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.
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.
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.
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