It took me almost a decade to get the guts up to finally launch my own business. I had the honor of working under some of the most prestigious luxury fashion brands in New York, including Barney’s New York and Ermenegildo Zegna. I would often revel at the stories of the Founders, inspired at how these men and women built empires out of nothing. I would watch from the sidelines and daydream about what it would look and feel like to transform a vision to reality.

However, my fantasy bubble of starting a business quickly bursted as the fear snuck in. You know the kind. The crippling thoughts that keep us from the bold version of ourselves. What if the world thinks my idea is stupid? Why if no one cares? What is my business potentially failing means I am also a failure as a human being?? I found that each time the possibility of being an entrepreneur began to resurface in my heart, soon thereafter a spiral of doubt would send me crashing back to reality. I became timid and insecure towards anything and everything outside of my comfort zone.

Then I met Lea. Lea became a dear friend who I soon found out had the same heart and burden as me for the fight against human trafficking. In the same way I was an advocate for awareness in my local community, Lea was also a voice for the marginalized. Not only that, she had single handedly raised over one million dollars as a warrior for positive change! The very first night we met we spent hours discussing the problem at large, convinced that together we could do our part to lead a generation towards healing.

That first meeting with Lea was the seed that later grew the brand we have now. Before we founded Láro, we defined a problem and a space for change, convinced that no one one could answer the call in the unique way we were equipped to. Having recently moved to The Philippines, I had access to groups of talented indigenous artisans in need of support for their livelihood. Lea had grown an extensive network of women in Houston, Texas dedicated to her cause. Joining our passion to empower women to rise above trafficking and our love for fashion and style, Láro - a collaborative celebration of artisans - was born.

You see, wanting to start a business venture for the sake of starting something wasn’t enough. What finally gave me the push I needed was a calling much higher than personal profit and gain through success. It was the desire to inspire significance over success. John Maxwell explained it best when he said that significance is knowing your purpose and planting seeds that benefit the community around you, whether local or global.

Success is about looking inward; significance is about looking outward.

Success means affecting one lifetime; significance means touching multiple lifetimes long after you’re gone.

I am so humbled and proud to announce that Láro is in full swing since launching last summer. Lea and I are so thrilled to stand behind a cause we believe in; all of our handbag sales contribute to worldwide efforts to end human trafficking. I can tell you that owning your own business is a journey full of hills and valleys. I can also tell you that in the uncertain moments and difficult times, Lea and I anchor our hope in the reason why we are doing all this in the first place. And our mission to play a part in the revelation of women everywhere is the fuel that keeps us going.

So if you are reading this and have also been secretly daydreaming about what it would look and feel like to start your own business, I have one simple piece of advice for you. My secret for building a thriving business is to seek significance over success. Dig deep into your calling. Define the problem and the space for change. Find out how YOU can make a UNIQUE difference that no one else can. And know that failure (which is inevitable) can be used to teach you more about yourself if you let it. And most importantly, know that your worth is not defined by your circumstance. Whether goals are met or not, your value is an inherent and intrinsic gift from God that cannot and will never be taken away.

So in this moment, I encourage you to take a pen and paper and spend some time in reflection. Create some space for stillness and give a voice to the innermost dreams in your heart. And finally, pray and seek God’s guidance above all.

You can do it girl boss. I’ve got your back!

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