We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Graham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, can you share the most important lesson you’ve learned over the course of your career?
The most important lesson I’ve learned from running a business is that almost any problem can be solved by hard work, patience, and dedication. As a team, we’ve learned the ins and outs of how to run a business by solving problems as they arise. We’ve never sought outside investment, so we’ve always bootstrapped our growth. This has meant learning how to do everything ourselves before hiring out any work. Knowing that we can overcome almost any problems by determination (and lots of googling) has been incredibly empowering for both my personal and professional life.
What should our readers know about your business?
At Waterlust we create eco-responsible, marine science inspired activewear that is used to help fund research and educate the world about environmental conservation. Each of our unique, photo inspired prints advocates for the marine species, ecosystem, or natural phenomenon it represents, and 10% of profits from the sales go a relevant research or non-profit organization. The clothing you choose to wear can say something about who you are. Your appearance reflects your values, the things you’re interested in and care about. We think this makes clothing a great tool for expressing ideas and starting conversations. Using this concept, we created what we call “Advocate Apparel”. We use clothing used as a science communication tool, where each print is inspired by a conservation topic and is designed to be an attention grabbing, conversation starter. The goal is to better educate the wearer and anyone they interact with about the topic their gear is inspired by. We got to where we are today through a lot of learning and trial and error. It definitely was not easy at first, and our initial prints took many iterations to get right, but through patience, dedication, and had work, we’ve come really far.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What I love most about Miami is the variety we have in land and sea. You can live in this amazing city, but easily escape to the bay and feel like you’re in a whole other world! A week spent with me would include lots of time in and around the water. I’m biased to the Grove because I’ve always lived there. The bohemian, jungle vibes, nestled in a big city feel like the perfect escape. No visit to Miami is complete without a burger at Lokal!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m fortunate to have the ultimate soul mates for business partners. We each bring our own strengths to the team and without them my life would look totally different. I’m also fortunate that those business partners happen to be family.