We had the good fortune of connecting with Diogo De Lima and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diogo, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
After a long career as a dancer and choreographer, I decided to explore my passion for design. At the time I was helping a friend to rebrand his leather jacket business, specifically to give input into the design, marketing, and overall image. I found myself really enjoying the entire process. This exposure to entrepreneurship inspired me and made me think deeply. Over time, my vision came together: I wanted to find master artisans throughout the world to create beautiful handmade objects. I wanted to collaborate with these communities to create something new while using all the traditional methods which have existed for hundreds of years. That was the starting point of it all.
I’m proud to say that part of that vision has now become a reality and I’m excited to see where else it leads.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
After I knew I wanted to start LIMA HAHN, I journeyed to Turkey with solid ideas of where I wanted to go, but only a vague sense of how I might get there – and I think in business, this can actually be a good thing – because you never know where or how an opportunity will present itself. A friend back home had told me about a specific manufacturing family known for the quality of their operations; it was my hope to meet them, though I had no idea how. I went to a clothing store and bought some swim trunks – the son of the store owner asked where I was going and I said “to the beach”. He asked if he could come and I said “For sure! Show me around!”. We got to know each other a bit and I mentioned I was hoping to make shoes. Long story short: he connected me with his Uncle who then said “let me connect you with my brother, he’s the number one in Turkey”; and, he was telling the truth! And just like that, I met the manufacturers I was seeking out. LIMA HAHN was born.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When in New Orleans
– The Franklin a great neighborhood restaurant with a vibrant eclectic vibe.
– Lilette by Chef John Harris, delicious French/Italian inspired Cuisine.
– Turkey and the Wolf a sandwich shop by the incredible Chef Mason Hereford
– Crescent City Park
– The end of the World
– The Fly
– Barrel Proof
– Dove Tail
-The Will & The Wa
– LIMA HAHN
– The Music Box Village
– New Orleans Museum of Art
– Audubon Park
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a big shout out to the community of artisans in Gaziantep, Turkey who manufacture our shoes. The traditional methods they have passed down for generations result in a unique quality which is beautiful and functional, and ages well. My designs make the LIMA HAHN aesthetic; the quality comes directly from the artisans. It’s a good partnership.
Feature photo by Roland Fitz Additional photos in sequence uploaded. 1 Hunter Holder 2 Diogo De Lima 3 Paul Costello 4 Roland Fitz 5 Roland Fitz 6 Roland Fitz 7 Roland Fitz 8 Trinity J. Thomas