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Conversations with Dynelly del Valle

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dynelly del Valle.

Hi Dynelly, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Born in Miami, Florida and Puerto Rican by blood, I’ve always been surrounded by tropical elements – warm waters, lush rainforests, and green landscapes. Being in nature has always been my happy place.

Not being able to leave the ocean, I moved west to sunny California in 2002 where I had a successful career in fashion merchandising and buying. After many years, I pivoted from using my skills as a merchandiser to spatial design where I created lush workplaces that spawned creativity. This included using LOTS and LOTS of plants.

My passion for working with plants gave way to the idea of PIPPI + LOLA, a place where color, whimsy, and designer spaces meld with happy plant parents.

I wanted to create a feeling, not just a plant store. A happy place. A safe place.

I felt the calling to share my passion with my community. It has always been the dream to build spaces that are an experience and bring peace and happiness to those around me.

Losing my job during pandemic was the catalyst for me to make my idea into a reality. With the little I had in savings, I took the leap and popped up overnight with just a few plants and some borrowed furniture displays, crossing my fingers that people would want to stop by. I couldn’t even afford a sign at the time.

I had no idea that it would become so much bigger than me. I was completely embraced by the community and regularly refer to them by name. So many come and share their lives and stories through deep conversations.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There’s so many variables when opening a new business. Managing time, family, and a new business all while going to school full time has been a struggle. I still have very close family in Florida that I need to see and care for. I’ve definitely felt overwhelmed at times and felt like I had to sacrifice one for another but showing up for each one every day is what fulfills my life as well, so quitting is not an option.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I love a whimsical moment! Creating spaces that invoke emotions is what makes me happiest. I love to live in “wow” and merchandising and designing spaces that are eye candy. I love to encourage women and POC artists and make it a point to curate the studio with pieces that are made with love and passion. I feel that it’s felt when you walk in. I’m proud to stand for something I believe in.

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Opening the studio was a HUGE risk for me. I used my savings and had no guarantee that it would work. I had no job and suddenly had a multi-year lease on a space and hardly any start-up funds to purchase inventory to fill that space. It seemed like an extremely daunting endeavor, but one that I could not pass up. My heart and mind were set and all in, and I believed in what I could build with the love and passion. There was no going back to the 9-5 life I was living before the pandemic. I had to redefine myself and what I was living for.

Taking risks is a vulnerable act. It’s scary, but I believe it enables and encourages innovation. Even a failed risk will lead to growth and teach lessons. It can shape how you do things in the future and what you will do differently. I believe taking risks makes you more resilient and confident.

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Image Credits:

Danielle Nicole Armstrong (all photos)

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