Venturing into Solopreneurship with La Vaca Founder and CEO Emily Vaca

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“I was such a hard worker and really self-motivated that I was working 120 hours a week… I loved what I was doing, but it was hard to know that I could be doing that for my own company, for myself, for my own brand.” 


Emily Vaca, Founder & CEO of LA VACA Designhouse, talks about having a one-in-a-million idea, designing the iconic MINNIDIP pool, and what it’s like to take a huge bet on yourself.

Doing Two Things at Once 

Chasing your dreams will always mean doing more work. Getting up early, staying late, or, in Emily’s case – having a day job to keep the lights on. Having a full-time job to keep you going is never a bad thing, but if and when your own company begins to grow, you have to know when is the right time to go all in and make the leap, even if there is uncertainty about whether you will succeed long-term. 

“I got an offer to work at my dream design agency in Chicago and I, at the time, was like… I just incorporated my company. And when they gave me that offer, I couldn’t turn it down.”

Taking the Time to Do it Right 

When you want something, it’s hard not to want it right now. But sometimes, it’s about waiting for the right moment. You have to have patience and the will to keep going even if your idea takes longer than you want for it to come to life.

 “I was just re-designing a classic and taking a design approach that hadn’t been done before. That’s why it took so long… it ended up taking about two years to find the right manufacturer .”

About the Guest:

Emily Vaca is a lead creative director and founder of a creative design house, La Vaca. She is a creative entrepreneur with more than ten years experience as an art director and designer in the advertising industry. It included serving as the associate creative director in the marketing department of Chicago’s top design agency. She has spent her professional career-defining and visualizing brands through creating logos and identities, developing consumer packaging and art directing photo and video shoots for marketing.

This season of the Journey is produced by Mission.org and brought to you by UPS. To learn how UPS can help your small business, go to https://UPS.com/pivot.

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Episode 119