Laura Villasenin is the founder of quirky footwear brand Miista, based in Hackney, London. Old Tat follows Laura for a day to see what goes into being the boss. She informs us that every day is different and that had we asked for a typical day in September, she would be at the factories all day, working out samples and exploring materials, as September is designing month. In fact every month and every day is different for Laura, but if she had to pinpoint the constants in her day to day schedule, this would be it!
Dreaming about a call I had yesterday to the Barney’s buyer…
Is it even 5:00am yet? I open my eyes to jot down a few things and drift back off…
I am out of bed and in the shower, peeling my eyes open, making a mental to-do list of everything I need to do before 10:00am… I need coffee…
I shuffle into the office and say “Good Morning!” to all my Miistas. I know my day has begun, now. Making it to my green wooden desk, I check through the 289 emails I have from this morning. Half of them are illegible. Delete, delete, delete. I call my Spanish factories and give them a little wakeup call.
Halfway through my emails and six calls later, I’ve scored two appointments at showrooms in the United States and Switzerland, told fifteen people Miista’s catchphrase, called the buyer from Jeffrey ‘Jeffrey’, found out this is not his name, and chugged two and a half coffees. I sit with Georgie for a bit and we play catchup, as she tells me about Phil our photographer’s latest feat. I look at the stunning work she’s done and make sure she’s on track for the launch dates and confirm with her and Sam for all graphics.
Wessel, my partner, is sending me emails about updates on our brand image and how I need to look at all of these new Twitter updates. I will email Anna and Adriana and about these new digital facets and I get distracted, yelling on the phone in Spanish.
I’ve now made my rounds around the office to all my Miistas and kept all projects on track. I’ve commissioned new banners for the website, new social media banners for all platforms, new ways to market through Twitter and Facebook ads, seen how the shipments are doing from the factories, and checked with Bec and Ivy, who are in Vegas for our new diffusion line, ‘E.Eight’ appointments right now.
I check all the social platforms for the eighth time today. I like someone’s comment and get excited they’re lusting after what’s come out of my whirlwind mind.
I have a mini-breakdown about why these buyers are not cooperating with me… “It used to be so damn easy!” I shout to Tess.
I scream with excitement as I’ve just scored an appointment with Barneys (AHH!) and need to run home to pack my suitcase to jet off to NYC tomorrow morning. I grab all the sample suitcases and run around the office a couple more times asking everyone if they’re okay. I call Sandro to tell him I’ve had to reschedule an appointment in Switzerland and another in Germany for the next two days, but I’ll come straight from New York to Germany and meet with them in the morning. I call Ivy and we have a celebratory phone call as I’m holding my neck to my phone and squabbling out of the office.
I’m in a cab on the way to the airport, five suitcases in hand, inhaling a falafel wrap and frantically calling Ivy to make sure everything is on track. I have a cigarette once I get to the terminal and calm down for a second.
I am through security and ready to board the plane. Replying to a few more quick emails, I then stumble upon an article with a Tribe called the Tuareg. This is amazing! I send this to Adriana to write a blog post about. I think I’ve just found the inspo for AW16. I call Ivy and tell her this and tell her we need to take a trip to meet these amazing people. I text Georgie a stunning picture of one of the Tuareg children and then I notice I’m boarding. I make sure one last time I’ve got my linesheets, samples, phone, computer, and head in check.
They’re yelling at me on the flight because I am on my phone during taxiing. I need to make sure Anna understands how these barcodes work for the packaging and what the hell’s going on on the website?! I gesture that I will get off my phone as I get in my last bits to Ivy. I send three more emails and give my send off to Wessel.
I am thinking of what I will say to Barneys and think of the next shops, showrooms and shoe emporiums I need to contact tomorrow. I put Trentemøller on my headphones and lose myself in article on East London Streetstyle and grab a beer from one of the airline hostesses.
Bleary eyed, I get off the plane and set off for my hotel. In the cab I check in with Wessel and tell him he needs to fix the filters and redesign the website. I write a few more things down and numbers of important people on a receipt I find in my bag, close my eyes and drift off until I sleep walk into my room and crash with my clothes on.
I am up at and it again, walking to my appointment with Barneys and think about how I will be in Germany tomorrow – wait… two days from now? Tomorrow? I ring the bell on Barneys HQ, here goes another day!