We had the good fortune of connecting with Yamile Meza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yamile, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Aside from one job as head designer at a brewery some years ago, it was really a goal of mine to be self employed. During university years I always planned to work for myself, the idea of the freedom of it was always appealing. For years I dedicated myself to graphic design, 24/7, but in the back of my mind, toys, dolls was something I wanted to develop.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The first doll, I made as a gift, took me three full days and was half the size of the standard model I’ve been making for the last six years.
I make things I know, love or relate to.
Living on the border between MX and the USA, affords me the advantage of two different but connected cultures, I can work on Halloween dolls or catrinas for Dia de los Muertos, dolls with Disney ears, sirenas, girls and boys with uniforms from schools from both sides are what I get to work on and I love every single request from clients.
My online following may be small -tiny really- but boy they are loyal, I get to make family members into dolls, favorite characters, presents for special occasions, children and doll lovers of all ages, it’s lovely.
What I’ve learned along the way? To be efficient, with time and resources. To trust myself, skill, ideas, I guess to just go for it.
As a small business owner you get to wear all hats, fall flat on your face and get back up to try again and work on a new idea.
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.
Oh, where to start? I would start in TJ with a ginger latte with oatmeal milk and a croissant at El dulce taller.
For a burrata, prosciutto and arugula salad at dinner time, Caccio.
Mantequilla for brunch on any day – this turns into a most delicious sushi place at 2 pm by the way- highly recommend both.
Valle de Guadalupe would be a good two days, the views at la Carrodilla Winery, any dish at Finca Altozano.
In SD, Balboa, especially the Japanese friendship garden and the Museum of Art.
Silver strand beach in Coronado, you make a day of it.
Disney stop is a must!
And once in L.A, farmers market, walking around The Grove, Bottega Louie for dinner.
Getty center, Getty Villa
Exhausting but definitely happy week I would imagine.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Working hard I owe to my parents, they both got to retire after teaching for 30 years. My mom has been gone for years and years, but her love of making things with her hands just stuck with me, her love for Mexico, my dad’s love of fine arts and fashion, I know that molded me.
People who believe in themselves and jump into developing their ideas, trust their gut, listen to their true selves and get things done, I get so inspired by them.
In this sense, I would have to mention a few women, Chef Marcela Valladolid, Foi Jurado an amazing artist and Cynthia Esparza matcha boss entrepreneur.
They may not know it, but from close or afar, either their work ethic, creativity and/or business savvy, have had a huge impact on me.