Outfitting your new home might not immediately hit you as a sustainable employment opportunity but today, more than ever, your homegoods dollars have the ability to change the world. It was through that realization that Sheeva Sairafi started Local + Lejos, a home decor company bridging communities near and far.
Traveling the globe and befriending local artisans such as alpaca weavers in Peru, Sairafi became acutely aware of the struggle they challenged to support their families. Those stories, combined with the beauty of the products that she was discovering abroad, made her uncover a missed opportunity. Local + Lejos connects consumers to producers through beautiful, hand-made, products. They create modern pieces traditional retail stores cannot offer at attainable prices, while empowering artisans to grow a business, preserve cultural traditions, and create sustainable futures for their families.
What are your hobbies/ what do you do when you're not working on your business?
Even during off time, my mind is always working. Especially when I'm working on something creative or strategic, I like to give myself time to ruminate on ideas. During these time, you can find me hiking, running, at a museum, or trying a new restaurant in town. But in the back of my head, Local + Lejos is on my mind and I use these experiences to help inspire me.
If you could give one piece of advice to another woman (or man) in the early stages of a venture, what would it be?
Decide what YOU want for your venture. It is really easy to get caught up on in the route the competitors or other companies are taking. Its really important to decide why you are in this, and gear your decision making towards that goal, and not towards any other.
How do you deal with ambiguity or fear?
This is probably one of the hardest things (for me), about being an entrepreneur. When I'm overwhelmed with ambiguity or fear, I try to break down the things I can actually execute, and work towards achieving those, instead of harping on future unknowns. Taking things one day at a time and setting weekly goals helps keep me on track.