One morning meeting, we realized that when it comes to our favorite brands, we don’t know much beyond the product, something we wanted to work towards changing. So we’re introducing each team member as a way to get to know us all a little better. Here to kick things off is our founder and creative director, Vanessa, on morning routines, her french bulldog, and her favorite part of everyday at V&O.
What do you do at Vrai and Oro?
I’m the Founder & Creative Director of V&O. This means I wear a lot of different hats, but most importantly, I define the vision of the brand and make sure we have the best team in place to execute that vision.
Where are you from?
I’m originally from upstate New York (Rochester to be exact). I moved to Florida with my family when I was in middle school and then moved to California for college a little over 10 years ago. I identify with the determination (aka stubbornness) and strong work ethic that is engrained in east coast culture but I also appreciate the value driven, conscious lifestyle approach that is embraced on the west coast.
What’s your morning routine?
Everyone who works with me knows that I love my routines! They allow me to free up my mind so I can think creatively about everything else that’s happening around me. The last thing I want to worry about is what I’m going to eat for breakfast that day.
To start, I wake up at 6:30am and go for a run around my neighborhood. For me, running is definitely more of a mental exercise (although the physical exercise is great too). It’s the only time that I have to myself, so it allows me to structure my thoughts without distractions and pushes me to be stronger.
After getting dressed and ready for work (with Bey’s Lemonade bumping in the background) I make my morning smoothie: kale, dates, banana, matcha, cacao nibs.
I’m off to work around 8:30am with a short 20 min commute to our office in DTLA. Our parking lot is conveniently situated next to Verve Coffee so I typically stop by for a mint green tea with honey before heading up to the studio.
I can honestly say that I love walking into our office each morning; it has a ton of natural light and a really great energy. As soon as I sit down at my desk the morning is over and the day begins.
Paint us a picture of your ideal Sunday (mentally, of course).
Well, it’s Sunday as I write this so my typical Sunday would consist of catching up on work and projects that require my undivided attention. But, ideally speaking, I would start my Sunday with a morning walk with my husband (Sebas) and frenchie (Frankie) to FIX, our local coffee shop, followed by a casual brunch at Ostrich Farm. And now that I think about it, I would still spend a majority of my ideal day working because my work is more of a passion than a job. I would end the day with a home cooked meal and a bottle of California Cab. I’m a sucker for the simple things.
What’s your favorite V&O memory?
When V&O first started, I was working from my home office and I remember g-chatting my husband with so much excitement every time an order came through (“ORDER!”). I love thinking back to that time because it keeps my grounded and extremely grateful for where we are today.
What’s currently inspiring you?
I’m inspired by people and companies that question traditions and embrace technology to create sustainable change. I just finished watching the “Lost Interview” featuring Steve Jobs and I’m currently reading his biography. He’s a controversial guy, but I’m very inspired by his vision to change the world.
Vrai and Oro is based around three key values (quality, simplicity, transparency). What are your personal key values?
The V&O values are near & dear to me and stem from my own personal values:
Simplicity: For me, less is always more. I appreciate minimalism because it represents a ‘fewer, better’ approach and can be applied to all aspects of our lives.
Quality: I believe in quality over quantity because it leads to sustainability and conscious thinking.
Transparency: Honesty and authenticity are key for me. This means being vulnerable and always questioning traditions.
One brand you couldn’t live without is ________.
Live without? Amazon (haha)
Look up to and admire? Apple
If you could summarize your day to day in one emoji, what would it be?
What do you love most about your role in the company?
(photos by June Kim, Karen Hernandez, and Kimberly Molina)