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Meet Joanna Segoviano of Viano Decor in East Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joanna Segoviano.

Joanna Segoviano is a Business Owner with the Midas touch—everything she touches turns to gold. This young millennial businesswoman made a splash since hitting the business scene a year and half ago.

A born leader, Joanna is the original Baby Boss. Selling a cornucopia of Mexican candies like chamoy and tamarindos to other neighborhood kids was her first successful entrepreneurial endeavor. Beneath a petite stature, armed with a cute smile and sparkling eyes, offering sweet and spicy treats, was a savvy business operator with a strategic sales mind. When the local kids copied her model and started selling candies, too, Joanna was not dismayed. She saw it as an opportunity to come up with creative ways to beat the competition, to give her “clientele” something more than her competitors—how about a balloon with the candy? Who can resist a tiny girl carrying a rainbow-colored cloud of balloons bigger than her?

Passionate about her community, coupled with leadership skills, business is a natural fit for Joanna. It was during her high school years, growing up in East Los Angeles, when sparks flickered in her imagination with ways to redevelop her beloved neighborhood, to create a new perception of the area with beautification projects and community engagement that would create neighborhood pride—and that’s when she had the epiphany that still drives her today: She could make it happen by becoming the Mayor of Los Angeles. This lofty political goal has shaped Joanna into a multi-layered, high-achiever, saying, “Everything I’ve done in my life so far is with the goal of one day becoming the Mayor of L.A.”

Conquering business and the LA mayorship are just a few of the bullet points on her life’s to-do list. Envisioning herself as multi-business owner in the future, she foresees the “Viano Hotel & Casino” on the Las Vegas strip, Viano Airlines, and a hip business-casual fashion line called “V by Viano” targeting stylish career women who appreciate the latest trends.

She says, “My dream-to-reality ratio is high. I had to create a new vision board in 2013 because I reached all my goals, including getting the white Lexus with black leather seats, for the exact price I envisioned.” Accomplishments aside, her faith plays a large role in her everyday life and she is continuously thankful for all the ways God has blessed her.

Always the A-student, Joanna graduated cum laude from San Diego State University, earning degrees in psychology and Spanish. Her inquisitive and fearless nature led her to study abroad in Salamanca, Spain, conduct international research at Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla in Mexico, and to experience the empire state of mind at Columbia University when she was accepted to a prestigious research program. Her adventurous wanderlust beckoned her to an airport counter with a backpack, asking about the next flight out, and like Dorothy clicking her heels, she soon found herself eating strudel underneath the towering Alps in Innsbruck, Austria!

Whether you’re a new or seasoned realtor that needs to stage a home, Joanna and her team have the track record and the vision to make all your staging dreams come true.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. Furniture is expensive and financial burdens are often quite stressful. My home staging company specializes in staging/decorating homes under 2,000 square feet within a 20 mile radius of East Los Angeles. One of our biggest challenges is that we don’t have the capital or financial resources to stage larger homes. When you are a start-up business, it is difficult to obtain any type of financing. I was rejected by seven different banks for a small business loan despite that I have excellent credit and good real estate income/cash flow. Therefore, I have used my real estate income, savings and credit cards to finance my own business.

Another challenge was storage space. It was difficult to obtain a warehouse the 1st year in business so we stored our large inventory in 5 different storage units and in my parent’s two car-garage. Our inventory would often get damaged, dirty and scratched in my parent’s garage. In fact, one time my neighbor’s cat gave birth to a kitten in one of our dining chairs. Lastly, crawling and climbing over furniture in crowded storage units was difficult as well because sometimes we needed a particular piece of furniture for a project but it was all the way in the back of the storage or underneath a pile of things so we had to take everything out, grab that one item, and then put everything back. It was so hard on my team but we made it happen – even in the scorching hot summers with no AC in the storage units or when the elevators were down and we had to use the stairs.

Lastly, there aren’t too many successful Latina business owners in the Home Staging industry therefore, I have no mentors in this field. I am learning as much as I can through hands-on experience, books, Youtube, and Pinterest.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Viano Decor story. Tell us more about the business.
Viano Decor is Los Angeles fastest growing home staging company – staging 92 homes in 2018, our first full year in business and 100 homes and counting in 2019. We specialize in staging vacant homes, under 2,000 square feet and within a 25 mile radius of East Los Angeles. An ideal referral for us is a Realtor, Investor or homeowner selling a vacant home. Our favorite decor styles are Traditional, Modern, Spanish and Bohemian.

What sets us apart are the following four reasons:

1. Team vs. Individual: Viano Decor is managed by dedicated team of individuals committed to excellence. We have God as our CEO, our Senior Stager – Crystal Esparza, who has experience in staging 200+ homes, our Brand Manager, Ric Jara with Identity LA, our Social Media Marketing Director – Jose Reyes, our Client Relations Manager, Stephanie Segoviano and our movers/support team. This is not a one-man show where one person plays various roles. This is a business that operates like any other well-established business.

2. Own vs. Rent: Viano Decor owns 100% of the inventory. Therefore, there is flexibility with rental periods, we can stage a homes within 48 hours, and buyers can purchase the furniture we use for staging.

3. Marketing: We have invested over $30,000 in branding and marketing. Twenty five percent of our business comes from Instagram. We are an extension of marketing for Realtors and they can take our marketing materials with them to listing presentations. All of our marketing materials carry great content are of great quality. We have a great website, logo, catalog, presentation folders, letterheads, Thank you cards and we post and engage with followers on social media consistently.

4. Systems: Viano Decor is systematic. We have a database and stay in touch with past and prospective clients on a weekly basis by providing a staging tip of the week. We own a 16-foot commercial truck, lease a 1,500 square feet industrial warehouse and track and manage all inventory in an orderly manner. Clients can also pay online for convenience.

To inspire others to reach their goals by leading from the front and sharing the wisdom attained along the way which is bolstered by faith in GOD.

To serve as a political and business leader in the community, with the goal of becoming Mayor of Los Angeles while creating multiple multi-million dollar businesses in the process.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans for Viano Decor are to become America’s most recognized Home Staging Company and to expand in every major city in the United States of America.

In general, my future plans are to conquer the LA Mayorship in 2032, establish the Viano Hotel & Casino on Las Vegas strip, Viano Airlines and V by Viano.

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Image Credit:
Ezequiel Barrera

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