Lorena Miranda Bendeck
Founder of Sonder and Holliday
A note from Founder Lorena Miranda Bendeck
Q: What has been the most rewarding phase of your career?
A: This very moment. I do not make anywhere near what I was earning as a Steel Trader (yet!), but I have never felt more fulfilled and rewarded. Watching this business turn into my biggest asset and knowing I did it by myself, from the ground up, while uplifting others is a feeling that has no definition. I am very, very proud of me.
Q:What do you do for inspiration? Do you ever hit creative roadblocks and how do you overcome them?
A: I am a big believe in the power of affirmations. I understand that my thoughts are extremely powerful so I do all that I can to shift focus fast when I am starting to feel overwhelmed, anxious, or even fearful that I may not have enough time, money, or resourced to meet particular needs or goals my business has. When I have a lot to do and big questions to answer and things to figure out I take a nap. Not kidding! I let it all out of my mind, and just lay in bed for 30-40 mins and sleep the anxiety off. Usually when I wake, the answers come to me because I let go of all resistance and allowed my subconscious/gut do the talking. She's never wrong.
Q: Who has been the most inspirational person in my life and at what stage?
My parents. By far. Especially my father. We have a very close bond, but what I appreciate so much about him is the any times he has been sideswept by factors out of his control only to get up and come back stronger, faster, and better than before. I admire him without conditions.
Q: What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours? *
A: Don't let the easy way out tempt you into doing the wrong things, especially for the sake of money. Money ebbs and flows. if you understand this, you will not fear being without ut. Hey! You've been broke before and you didn't die, right? Stick to your values, focus on your why, and the cash will show up. I promise!
Q: What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?
A: I have been self financed since I began because I always knew what I was building and didn't want anyone to have any part of it. So to help me cope in those moments where I didn't see a way out, I relied heavily on family and resources like Facebook Groups where I could ask questions and get a lot of insight quickly from people facing similar challenges.
Q: What are your top self care routines?
A: Sleep. Don't skimp on sleep! and Let it go! Mental Health is as important as physical health. and Don't sit for too long.
Q: What is the most challenging part about what you do?
A: hahahah... better question is what isn't. Not a single thing I do is easy. It is all simple, but not easy. By far the hardest thing I have done and continue to do is work with my artisans over seas to help elevate them as suppliers to meet the demand for their products I create in the US. Aside from the communication barriers both language and lack of internet, the hardest thing about working with them is creating structure within their business plan that does not unintentionally seek to "Westernize" their ways. The culture struggle is a big one and it is like learning a new language every day.
Q: What did you not know you didn't know about entrepreneurship? A: I didn't know that I would work the hardest and be the last one to get paid! I joke all the time that my employees make more money than me. As a small business, sometimes there is not enough to pay myself. that's ok. You're building an asset. Take care of your people always and they will take care of you. Somehow... weirdly enough, since I adopted that belief, money somehow, always shows up just in time!
"Focus on people and the money will follow. Capitalism teaches us that we must buy low and sell high. it gears to follow the "market value" of things and people. However, that "market value" doesn't take into account the human value of a person and that the best, most productive thing we can do as a society is ensure that those who have voices, money, power, and ability, use it to uplift those who don't. I understand that what our artisan partners need more than aid is trade. And they need a partner who will do the right thing and invest in them the right way. I need a supplier that can produce the best for my business in a fair way so I can sleep at night. This is how we both win." - Lorena Miranda Bendeck