began to trust in myself more than I trusted in the system. This cherished untamed path has turned into Livie & Luca, named after my son and my friend’s daughter.

Mitzi Rivas - Shoes 1

DT: What has been your greatest challenge as a woman in business?

MR: Over the years, I have chosen to honor my own voice, instead of bowing down to the more dominant and imposing voices in society. Being a Salvadoran woman, it is sometimes hard to depict the source of the challenge. It has taken much of my life to find the courage to step forward with my perspective, passion, and talents amongst the undercurrent of unspoken messages designed to keep me in place.  The struggle is real…but, so is freedom and opportunity to infuse my truth and purpose into my daily life and work.

DT: What inspires your team when designing a collection each season?

MR: We are inspired by our customers, our community, and the world around us. We are big on collaboration and like to co-create with our Solemates, fans of Livie & Luca.

Mitzi Rivas - Shoes 3

DT: As a working mom, what gifts have you been able to offer your children?

MR: The opportunity to see that, if you work hard and stick to the course, you can grow something beautiful.

D'angelo Thompson
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Soulivity Editor-at-Large D’angelo Thompson is known for his mastery of beauty and quality aesthetic. He is also one of the entertainment industry’s most sought-after artisans. Originally from Chicago, D’angelo always dreamed of one day taking the beauty industry by the reigns both nationally and internationally; and, in the past two decades, has done so in a phenomenal way. It is his personal vision to elevate his profession by creating a global brand and community, empowering all to see and celebrate their beauty.

As a professional, D’angelo’s expertise extends to beauty, bridal, editorial, commercial, film, TV and private clients. As hair and makeup artist for guests and celebrities on The Wendy Williams Show from 2008 - 2011, D’angelo earned three Daytime Emmy nominations with a win for “Guest Hair” in 2010. Most importantly, in over two decades, D’angelo has developed a body of work that classifies him in the A-list of beauty professionals.  He is currently working with Law & Order SVU (Seasons 17, 18 & 19), Blue Bloods (Season 8), Worst Cooks,/Celebrity, Joy Mangano/IDL, HSN and Pudding Boy Productions.  As an author, D’angelo’s self-published lifestyle and beauty book entitled “Enhanced Beauty” (2016) continues to sell domestically and internationally.