I'm so excited to introduce you to my next Inspiring Friend!!! Amy is just the sweetest and I first met her last year at our small group. I loved being in a circle with her, and learning all about her business, how she gives back through it, and her inspiration for the brand! Be sure to read her story, follow her on IG, and maybe even buy a watch!!!
What makes you laugh?
Monkeying around with friends and family, dry humor, Aziz Ansari, other people laughing makes me laugh. I'm probably smiling more often throughout the day than not.
What does a typical Sunday look like for you?
I have tried to be better at honoring the Sabbath on Sundays -- resting, and spending time doing things that bring me joy (taking photos, being active, sharing ideas and meals with family, spending time intentionally instead of just passing it). I realize that when I spend time away from work, it actually helps my work grow. For me, it's much easier said than done
Please share a bit about your business, what you do, how long you've been in it?
I started Le Coeur Watch Co. in the spring of 2015 because I couldn't find a watch I really loved. Logistically speaking, the designs stemmed from that. But as I grew the brand, I incorporated elements that I felt were missing in the market: a minimalist design, a give-back approach, and a cult brand inspired by travel that stood for more than just consuming more product with no value. While my passions lie in the design and branding part of the business, I'm a creator first and a businesswoman second. Learning how to best be the latter and balance the two roles makes the business flow.
What inspired you to start your business? Does your personal story/journey somehow connect to it?
Absolutely. My background is in photography, product design and marketing, so Le Coeur has really always been this fusion of all the things I love doing. I've always said the love comes first at Le Coeur. A quote I love is, "We work from love, not for love." Le Coeur was never born out of the need or desire to make money; we have purpose first, we try to clearly communicate what we stand for, and the business works because of that.
What do you love most about what you do?
Creating a community and having relationships with our customers who love what we stand for. When others' visions and hearts align with something you started, there's really nothing better. Our customers, and being able to create something meaningful with them, mean the world to us.
What's your favorite watch, timepiece, or design inspiration?
Anything classic, minimal, and meaningful. I think there's a really cool movement happening right now, where the consumer is moving towards having less things with more value, and that's right where we come in. Travel is what most inspires both me and the brand at large -- and the feeling of being so deeply connected no matter where one lives in the world.
In what ways does your business give back to the community?
Every Le Coeur purchase helps charities in need both locally and worldwide. By partnering with different organizations each month, it's our greatest goal and privilege to help create awareness for their cause and donate in ways that best support their greatest needs.
What was the scariest part in launching your business?
Le Coeur has always been fueled by pure love, so launching it was easy. Making it work is a whole other story. I think there's not enough conversation happening around that "middle" part that's so often full of tension; when you've launched something successfully and now you have to figure out how to make it scale in a meaningful and efficient way. We are constantly, and I mean constantly, learning and pivoting; We couldn't do it without Chicago's communities of entrepreneurs and mentors we seek out and try and learn from every day.
Can you share a time you wanted to give up, or a struggle that you encountered? How did you overcome it?
Something that has been a learning experience is trying to manage overseas manufacturers and ensure that their production timelines consistently align with your product launches and business cash flow. We source our watch components from all over the world, and because of retail being so seasonal, if you don't manage your timelines you could end up investing in a lot of product that doesn't hit the market at the right time, or too late for your peak seasons.
Photos by: Jazi Photo