DREAM CATCHER: AMANDA THOMAS
Amanda Thomas started making jewelry when she was 14 years old. After school and on the weekends, her parents gave her a ride to her internship with an Abbott Kinney designer, where she learned how to wire wrap and got an early education about running a small business. Soon enough, she was hitting the flea markets and using found treasures to make pieces of her own. In a twist that could only have happened in Hollywood, she was wearing one of her own necklaces while shopping at Fred Segal and was approached by one of the store’s jewelry buyers. She was still just a junior in high school when they picked up her line, and Luv Aj was born. After studying graphic design at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, she sought out internships in all areas of the fashion industry, working for designers, magazines, and PR firms in search of her niche, but she always came back to her first (and truest) passion, jewelry.
What are three words that best describe your company? Tough, cool, refined.
I wish someone would have told me… To stop and smell the roses. Time flies by too fast!
Five years from now I see myself and my company… Growing and prospering, and still being a creative force to reckon with.
I gave up ____ to pursue my dream: Sleep!
The key to balancing it all is… Time management, and making lots of lists.
What makes you different from your competition? I think I have a strong voice and an aesthetic that sets me apart from the rest.
What piece of invaluable advice did you receive that you would like to pass on to women pursuing their dream? Work smart, not hard. You should always make time for yourself, because taking care of YOU only makes you a stronger person.
My biggest challenge is… Maintaining creativity amidst all the madness.
My best advice, in one sentence, for launching a venture is… Start small. Your first product should be perfect. Even if it’s only one thing, if you do it right it will sell itself.
My tips for using social media are… Be personable, and ease up on the hashtags!
Best piece of firing advice is… Keep it short and sweet.
The most important thing I have learned so far is… Not to stress about things that are out of my control. It’s not worth my energy.
If I had to do it all over I would… Be a lot more cautious with my decisions, and not spend as much money.
My best asset is… My sense of humor.
My worst trait is… My bossiness.
I funded my dream by… Living at home when I needed to save money.
The most important thing I have learned so far is… Be kind to everyone. You never know when people will circle back into your life.
The best people to work with are always… Family.
LET’S GET PERSONAL:
What are three words that best describe you? Funny, organized, caring.
When you go on vacation you always… Pack light, bring lots of trashy magazines, and try not to read email.
My favorite TV show is… True Detective.
My favorite singer/album is… Jhené Aiko.
My favorite food is… The carbonara from Superba Snack Bar in Venice.
I am most proud of… What I’ve created at such a young age.
Lately I’m inspired by… My fiancé. He started his own streetwear line called Private Party and has already surpassed me in Instagram followers in six short months.
A woman who inspires me is… My mama. She’s an entrepreneur and always teaches me how to be a good boss.
My favorite candy is… Sour belts.
My favorite scent is… Santal 33 by Le Labo.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be… Styling.
The most important thing I have learned so far is… To do what you love. If you don’t love it, move on to what makes you happy.