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Meet Francesca Giovacchini of LÙNIKA Designs in Culver City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Francesca Giovacchini.

Francesca, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am daughter of two Italian immigrant parents, who both in their own unique way have shaped me into the person I am today. Growing up I was constantly influenced by my father’s work ethic and my mother’s creative abilities. They both taught me the importance of being both business and creative minded. Ever since I was a young girl all I ever dreamed of being was a fashion designer. So after high school, I decided to major in business, mainly because I knew it would make my father proud. However, after three years I remember so vividly waking up one morning and telling my parents that I wanted to study design in London. So that summer I dropped out of school and enrolled in an accelerated fashion design course at Central Saint Martins, which still to this day was the best decision I ever made for myself. For the first time in my life I felt like I was finally doing what I was put on this earth to do. I discovered myself through my art. After a few months abroad, I decided to pursue a degree at FIDM in San Francisco. Fast forward three years, after graduating I landed my first design job in Los Angeles for a major women’s wear company as an assistant knitwear designer; however after a year with the company everything changed.

I was hit head on by a drunk driver while living here in LA. The accident left me partially blind in one of my eyes. The distortion in my vision impaired me for several months. Then after being on medical leave, I received a call that I was being laid off from my job. I was forced to move back home with my parents in the Bay Area. My dream of working in the fashion industry felt like it was being taken from me, but what I now know is that the universe had different plans for me. I was 26 years old at the time.

After several months of adjusting to my “new” norm, my mother, the incredibly selfless, loving human that she is, cleared open a spot in her garage, made a makeshift studio, purchased some pearls and gold and insisted I begin creating again. So I did. Instead of sewing clothes, I began hand making earrings. That was the day LÙNIKA was born. After spending hours every day for three months creating earrings I launched my company, and I began selling custom earrings on Instagram. The amount of support and love I received was incredibly overwhelming. I opened an Etsy shop shortly after, I booked markets and pop-ups almost every month and truly haven’t looked back since.

LÙNIKA Designs evolved from a place of physical and emotional healing. I have been designing jewelry for three years now, and although my journey has been filled with many ups and downs I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I started this journey for me, but what I have realized is that being able to create pieces for women to help them feel worthy, beautiful and strong has become my purpose.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
As an artist or creative, when you put your work out there for the world to experience, you are essentially allowing strangers indirect access into your life. Now, for someone like me who is a bit more of an introvert, I struggled with the idea of putting myself out there. One of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome was letting go of the deeply entrenched narratives I was telling myself that perception is reality. That my creative vision was only considered worthy if accepted or approved by others, particularly those closest to me.

So every day I have to remind myself to be consistent, patient and compassionate with not only myself, but with the process. In doing so, I learned to silence all the negativity and doubt that was keeping me from moving forward. Don’t get me wrong, every day is still an uphill battle, and I know that I don’t have all the answers, but that’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur. It may sound strange, but I believe that if you are struggling, you are doing something right because if you work smart and hard enough you will always find a way to turn the struggles into valuable lessons.

Please tell us about LÙNIKA Designs.
LÙNIKA, in Italian translates to “the only one,” which is an ode to the eclectic yet feminine energy of the women whose unique stories inspire the world we live in. It is a reminder that there is only one you and that is your power. Highly influenced by our Italian culture, my mother and I design handmade jewelry and accessories, which as of recently are now going to be made in both Italy and in Los Angeles. We tend to draw our inspiration from differences in our generational perspectives, and truly pride ourselves in creating high-quality designs that feel both modern yet timeless.

LÙNIKA was created genuinely from a place of pure love. We started creating earrings in a garage with no expectations of where the brand would be in three years, yet here we are. It has been such an amazing journey so far. We are exploring new opportunities as we speak, which I can’t wait to share more about very soon. So if there is one thing I am most proud of, is not only being able to witness LÙNIKA evolve with my mother right by my side, but also seeing the community of women whose continuous love and support in making this dream a reality, become part of our family.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
As cliché as it may sound, nothing. If I were to start all over or do things differently, I don’t know if I would be the same person I am today. Whether that is a good or bad thing, I will never know, but what I do believe is that everything I have been through, both professionally and personally has molded me to become the woman, artist, and entrepreneur I am today.

I choose to focus my energy on moving forward, taking each lesson as an opportunity to grow. We often find ourselves disappointed in the presence of reality if we choose to live a life of “what ifs,” or “should have been.” Through my experience, I find that the healthiest of relationships, whether that be with yourself, your community, or your craft begins with acceptance of self and gratitude for life.

I became my journey, and until I reach the end, I will simply keep going and becoming.

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Image Credit:

Rona Cohen, Elizabeth Bonis

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