Interview with Serena Alfaro (@serena.alfaro)
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I started my jewelry business, Nueva Luxe, in January of 2020. It originally began because I posted earrings I made on Instagram and received a ton of DMs asking to purchase them. The response was so unexpected that I decided to continue making jewelry and make it a business. Since January of 2022, I’ve been working on my jewelry business full-time because I felt the need to bet on myself and give all my time and energy to my business to see where I could take it. In sharing more about my business on my social media, I’ve received a lot of questions from friends and followers about starting their businesses. These questions led me to revamp my personal website, so I can use it to share more about starting a business and personal finances, two things I’m also very passionate about and love sharing with my followers.
Can you share the most interesting and what exciting happened to you since you started doing this?
The New York Institute of Art + Design recently shared about Nueva Luxe on social media. A woman I shared some insight with via DMs commented that I had inspired her and was the reason she was enrolling in classes. Sometimes you don’t realize that simple acts of kindness and uplifting can be so impactful to them.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them thrive and not “burn out”?
Since I began my business while working full-time, I have become a huge planner. I had to make many commitments to myself and my business, and I didn’t want to let myself down. I make a list for each month of the main goals I have. Then, I break the goals down into tasks to complete each week. I learned everything doesn’t need to be perfect, and I can’t beat myself up about not finishing everything I plan. Setting personal boundaries with friends was hard too, but it helped tremendously. I didn’t want people to think I didn’t want to spend time with them, but I also was trying to build something from scratch. I found ways to give myself more time, like having groceries delivered and setting appointments well in advance. There are probably ways to plan even better than I do, but I’ve found an equilibrium now. My friends know they can’t text me in the afternoon to do something that night; that’s how it is now. And, of course, scheduling time to unwind! Self-care is so important. If I don’t rest, my body will force it upon me, which will mess up my schedule and plans in a big way!
None of us can succeed without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
So many people have encouraged me throughout my entrepreneurial journey that it’s hard to pick one person. But, of course, my mom is one of my influences because she has an art background. So I owe her a lot for my creativity and for exposing me to art at a young age. I always send her pictures of items I’m thinking about making or the gemstones I buy, so her artistic eye and support have been lovely.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I donate to non-profit organizations for every purchase from Nueva Luxe. This model has allowed us to support non-profit organizations like Wyland Foundation and Long Beach Rescue Mission. In addition, I’m currently creating a library of resources for aspiring entrepreneurs on my website, SerenaAlfaro.com, so that I can support others in the beginning stages of their side hustle or entrepreneurial journeys.
Do you have a favourite “written Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Everything Is Figureoutable,” which I got from Marie Forleo’s book with the same name. It means when you hit a roadblock, you can figure it out. It’s true! Sometimes we create problems before they are problems, so we avoid taking risks.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
I’m on Instagram and Pinterest @SerenaAlfaro_ and TikTok at @Serena.Alfaro. You can find my jewelry business @NuevaLuxe on all platforms.
Anything specific you’d like to have mentioned in the article?
My jewelry business website, NuevaLuxe.com.