Today we’d like to introduce you to Desireé LeSassier.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Desireé. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My journey has been one of roadblocks, speed bumps, hurdles and closed doors. In hindsight, some of those times, I was in my own way. All of those negatives worked together to develop a beautiful picture. I was able to see what I was made of- hustle, fight, passion, faith, grace, love, ambition, drive, humor, spiritual, style, adventure, emotions, attitude, sexy, strength, street, courage, motivation, confidence, survival, growth and inspiration- all of the which, this brand reflects.
I created this brand because I love to create beauty out of both tangible things and situations. I’ve been whole and I’ve been broken. My life got real when I got pregnant at 16…then again at 20. I celebrated turning the big 21, with a one month old in my arms and an almost four years old on my hip. The struggle pushed me to pave my own way- make the clothes I couldn’t afford to buy, make my own jewelry, do my own hair, make birthday gifts and Christmas presents. In essence, I’ve always had a passion to create but I also had two mouths to feed. I focused on my studies, graduating both High School and College, on time, determined not to be set back because I became a mother, twice. After receiving my BA from Loyola Marymount University, I started my career in the corporate space- Finance then Entertainment. My only goal was to grow my career in Corporate America in order to provide a beautiful and stable life for myself and my two sons, Desmon and Dylan. And I did!
I’ve been Blessed with the ability to own a home, travel and expose my kids to a life I only dreamed was possible. I’ve had countless opportunities, working for Fox Entertainment, Magic Johnson Enterprises, the Los Angeles Dodgers and most recently, the Los Angeles Lakers. Behind my corporate career growth was a burning flame to pursue my passion and tap into my creativity. I started a home decor business that failed, a candle line that also failed, a production company that was dissolved and a bracelet line that I couldn’t even get off of the ground. I have succeeded and I have definitely failed. But I never quit.
It’s now Christmas 2017 and I’ve only been at my job for a few months. We had to work on Christmas Day and I was not coming to work empty handed. I also wasn’t sure what to get for my new colleagues, so I went to my craft station and made the bracelets. They absolutely loved them and the demand for my handcrafted bracelets grew. I started selling bracelets via word of mouth and was being pushed to turn it into a real business. I was hesitant because I’ve been down this road before-starting and dissolving businesses. This time was different. I was more mature, financially stable, my kids were much older and self-sufficient. I was able to see all of my failed businesses as a learning curve, apply those lessons and do this one right.
I wanted to not only start a business but create a meaningful brand that embodied my journey, creativity, beliefs, tenacity and passion. A brand that inspires and encourages you to embrace your moments, your milestones, your experiences and use that to fuel your fire. I knew what I wanted to create but had no idea what to name it. At the time, I was traveling for work, sitting in a beautiful hotel room, overlooking the city and began to reflect. I reflected on my life, on my journey and how far I had come from being the Teen Mom with all odds against me. I thought, how did I get to this point in life? God. I got here because of God, because of His Love and Mercy.
Launched December 2018, Love and Mercy is a lifestyle brand currently producing handcrafted jewelry and everyday streetwear. I took a leap of Faith and here I am soaring.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Please introduce me to an entrepreneur that has had a smooth ride, I have a ton of questions!
Everyday brings a new challenge and you realize no matter how much you’ve mastered, there is still so much to learn. I spent the first few months winging it.
I made the decision to go live with Love and Mercy and three weeks later, I was hosting my Launch Party Pop Up. I was working a full-time job and would work during the day and make jewelry at night. I opened a bank account, made marketing materials on VistaPrint, ordered a few logo jewelry bags, logo tee’s and prayed. I was terrified and felt so unprepared. I had no website, a new social media account and no following.
After the launch, Love and Mercy was legit and I had a lot of work to do. I created a website on Shopify, had a photoshoot to capture my products and leveraged my relationships get my social following up. As an entrepreneur, I had to be the CEO, CMO, CFO, Creative Director, Photographer, Editor and Manufacturer because I was hand making all of the jewelry. I had to source my materials, order supplies and packaging. I was packing orders, shipping them and managing customer service. All the while, working a full-time job.
I quickly learned that you need a team. The saying, “It takes a Village” not only applies to raising kids. Speaking of kids, mine became my team. I taught them the business and continue to teach them as I learn.
Love and Mercy – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Love and Mercy is a lifestyle brand for Women and Men currently producing handcrafted jewelry and everyday streetwear. Our 2nd collection releasing in December will introduce our newly designed fashion jewelry made of sterling silver, 10k and 14k gold. We have grown so much in a short period of time, growing our product line in both jewelry and clothing to reach all demographics and walks of life.
Love and Mercy is a brand that inspires and encourages you to embrace your moments, your milestones, your experiences and use that to fuel your fire, whatever that may be. We design unique jewelry and operate through our simple mission statement: Prayer and Passion, Goodness and Grace, Hustle and Faith. That alone created the brand and will continue to be the driving force behind its growth.
Love and Mercy creates jewelry and products that are reflective of the ever growing phases of life, moods, emotions and styles. Whether its sexy, street or spiritual, every piece from our collection, should make you feel something.
Our products are only available on our online store. We host Pop-Ups throughout the city of LA every three months.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is often defined by monetary status, title or position. I believe success is a series of mental, physical, emotional and spiritual victories. I define success as being resilient. I believe it is important to celebrate the small victories as you work towards achieving a larger goal. Every step matters. I may not always get the outcome I worked and prayed for but, a step forward is still a step closer to where I want to be.
As and entrepreneur, and in general, it’s easy to get discouraged, want to quit and stay in your comfort zone. It takes a lot of courage, risk and sacrifice to go after your hearts desire, to fight through your circumstances and to not let society define you. Life will knock you down, success is finding a way to get back up over and over again.
- Product prices range from $25-$145
- Logo Tees are $24
- Jewelry ranges from $60-$145
- Website: www.ForLoveAndMercy.com
- Email: Info@ForLoveAndMercy.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loveandmercyjewelry/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forloveandmercy/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/forloveandmercy
B. Aylssa Trofort, Ty Nowell