We had the good fortune of connecting with Genevieve Andre de la Porte and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Genevieve, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I live by the saying “You gotta risk it to get the biscuit” and that nothing in the world worth having ever comes easy.
Some take risks because we have nothing to lose. Some take risks because we have everything to lose. Either way, we take risks because of something we strive to gain.
When I reflect on my life, I need to know whether I am living in someone else’s vision or if I am consistently making difficult choices to fulfill my unique desires. To be original and true to ourselves, I believe we must dive outside our comfort zones and dare to remain dedicated to our visions. In each life defining choice I have asked myself, am I resisting this decision because I am comfortable? If the answer is “yes” and makes me feel somewhat dizzy, I take the risk. It is human nature to want to stay in comfortable situations out of fear. But my question is always, what do I have to gain? I choose to take uncomfortable risks because it is through failure, problem-solving and perseverance that I find daily growth, enjoyment and inner confidence.
Choosing to move across the world alone to a place where I knew no one was both as liberating and frightening as it sounds. It was a risk with highs and lows. A path that would test my perseverance and dedication. I worked towards the career I had dreamt of. I found love that taught me zest for life. I experienced moments of beauty in the natural world that moved and changed me. I discovered the delicate intricacies of a culture that forever will be ingrained in the way I move through the world. Risk isn’t always a means to an end. The biscuit is the never-ending experience of growing. And that’s worth saying an uncomfortable “yes” to.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Zonarch is a consumer goods company that is reinventing the holiday experience from the inside out – from the way we approach leisure time to feeling and looking our best while doing so. We create luxury swimwear that caters to a wide variety of body types and sizes while offering premium style, fit, longevity, functionality and sustainably focused design, all at 50% lower prices than industry competitors.
Zonarch styles range from contemporary holiday essentials to unique pieces that encourage you to express your style in a fresh, timeless way with the intention that they will have a place in your suitcase for years to come.
We launched the brand in December 2020 after spending 4 years to bring the vision to life. I was working full-time at Sambazon as a Digital Marketer which is why it took this much time of working on weeknights and weekends to get to a place where I was able to go all-in. Once I made the leap, it took less than a year to get the line developed but March 2020 had other plans for us all.
I used this lockdown time to prepare other aspects of Zonarch for launch while we helped our manufacturing partners focus on PPE and staying safe at minimal capacity. We all had a collective challenge to face, but I can speak out of my own experience that those 9 months were the hardest I’ve ever worked and the most uncertainty I’ve felt. It taught me to let go of the things I cannot control and trust the process even when everything is seemingly going wrong. We are now thankfully in our first Summer season and have in-person events, new collection launches, retail partnerships and category expansion plans to focus on growth and visibility this season.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are few things better than exploring your own backyard. Though I am not a San Diego resident, I love a long 4-day weekend trip to San Diego to visit my favorite spots and discover something new every time.
No adventure south is a success in my book without good tacos and fun waves. For secret spots you’ll have to ask me in person, but Cardiff Reef is always a recipe for a good time and usually it ends in a feast from the Taco Stand. Stop by the Meditation Gardens at Swami’s for a moment of zen and the best views around. Have a night out in Encinitas with good friends and pay a visit to Juanitas Carnitas for late night burritos.
I recently learnt about Kate Sessions, a horticulturist who was responsible for introducing 143 species to Southern California and had over 50 years of experience importing seeds and plants to the area. She left her arguably greatest legacy at Balboa Park, which is one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon.
There is no better lunch date than an afternoon at George’s at the Cove thanks to the views over the city’s coastline and delicious seafood. Get the clam linguine, lobster roll and don’t skip dessert and go straight for the sticky toffee pudding.
For morning movement on land, I opt for a long hike at Torrey Pines. Yes, the whole city has the same idea so try to go as early as possible. Grab a coffee at Lofty before you go. The landscape reminds me of my most cherished memories spent in the Mediterranean. There is also no better spot in the city for a golden sunset if you’re not feeling an early morning from festivities the night before.
Any moment is the perfect moment to head to Little Italy for a really good pasta. The area has changed a lot in recent years and is fun to walk and explore. Though I’m not devoted to any particular pasta in the area, I always love the fresh dishes at Barbusa. Head downtown and check Music Box’s schedule ahead of your trip to see if there’s any good shows happening while you’re in town.
If you have the time to make it down to Chula Vista, don’t sleep on Tacos El Gordo. Try everything.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When a piece of writing, a painting or a song makes you feel that whatever experience you’re going through is not in isolation, art is no longer a luxury. In those moments, art becomes sustenance. Someone who unexpectedly inspired me and has since become a lifelong teacher is the author Pico Iyer. Pico’s words taught me to re-evaluate the meaning of the word “home” as well as the narrative of “success” that I carelessly absorbed without much questioning. As a devotee to travel and curiosity, Pico’s books fill my imagination with new ideas about a life well-lived. His books “The Art of Stillness” and “The Global Soul” get referenced on a continual basis and have played a pivotal role in my story because they set me out on a path to find more stillness and meaningful enjoyment in my life. Thank you Pico.
Photo credit courtesy of Zonarch