We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Waitze Zuckerman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, how do you think about risk?
I believe people over think everything, including risk. Life is about taking chances and going for it! I had worked in the garment center in New York City in my early twenties for an amazing husband and wife team who were starting their own clothing line. It was just the two of them so the knowledge that I gained in a short period of time was unimaginable! I learned everything from cold calling to how to design and make a garment. These tools gave me the understanding know how to make my own piece. At that same time in my life, I started to work out at the gym and found that the bra tops were incredibly unfashionable. Coming from the fashion industry, I thought, I want to change that. Again, working in the industry gave me contacts and the knowledge to proceed full throttle and turn my idea into fruition. I did not even think about “if” I was going to accomplish it and the risk involved, I followed the steps I learned from my bosses and proceeded until I had samples to show to potential buyers.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As I mentioned above, I had a workout clothing line called LK Bodywear. I had that business for several years, sold my clothing around the world, was interviewed through all types of media and won an award for being the first person to incorporate a bra into a fashion item. After I got married in 2000, I decided I wanted to slow down (as I did everything for my brand including the design, the selling, buying materials, etc.) and focus on being a wife and soon, a mother. I realized after becoming a mother, I still had an itch for being creative. After my daughter’s baby naming when she was a year, I started to make chocolates with fun whimsical names that were made up concoctions that I thought others would enjoy. In my house, we used the word yummy a lot, so I called the company, “yummie.” I have always had an easy time talking in front of others and marketing myself and my brand, so here I was again, doing so with yummie. I attended the Fancy Food Show at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City, having the smallest booth imaginable and sold away. I was approached by a representative from the Rachel Ray Show and soon thereafter filmed a segment for the show. After that, I was contacted by Al Roker’s “Roker on the Road” which aired on the Food Network and showcased my yummie treats for a Halloween special. Business was booming, but like with any business, it is a juggling act and my children needed me. After two years. I ended my business and focused on my family. People ask me about regrets. I do not have any. I feel blessed that I have had the opportunities and fun along with showing my children to go for your dreams and have fun while you are doing it. Now in my life, my children are much older and going off to college and enjoying their teenage years. To still be on the creative side, I make jewelry and am a photographer. It gives me the luxury of enjoying both worlds. Before I know it, my children will be out of the house and this way, I can divide my time on my own terms. I have learned so many lessons. Here are just a couple: Always go with your gut instinct, it is always right. Always be kind, but if need be, stick up for yourself. Be full of pride in your work and always go for it. You have nothing to lose. If it doesn’t happen, you are in the same place you were when you started. If there is something I would want the world to know about my brand and my story is that my brand is a reflection of me. It is always fun, a bit off beat and worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting the area, I would bring them to Deerfield Beach which is always full of exciting and interesting people. I would bring them to Miami which is beyond full of incredible restaurants, the most luxurious shopping experience and a plethora of flashy people which is always great for people watching. Lastly, I would take them to Wynnewood Walls to experience the incredible art, murals and interesting finds.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Irv and Iris Singer, the incredible dynamic duo, the husband and wife team, who taught me every single lesson learned about the garment industry, how to turn an idea into fruition and what makes a successful business owner. Peter & Lois Waitze (my parents) for funding my business and helping me along the way always teaching me to reach for the stars, work hard and believe in yourself. Alan and Michael Waitze, my brothers, who, during my journey, helped me and supported me and continue to do so in my life today.
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.