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.
D’angelo Thompson is a three-time Daytime Emmy Nominated Hair and Makeup Artist, “Guest Hair” Daytime Emmy Award winner for the Wendy Williams Show, an accomplished Author, and Podcast Host.
His most recent credits include Law & Order SVU, Season 21, MTV/VH-1/LOGO (Viacom), Amy Trask (CBS Sports), Food Network, Joy Mangano, Amber Stevens West/Andrea DeBordeaux for Run The World (Starz), and Author, James Patterson. His expertise extends to bridal, editorial, commercial, film, and television. Additionally, for over 20 years, D’angelo has been a consultant and educator in partnerships with Il Makiage, Glamour Dolls Makeup, Chic Studios, Makeup For Ever, Calvin Klein Cosmetics, LORAC, and others.
As an Author, D’angelo penned and published “Enhanced Beauty”, “Enhanced Beauty for Teens “, “Enhanced Beauty: Men’s Grooming”, and “A 100 Days of Gratitude”. All are available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and other online retailers.
He is also the host of “Gratitude Is A Journey” available on Anchor.fm/dangelo- thompson and “Beauty & Gratitude” a series on Soulivity Magazine’s ‘SoulivityTV’, available on Youtube.
D’angelo was educated at Pratt Institute for two years in Fashion Merchandising and Fine Art and through mentorships with Alfred Fornay, Byron Barnes, and Sherry Lee. He further attended The Makeup Institute of California, MAC Pro, Makeup Forever Pro/Academy Workshops, Lash Extension Certification through NYIB, and Basic FX lessons from Daytime Emmy Award-Winning artist, Ingrid Okola. He also holds practitioner licenses and accreditations in Emotional Intelligence, Reiki, Crystal Healing, and Hypnotherapy. Currently attending National University, studying Psychology.
As a community activist, he organizes yearly fundraisers to support AIDS research, education, and advocacy with The Latino Commission on AIDS (2009-2017), youth initiatives, domestic violence, and sex traﬃcking awareness (2000-Present), social justice, and LGBTQ rights & safety (1990-Present).
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