#16 Spending a day with Lisa from Dear Darling

July 5, 2022

Dear Darling Berlin features sustainable, responsibly crafted fine jewelry. Our designs convey a modern, youthful elegance and demonstrate the compatibility of sustainability and style. Our jewelry is responsibly and locally produced at our German and Italian sites with recycled gold and silver.

We are happy that Dear Darling Berlin has found a home in our Unicorn and accompany producer Gabriela through her day.

It’s 8 a.m. Are you already wide awake, or still in a deep sleep?

I ease into a ’normal’ workday between 8 – 10 am. I am, by all means, a later riser. I usually check my emails while I’m still at home to see if there’s anything urgent which I can respond to or take care of right away. Then I head out to the office in Wedding, get a nice Cappuccino from our office barista when I arrive, and get started on my to-do’s for the day. My tip for a successful start in the day: do what’s good for you. There are thousands of start-up books saying you just have to get up early, do yoga, meditate, drink a smoothie and success will practically fall into your lap. I just simply do what makes me feel good. At my own pace. That brings success, too! :-)

It’s 10 a.m. and you’re in the middle of a productive phase. What’s essential for you to be productive?

Since our team works partially remotely, it’s important for us to always have access to tasks and documents digitally. We use Slack daily for communication, Asana, Google’s calendar, and images and data are stored in a cloud which can be accessed by everyone. We hold our meetings on Zoom or Hangout. Yet at the same time, I need to have a good old fashioned sheet of paper on my desk – for the inner organizer in me – so I can write down what I need to do, check things off, cross things out, mark items with colors – according to priority.  

It’s 1 p.m. and your stomach is growling. What do you do? Have a muesli bar and go out for a jog? Are you rather a stay-in-at-the-office type, or do you need to get out and get some fresh air?

When it comes to lunch breaks, I’m not much of a role model, so please don’t follow my example! I often just grab something quickly – falafel, Sushi or Asian food – to sit down with at my laptop. I work together in the office with my husband Jan, and he continually reminds me to take a break and catch my breath. Then sometimes we’ll go for a stroll in Wedding, pick up another coffee to go for ourselves. That’s how you can keep a cool head, even when you’ve once again got a lot of decisions and things to do coming up.  

It’s 4 p.m. and you’re in a creative slump. What do you do when you can’t summon your creative powers?

If I ‘have to’ be creative, then that usually doesn’t work out. Often I notice, “aha, right now there are a lot of good ideas flowing!” while I’m doing something completely different. So then I take a little time out from what I’m doing to take advantage of this creative surge, and afterwards, I turn my attention back to my other tasks.  I don’t have a set technique. Though I try to put down on paper everything that has to do with creativity instead of digitally mapping it out. So I’ll either sit down on the floor with a stack of paper, post-its and colored markers and write down everything that comes to mind, or I’ll pin, for example, pictures on our board. That helps me to initially collect all my ideas, and afterwards, I can organize and rearrange them or view them in their entirety.  

It’s 4 p.m. and you have a meeting with the press. They want to know more about you as a person. Has anyone in particular influenced you? Do you have a role model? 

There are a lot of entrepreneurs which I admire. Westwing’s Delia Lachance, Tijen Onaran from Global Digital Women, or Kati Ernst and Kristine Zeller, the co-founders of ooia.  I allow myself to draw inspiration from them, while trying to remain true to myself. I think that’s what I’m about. I go my own way, sometimes I’m hell-bent on getting what I want, but I trust that I’m making the right decisions for myself and my company. My business life lesson up until now has been: progress kills perfection. It’s better to initially start with something that’s not perfect, and to get direct feedback and gather experience in order to make it better! 

It’s 6 p.m., is the workday coming to an end or just getting started?

I am - and always was – truly a night owl! Even back when I was in school, I pretty much did my studying and homework at night. I normally leave the office at about 6 pm, then do a little shopping before I go home. We cook, enjoy our dinner, and afterwards I usually get a spurt of energy. Then I’ll go back to my laptop, often working until 10 – 11 pm or later. Last year I didn’t really give myself enough breaks, I wasn’t a good boss to myself. So this year I’ve been trying to not take my work home with me, and that’s been going well so far! I think you have to find your own rhythm when you’re a business founder. #worklifebalance. This year, as long as it’s possible, we’d like to travel more. That’s always been my dream: to combine work and travel. That brings me more balance. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, I like to spend an evening networking, getting to know other entrepreneurs, exchanging ideas and sharing experiences. This often benefits all parties involved, from just having a really good talk to forging new, interesting partnerships.  

It’s 10 p.m. and you finally have time for yourself! Are you a series addict? A music lover, bookworm or binging podcast listener?

Time for myself means: switching off my mind and not thinking about business – which is really a challenge for me! But when I manage that, then I’m prone to immersing myself in true crime series on Netflix, or watching some episodes of Friends, The Office or Modern Family. I also like to read, at the moment I’m reading a lot about topics related to feminism: “Es kann nur eine geben (There Can Be Only One)” by Carolin Kebekus, “Alte weisse Männer (Old White Men)” by Sophie Passmann and “Unsichtbare Frauen (Invisible Women)” by Caroline Criado-Perez.