Read on to learn more about this boss babe's love for letterpress and why she is so grateful that she gets to dedicate her craft to printing good news in our latest #getREAL interview...
What do you do and why do you love it?
Oh dear. This is a tricky question now. I have recently made a major career move in the marketing world, which is what my original background is in. I am now living and working in Toronto, so that is a big shift for me. That being said, there is no chance that I will stop working with my letterpress, but I also know that working full-time outside of my letterpress craft will be an adjustment. Three years ago, when I started my letterpress business in Edmonton I went through a lot of growing periods. I think this is simply another opportunity for growth - I have the chance to step back and look at things with different eyes. In the end, I think this move will force me to slow down, be more selective within my craft, and it will ultimately be a good thing. I know that I have found something that truly makes me happy. Everything I print is a vehicle of good news, I connect to it emotionally, and I love that.
Who or what influences you?
Raw people. I always say that people who are loving, kind, and respectful are big influences and inspiration for me. I can remember at the beginning of all this, I wasn't too keen on printing greeting cards. I realized I needed to do it anyways, because it was the easiest way to have people connect to my work. The cards that sell are the ones that are real, simple, and a little cheeky. It is people that I have connected to, that are willing to be honest, open, and vulnerable that have inspired my work. I know this world we live in isn't always kind, but I appreciate people that can open themselves up despite all of that - people that are brave enough to be raw.
Piece of advice you need to take just as frequently as you give?
Value yourself all of the time. Give yourself the credit, even if it is just for trying. Being brave enough to show up is huge and it is deserving of a pat on the back. Growth is a cycle and we have to applaud ourselves throughout the cycle. First you feel like a fraud, then you feel like you are making a mistake - why did you ever think you could do this? Then all of a sudden it feels right and like a victory, and then it cycles back (laughs). It is a rollercoaster, so it is important to value the person behind all of it.
I think for my business, it would be the opportunity to work full time. After that, it would be working from a beautiful studio built in my backyard. I have a clear vision of what that would look like - so dreamy. In my personal life, I would love to be able to provide my parents with the means to enjoy their lives - fun, relaxation, good wine, and good food. They have had a tough life and they deserve the best. Being able to give that to them is at the top of my list.
What keeps you moving forward no matter what?
I'm a really curious person. Even in my moments of doubt when I question myself, my goals, my work, and my purpose, I still have that little voice in the back of my head saying: but, what if? what if that idea you had the other day really works? So, it is all of those "what if" moments that keep me moving forward - they totally excite me!
I became a Canadian citizen this year! Myself and my husband were born in Brazil, and moved to Canada shortly after we got married. I always knew that I wanted to live abroad, so we went for it, and I am so grateful that we did. It was so fun being able to go to the ceremony, sing the anthem, and just celebrate. Vikki Wiercinski and her Dad came with us - it was so great. Her Dad is originally from Poland, so they were big supporters of us this whole time. When we got the notification that we were able to go to the ceremony, Vikki and her father wanted to be there for us - it was really sweet. There were more than thirty nationalities in the room and it was such an amazing experience.
Words to live by?
Do what you say you'll do. I try really hard to stand behind this. I know that we are all human, we get busy, we get stressed, and things fall through the cracks. But, the people I connect to most and trust most are the ones who come through on what they have said they would do. I think I learned this by being new to a place. When you don't have connections or support and you are just starting out, the people who come through for you, and stand by their word are the ones who you appreciate most. This is important both personally and professionally.
Memorable moment you have experienced in your life that has made you feel strong as a woman?
I recently had to talk to someone about something really tough. I chose to be open and I chose to be raw. I felt so powerful, because there was nothing that this person could say back to me to make me feel weak, because I was talking about what I was feeling. There is nothing stronger than that. I was honest and I put everything out on the table, and I knew in my heart that there was nothing wrong with that.
Complete this sentence: To me, beauty is___________________.
Confidence. I know Malorie answered this question in the same way (laughs). But, she nailed it for me. I admire confidence.
Lu Mascaro is a multi-talented designer, entrepreneur, and letterpress guru residing in Toronto, Ontario.