VIRGINIA ARRISUENO // DENADA
DeNada is an emerging accessories line, specializing in handmade knits for women and men. DeNada is currently sold at select retailers throughout the U.S. and around the world. DeNada is the vision of its founder, Virginia Blanca Arrisueño, who sought to blend contemporary styles with ethnic elements to offer stylish yet high-quality merchandise. Inspired by the culture and the traditions of her Peruvian heritage, Virginia continually works alongside skilled artisans in Perú to create DeNada’s growing collection.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Typically, I am awake by 6am. My day normally starts with me getting my son ready for pre-school. Breakfast, change of clothes, and out the door. If the weather is appropriate, I’ll run and take my son to school with him seated comfortably in his jogging stroller. Though busy, I love to workout and always try to get a quick workout in sometime during the day. To pre-school and back at home, I then get ready to start my day at my workspace.
Because I work with various projects such as DeNada, the DC MEET Market, and Topaz + Arrow, my schedule varies each day. Morning hours are dedicated to answering emails before my team arrives at the office. Once they arrive, we have our morning meeting where all tasks for the day are thoroughly discussed. Once tasks are delegated, I’m either at my desk working until late into the day, out of the office running errands, or off to meetings.
Once my son returns from pre-school, my evenings are spent with my family. We’ll have dinner together, followed by my son’s bath time, facetime with my parents, reading a few books, possibly followed by a family movie, then time to get my son ready for bed. If I still have loads of work to complete, I’ll take advantage of the night hours and do some extra work. If not, my husband and I will end the night with a glass of wine and an entertaining show on Apple TV.
What type of calendar do you keep?
I use iCloud calendar on all my devices. With managing several projects, iCloud helps me keep track of my to-dos, events, and client meetings in a very organized manner and makes it accessible where ever I am at.
How do you organize and tackle your to-do list?
Owning and managing several projects can create a pretty hefty to-do list, which can be overwhelming at many times. To organize my to-dos, I use Google Docs daily. We use them to create weekly lists for our team, and it is shared so that we are on the same page. This helps me know exactly what is going in the office, and what tasks are getting completed and which ones are not.
How do you attack your never-ending emails? Do you have a certain strategy you use?
The first task on my to-dos in the mornings is to answer emails. Hence, I try to arrive in my office prior to my team so that I can focus and answer all my emails in a timely fashion. If by the end of the day, I receive more emails, then I’ll answer them once my son goes to sleep at night so that I am not overwhelmed with emails the following morning.
Do you have any rituals or routines you do?
Every morning when I arrive in the office, I like to straighten up my desk and the showroom racks, light some incense, and play some music. I like to have my office clean and organized before I start working, and before my team arrives. Having clutter is distracting, and it’s very hard for me to work and concentrate in a messy environment.
How do you GSD at home?
Because my husband and I own our own businesses, it is very important that we work together as a team to GSD in our careers and at home. With our son, two large dogs, and our home, we have a lot of family responsibilities and chores to do around our home, in addition to running our own businesses.
To GSD at home, we work together by assigning tasks and taking turns on everyday chores such as, feeding our dogs, dropping off our son at pre-school, cooking dinner, giving our son a bath, etc. We call them ‘shifts,’ and though it sounds slightly militant, working together as team is the only way that both of us can GSD.
There are times when one of us can’t complete a task, for example if my husband has to paint a mural or if I have to an important meeting or an event to go to, we definitely help each other out. We’re a team, and we support and love each other.
Nuggets of advice you’ve been given that have stuck?
When I was younger, my father once told me that in whatever you choose to do in life, make sure that you love what you do. To be successful will require a lot of time and sacrifice. You’ll have to wake up incredibly early and work until very late, but as long as you love what you do then that work will not seem like work, but something that you love and enjoy to do everyday.
Now that I own my business and have a family, I still keep my father’s words close to my heart. In my life now, my biggest challenge is trying to maintain a balance with work and home. How I spend my hours during the day and night is very important to me.
When my son is at pre-school or asleep, it’s crunch time and I have to make sure that I am as productive as possible. In the office, it is all about being efficient and productive to GSD. When I am at home with my family, it’s all about my husband and my son. Family is hugely important to me, and is the reason why I work as hard as I do.
VIRGINIA’S APPS / WEBSITES / GADGETS / TECH / PROGRAMS
Google Drive — Sharing documents and keeping all of my files in one place.
iCloud — My entire agenda. I can’t live without it.
Dropbox — To store and share photos and catalogs.
Nike Training — Great for workouts to do anywhere.
Pandora — Music is always a must in our workspace.
Zara — Shopping!
iPad & iPhone
Photos by Emma McAlary