An Interview With Fotis Georgiadis

Don’t be afraid to ask: Most people are willing to help out or give you advice along the way. Wether it’s a manufacturer or someone else in your same field, almost everyone wants to help.

As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Suveria Mota.

Dominican Republic born, New York City raised, Suveria Mota launched SUVERIA in 2019. The first 100% vegan luxury lifestyle brand. As a former Hollywood actress in her post college years, her passion for the limelight, arts and fashion all came together in synergy when conceptualizing her brand.

A true trailblazer making strides with a vegan luxury brand, merging elegant designs with luxurious craftsmanship and tastefully timeless designs. Perfectly suited for today’s generation of modern compassionate fashionables. SUVERIA proves that vegan fashion can co-exist in the luxury market.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Sure! Thank you for having me. I was born the Dominican Republic. My parents migrated with my sister and I to NYC when I was four years old. I lived In New York City until I graduated from college. Since a young age I had always wanted to be in Hollywood or in show business. After graduating college, I decided to move to Los Angeles and pursue acting. While in L.A, I had a few acting parts and then a big lead in a made for tv movie and that was great. However, after some time, I was feeling like acting wasn’t my passion anymore and decided to step back and take a break.

In the summer of 2015, I watched a documentary on cetaceans in captivity and it immediately changed the way that I viewed sea-quariums and parks that have animals performing acts for entertainment. I never went to them because I always felt uneasy, and then the documentary solidified my instincts.

After watching the documentary I became interested in animal rights and veganism. Which then led me to realize that my luxury items were all non vegan. Cleaning out my closet was the catalyst for how it all started.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

When I started the brand in 2015 and launched in 2019, luxury in the vegan market wasn’t popular. Most people saw vegans or anyone interested in cruelty free products as a population that wasn’t included in the luxury conversation. I launched SUVERIA as a truly vegan luxury lifestyle brand. There were other brands that offered luxury vegan products but still offered other items with wool or silk, or vegan shoe brands but then didn’t have the luxury packaging or branding which is also part of the luxury experience in retail.

Manufacturers for example didn’t understand when I’d say, that I wanted to offer my customers packaging and the level of craftsmanship on par with their other luxury accounts.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I’ll call this a funny mistake even if it’s not a “thing” per se. When I started I didn’t realize how important it is to include your followers in the process of creating a brand or product. That the buildup can also help you to see if anything needs to be changed before production. I’ve learned now to showcase any new products to receive feedback and also ask questions. It’s best to ask your customer base if possible at every stage. Tease to see how it will be received.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

From a far I look at other founders in the fashion industry as inspiration. Tom Ford for example is a living legend whom I admire. He started in the industry as a model and actor. I didn’t attend fashion school and so it’s easy to feel like one doesn’t belong if you don’t have the “credentials”. Knowing that Tom Ford was in the same field as myself before making his way into fashion is very encouraging and exciting.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Yes, disruption is good. Change is good. Only when we disrupt something is when we realize that the old way wasn’t right or working correctly. So many times because of a disruption we find better ways to do the same thing and better. Like many businesses having to pivot during the pandemic only to find better practices for everyone involved.

There’s also no harm in trying right? Let’s try this new disruptive way, and see how it goes, and if it fails, then there’s learning in that too.

In my field, deciding to use fabrics and textiles that don’t come from an animal, has contributed to manufactures finding new technologies and ways to make cruelty free materials. The disruption has gone as far as the most luxurious fashion houses who have been doing it their old way, to now they’re coming out with vegan sustainable offerings created in house.

Can you share five of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

  1. It’s not who you know, but who knows you. This one comes from my acting and modeling days. It’s imperative to meet people and place yourself in rooms where you can meet friends or good acquaintances in your field.
  2. Dress for success: Dress for the life you imagine and dress
  3. Perfectionism doesn’t exist: I’m a perfectionist at fault. I’ve learned that it is ok to let the idea that something has to be perfect all the time. I’ve delayed launching products until they were “perfect” only to have to tweek it down the road.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask: Most people are willing to help out or give you advice along the way. Wether it’s a manufacturer or someone else in your same field, almost everyone wants to help.
  5. Sample, sample!: I received one sample box for our new shoe packaging and loved it. From just glancing at it, the dimensions were perfect and so I ordered many. Once I had orders and needed to ship, we realized that they were slightly too big for our mailing boxes! So we had to scramble and order them really fast which delayed our customers shipping.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

No, not done. My goal is to build a truly vegan luxury lifestyle brand. We’d like to offer homewares, jewelry, skincare. All with luxury in mind.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

Yes, there are a few. Style Your Mind podcast by Cara Alwill, Overnight Success book and podcast by Maria Hatzistefanis and the book, The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzero.

I’ve also watched countless of motivational talks on YouTube on entrepreneurship and veganism. I think that the idea is to find one online whenever you need a quick surge of motivation.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Audaces fortuna iuvat which losely translates to fortune favors the bold (brave). I’m a perfectionist and while that may be great for many things, it’s also a clutch. I tend to overthink and don’t take brave decisions when I should. I constantly remind myself of my younger days when I packed my bags and moved cross country without knowing anyone to follow my dreams.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That we should all find out where leather, wool, silk, fur and feathers really comes from. The vast majority would be truly schooled and surprised. I think that education in that matter will greatly bring a lot of good.

My brand is also actively working to help with cetaceans in captivity and trying to change how people view shows with whales and dolphins. I’d love for a world were all animals are respected. Not just pets. Awareness of what cetaceans go through would be a great movement.

How can our readers follow you online?

They can visit the site and click on their favorite social media platform.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

Meet The Disruptors: Suveria Mota Of SUVERIA On The Five Things You Need To Shake Up Your Industry was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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