We had the good fortune of connecting with Hilary Gibbs + Georgie Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hilary Gibbs + Georgie Smith, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea for LIVDEN came up very organically. Georgie and I have been in the tile industry for a combined 15 years and realized that sustainability and availability were missing components in the industry. In the tile industry, customers typically need to go through tile showrooms or a third party to purchase your hard surfaces. We wanted to create a product that could be purchased directly through our website and was accessible to everyone. We also really loved the idea of supporting American made companies that put sustainability and ethics at the forefront of their brand, so we wanted to create a company that didn’t just “green wash,” and practiced these principles.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Our goal was to create beautiful, sustainable tile that does not come at the expense of people or the planet. So, when we decided to start our own tile company, the most important aspect for us was finding genuinely green and sustainable tile bodies to produce our designs on. We spent months researching like-minded tilers to partner with who share our commitment to social and environmental responsibility. It was also especially important to us to find products that were 100% produced in the USA. We believe that sustainable and responsible practices should be the norm in our industry, not the exception. When we started LIVDEN, we knew that we wanted to create something special – tile designs that were unique and different. We wanted to stand out among other tile manufacturers, so we really focused on producing designs that were original and 100% created in house. We believe that good design should make people smile, and that’s what we aim to do with every new collection we release.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
1. We would definitely rent beach cruisers from Rays Rentals in Mission Beach and spend the day biking around Mission Bay and the boardwalk in Mission Beach. There is no way we could cruise by the Baked Bear without stopping for a famous ice cream sandwich made from scratch. Our favorite spot to watch the sunset is at Sail Bay right on the bay.
2. We would have to hit Torrey Pines during the day to explore the famous Del Mar Beach and beautiful surrounding bluffs. After a good workout, we would treat ourselves to a delicious lunch at Goodonya 10 minutes north in Encinitas. Goodonya is our fave spot for organic and sustainably sourced food options.
3. One of our favorite best-kept secrets is grabbing drinks and appetizers at the Park Hyatt Aviara on the lagoon in Carlsbad. Why do we love it so much? There is a ton of open seating to choose from and they have fire pits that overlook the stunning Batiquitos Lagoon. There is no better place to watch the sunset than the Aviara. They offer fresh sushi and live music too! After appetizers and drinks, we would definitely walk around the gorgeous property that will make you feel like you’re at an exotic resort.
4. We love ending the night at the newly opened Camp Store right on the bluffs in Carlsbad. Head up to the takeout counter to order your dinner and drinks and pick a spot to listen to the fun live music. The Camp Store has different music every night and first-class views at a steal! This is one of our favorite spots to watch the sunset and enjoy San Diego’s natural beauty.
5. We can’t forget about one of the best kept family-run Mexican food shops, Las Cuatro Milpas in Barrio Logan. The long line is worth it for the homemade tortillas and authentic food in this unsuspecting spot that has been open since 1933.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shoutout to Melinda Earl and Greg Smith! Not only are they the owners of StoneImpressions but also our parents. We want to thank them for encouraging us to start this line and letting us know it is ok to make mistakes. If it weren’t for their support, we would have never taken the leap to start our own business. Thanks mom and dad! We love you!
Photographer: Darren Assay Photographer: Mike Radford Photography