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Meet Jeremy Wang and Cherie Zuo of LA MENO in Irvine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jeremy Wang and Cherie Zuo.

Jeremy and Cherie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We started our jewelry business back in 2014 with no employees. The entire livelihood of the company was up to us. The only thing we had at that time was passion and dreams. It was a hard beginning. We spent hundreds of hours to build our own website and at the same time, open our Etsy account. Even though we’ve put so many efforts in the beginning, we got nothing back. No sales, no incomes and no returns. However, giving up was never an option in our life. We found another way to sell our jewelries which was through pop-up show. Jeremy was the event coordinator and sales while Cherie was the product development and marketing. We still remembered being so nervous at our first show and having thoughts like: Can we sell just one piece of jewelry today? What if no one tries? What if no one is interested?…Luckily, our first show was a big surprise. We made more than $1,500 over three days which was our first income since we started LA MENO.

Eight months later, we met our best-ever co-worker Abby, who believed us and wanted to join us to build a better LA MENO. Three of us kept improving, kept being consistent with taking actions, and kept taking the next step after the next…LA MENO was growing stronger and stronger. Now we opened our first store in Orange County where we originated started. We run four pop-up shows every week at different locations and sometimes even at different cities or states. We are a team of 8 people with the same goal and dream which is to make LA MENO better and stronger.

With the six-year working and improving, we know the only thing that matters is that we keep going and we are crazy enough to think our vision is even possible. Every step we go is a big accomplishment at the time. We are still growing and improving. We moved into new and bigger office and expand our fulfillment capabilities. The lesson that we learned in this past six years is to keep going, be strong and be patient. And you’ll get what you want and pursue.

Has it been a smooth road?
It was never a smooth road. We have faced many struggles, obstacles and challenges in this way. But I have to say, the most challenging thing for us is how to balance between career and family. Our first daughter was born in 2017 which was also a very important year for LA MENO. We opened our two physical locations in Irvine Spectrum Center and Newport Fashion Island. We worked for more than 10 hours per day to prepare our inventories, assigning shifts, and updating our online store. Everything changed after my first daughter was born. We were new parents. We had zero experience in raising a newborn. And we don’t have extra money to find a nanny to help us. So balancing between work and family has been a big challenge for us. But like I said, giving up is never an option for us. Our passion kept us energetic in both family and work. Just like our healing jewelries, we are surrounded by positive energies as well. Those energies gave us power and made us moving forward everyday. LA MENO sales tripled in 2017 which was a big surprise and return for all of our hardworking.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
LA MENO is a handcrafted jewelry company located in Orange County. The company was firstly established in LA. And MENO in Italian means little and small. Just like our jewelries, they are very dainty and delicate, made to fit people’s daily life. We create jewelry for healings and wellbeing. The energies that each piece have are tremendous. As the owner, we have passion for artisan-made crafts and healing energies from our mother nature. That’s why most of our jewelries are made with real precious or semi-precious gemstones. Our work is strongly influenced and characterized by our belief. We believe handmade goods have soulful quality that can not be replaced or replicated in any other way. Just like our jewelries, the styles are unique, the energies are powerful, and the crafts are expressive. I think what sets us apart from others is that we not only a jewelry brand but also a good storyteller. At LA MENO, our customers will be able to pick and choose the energies they need, experience the changes that energies bring to them and ultimately help them to live and think positively.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I would say LA is the best place to startup. LA has beautiful weather, sunny days all year around which gives people a positive mood and thinking. People in LA are friendly, warm and love to support small businesses. Without them, we could not be who we are today. Also, LA is a city combining modern, traditional and vintage styles. No matter what kind of jewelry/product you have, you will find your place to sell in LA. Besides, LA is an immigrant city which has people come from worldwide. So no matter what culture background you have, you’ll find your sense of belongings here in LA and this feeling will help you in your process of creation and production.

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All images belong to LA MENO.

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