Today we’d like to introduce you to Ava and Laura Lisbona.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Ava and Laura. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Laura: Basically, Ava and I have been besties since before we can remember life. We’ve always loved to listen to music together.
Ava: We started DJing about ten years ago. To learn, we’d go in between waitressing shifts to our friends’ nightclub (Monarch) in San Francisco, during the day when it was closed, so we could practice mixing records in the basement.
Laura: Flash forward, we’ve ended up getting to play some of the biggest festivals in the world, and we’re still in disbelief that we’ve been able to have a joint profession centered around one of our favorite childhood activities.
Ava: And then someone ate a bat and now here we are.
Laura: Who knows what the future of music will look like, but regardless of outcome, the fact that we’ve gotten to do this together for so long is amazing and is also reassuring that it’s possible to have an unconventional profession built on passion.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Laura: In my experience, a “smooth road” is like Pegasus or a relaxing Metallica song, in that it doesn’t exist. Knowing that hiccups and roadblocks are inevitable, the challenge has been to reframe difficulty as an opportunity for learning and growth – sounds so cheesy and self-help-y, but seriously, that sh*t works and it all starts in the mind.
Ava: Struggles… working on a team, it’s impossible to always be on the same page, especially as women who–let’s face it–have to deal with hormonal shifts that aren’t always the easiest on fusion and productivity.
Laura: True. My advice to women starting their journey; never stop getting to know yourself, be kind, and do you. Figure out the things that make your face light up when you talk about them, and explore them.
Please tell us more about your work. What do you guys do? What do you specialize in? What sets you apart from competition?
Ava: We specialize in making people dance.
Laura: LOL, basically.
Ava: What sets us apart? We’re sisters, and damnit, people like that.
Laura: Yeah, people freak out about how connected we are finishing each others’ sandwiches and all that. I’m really proud of how we evolved in DJing and music production; we’ve really worked our tails off. More recently, we started tying in more philanthropic purposes with what we do, organizing activities like beach cleanups and incorporating more messages of eco-consciousness into our social media. That’s definitely set us apart and has also brought a whole new layer of purpose to what we do. I’m pretty proud of that.
Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
Ava: Keep in mind that a mentor doesn’t need to necessarily work in the same field as you. I’ve found mentors in all areas of work and life.
Laura: When it comes to finding mentorship (and networking in general)… Ask questions. Listen. Reflect. Be yourself because otherwise, you’re just going to attract a bunch of people and stuff you really don’t want anyway. Don’t use a bunch of industry jargon when you talk; I’ve found that people at the top appreciate and gravitate toward authentic speech. In conversation, I have both reinforced and challenged the opinions of powerful people who, because of their status, probably don’t get challenged by others too much. Having people constantly kiss your a** and blindly agree with you gets boring (I’m told), and having some spunk, wit, and graceful directness has often certainly set me apart.
- Instagram: @lisbonasisters
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Glen Matheny @glenmatheny
Rony Alwin @ronyalwin