Beatrice Valenzuela is a shoe and jewelry designer based in Los Angeles. After spending much of her life in Mexico City and living all over the world, most of her aesthetic inspiration comes from the ancient traditional styles of Mexico, Morocco, and the Native American Indians. She is also inspired by the use of natural fibers, fine craftsmanship, and things that age beautifully. All of her pieces are handcrafted in Los Angeles. We were glad to have a behind-the-scenes chat with her.
It is so wonderful and exciting to see how successful your eponymous line has become in such a relatively short time. When you reflect back on starting your business, the choices you made, and the direction things took, what would you say you are most proud of?
I am most proud of being able to have maintained the momentum around staying creative and enjoying what I am doing on a day to day basis, to have had slow but steady natural growth. It’s been really great to have built some amazing connections with people during this wonderful time.
There is a lot written these days about "women who do it all." And there has been some interesting push back on idealizing or romanticizing the expectation that women can have it all - motherhood, career, successful relationship, etc. You have two young children and a husband yourself. Do you feel like you have found a balance that works for you? And do you have advice for other women wanting to earn a living through their creativity?
I don’t really think about it in a way of finding balance, I try to find a moment everyday where I could do something for myself whether it's something small like making a really delicious drink or connecting with a friend in a deep way or even taking a really long bath! When I do this as an everyday practice, I don’t tend to feel as overwhelmed by the day to day issues that come with being human.
We love letting customers in the shop know that the Sandalias are all made in Los Angeles, not far from your studio. But we also know that local production is always being threatened as skilled factories and craftspeople, like the kind you work with, are disappearing. What can we be doing more of as consumers to preserve these small production houses and the importance of sustainable crafts?
I believe we should continue to support craftspeople and businesses that work ethically. As consumers, I believe it’s important to make a real effort to make mindful choices.
We understand you love spending time in Italy with your family. Do you speak Italian? What is your favorite part of Italy to visit with kids?
Yes I do speak Italian! Our favorite place to take our children is Sicily. The water is warm, the food is great, and we have made so many great friends from past trips. We will actually be heading there this summer!
You are always glowing in your photos. Obviously, you are a natural beauty! But do you have a daily self-care ritual that you'd like to share?
My most favorite self-care ritual is to do self massage, whether it be on your face or body, giving yourself a lot of love while doing it. What’s really great about self massage is that it helps your lymphatic system reduce inflammation, makes your skin look so radiant, and gives you a moment to check in with yourself.