We had the good fortune of connecting with Bridgette Larcada and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bridgette, how does your business help the community or world?
I’ve always had a passion for the creative. After graduating from design school + then working in the industry for some time, I loved being creative in different aspects the specific jobs entailed, but I never felt fully fulfilled. THE PULL was born out of a need to feel like what I was doing had a greater purpose outside of a little retail therapy for my customer or simply a creative outlet for myself. THE PULL enabled me to reach back to my roots – being born and raised in South Africa, I was constantly looking for a way to stay connected + give back. We started sourcing home goods + accessories + wearables only from Africa. The creative behind the products had to be an artisan or an independent designer. All our pieces are ethically made + for the most part by hand. With time, we have started sourcing from other countries too (Australia, Indonesia, Mexico + England) but we keep with the idea of curating pieces made by true artisans or independent designers. By staying true to real cultivated creativity, I am able to tell customers how by purchasing from THE PULL they are in turn supporting the artisans + creative independents we source from. It’s a win-win. I am able to give back to creatives I may never have come across and support their talents, while continuing to work in an area I am passionate about. Not to mention, anyone purchasing from THE PULL can feel good to know their newly acquired pieces have been thoughtfully curated for a greater good!
What should our readers know about your business?
THE PULL grew slowly and really started out merely as a passion project. At the time of its conception I had just had my first baby and needed the creative outlet. An out-the-gate challenge was to build a website as I knew a physical store was not in the cards for me. I am so grateful for the Shopify platform and all it has to offer. It enabled me to create my store from home, while caring for my babe. I also love that I was able to stay home + still reach creatives back in South Africa while beginning to curate for the site. Years later, I am able to curate from around the globe thanks to technology, all while being home (hello, COVID19). The saying is so true; if there’s a will there’s way! I’ve found many ways to curate my vision + product on the site. Now, I feel a continuous responsibility to the creatives cultivated, to actually sell their pieces, even if they never know of THE PULL. Along the way, I’ve definitely learned to stay the course + be consistent. Not every day, week, or even month is going to be a win. BUT I keep showing up, I continue to be passionate about the pieces I curate for the store + continue to evolve. Without a doubt THE PULL is still a passion project. If not for my desire to serve a greater good, I would just be any other store stocking stuff. And that was never for me or the customer I hope to attract.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh boy, Miami really has so much for anyone from out of town to experience. I’m going to skip right over South Beach + keep things closer to home, as a mom of two little girls, I try to keep things within a 20 min drive. To start I would take visitors for a drive up Old Cutler all the way to Coconut Grove. That drive is still one of my favorites, and one of my first memories when I arrived here from South Africa at 16yrs of age. I’d say walk the Grove. Eat at Le Bouchon Du Grove + get the muscles. Also, Sapore di Mare + share all the pastas with your girlfriends. Don’t forget the wine. Shop at The Wardrobe in South Miami, the owner is so good at what she does. You’ll find an outfit for every day and/or event, but mainly it’s a vibe! If you have kids or know kids go see My Little Owly for the most beautiful pieces. After shopping in South Miami stop in at Cecile’s Cafe for coffee or lunch. Lastly, take a weekend at the Ritz on Key Biscayne + swim in the pool or lay on the beach. It’s also uber kid friendly too. But if you want some more peace + quite, have a spa day at the Biltmore, then lay at the pool – you haven’t been to Miami without a visit to this historical landmark.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is a loaded question I could write a book on. There are so many people I could shout-out who have helped me over the years + got me to the present + continue to propel me forward. Some have opened my eyes, some have opened doors, and others have held my hand along the way. Success is defined in many ways, but for me it’s an inside job, it’s about the heart. THE PULL is just a byproduct of these people + experiences. That being said I have to attribute my love for the creative + the abilities that got me through design school to my mom. She loved to tell me (+ show through her own creative ability) there are no rules when it comes to art + design. She taught me the only way to create is by staying true to you! However, I don’t think I would ever have made the leap of starting my own online store if it were not for my husband. He has so much faith in my creative abilities – it’s mind blowing – I’m still not sure how or why he knew I could make THE PULL real instead of just a distant idea I talked about often. He encouraged me to do the website totally on my own, which seemed impossible before I discovered Shopify. He encouraged me to take + style my own product photos for the site, which is now one of my favorite parts of the process. He encouraged me to invest my time and resources while he watched our daughter — and now he’ll watch BOTH our girls if I’m doing PULL work. Even though he has his own full-time job he continues to help me on the business end, by crunching the numbers. I’m so thankful for him + the “silent partner” role he’s taken on.