Lanai is the founder of Sozy, a women’s clothing brand that makes soft and cozy casual wear for everyday style. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, she has since moved to California where she began her career as an entrepreneur for good. Today, Sozy is a carbon neutral business that donates 10% of its profits to survivors of sexual violence, committing to the betterment of women and the planet.
Where did the idea for Sozy come from?
Sozy was born from a play on words. Soft + Cozy, which was exactly the feeling I wanted to convey.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I work from the moment I wake to almost the moment before I fall asleep, taking incremental breaks to walk my dog, eat, and watch one episode of Master Class. I’ve never had an issue being productive. On the contrary, it’s hard to shut off from work because there is ALWAYS something that needs to be done.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I pick certain aspects of clothes I have and make a hybrid of 2-4 pieces to create what I think is the best of all of them. For example, I take the feel of the fabric from item one, combine with the hem of item two, the collar of item three, and the body of item four with some adjustments.
What’s one trend that excites you?
No specific trend. The only trend I like is comfortable clothes that are still flattering and never frumpy 🙂
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I tend to never leave things for later and separate tasks based on degree of urgency. Whatever needs to be done first, I will tackle that, then the next thing. Airtable and Asana are my go-to to stay organized every day and make sure I get everything done as well as zeroing out all my inboxes before the end of each day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Hard work will always pay off and don’t worry if you don’t know what’s coming next. As long as you do your very best at whatever the world throws at you, everything will be ok. Also, take advantage of every single free moment you have. One of your favorite quotes for when you have free time will be “the time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time”.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Reviewing things a second time before moving on to the next project and only checking off that task when it’s been reviewed.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Asana and Airtable were integral to keeping every single project organized from being able to keep track of projects to clearly sharing each step with team members so things can be successfully executed on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Creating easy-to-follow and repeatable systems like this helps me scale while staying organized and focused.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Taking negative comments or reviews personally. I haven’t completely overcome it, but I use the negative reviews to improve any and every single aspect of my business. Anything and everything can always be improved. We go above and beyond to make customers happy and I believe kindness breeds kindness.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A motion censored temperature regulated shower head so we can conserve water. Basically, the shower head would only turn on when you’re underneath it and when it does it’s the same temperature you originally set the water at.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Master Class. I love learning from the best in their field. They have a wealth of knowledge and their life journeys are absolutely fascinating.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Airtable, Asana, and Slack. Asana I to keep track of daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Airtable is like turbo spreadsheets perfect for any and all project aspects, especially when working with teams to make sure every step of the process is trackable, clear, and organized. Slack is great for staying in touch with my team daily. I use many others, but those three are my favorite.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Since I don’t have much free time, I like using reading for escaping instead of business. My favorite series is The Lord Of The Rings. I love stories in which hard journeys come to happy endings and good trumps evil. I think there are too many stressful things in the world, so if you have the chance to read a book with a happy ending, do it. Positivity is good for the mind.
What is your favorite quote?
“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Making repeatable and trackable systems makes scaling possible. If you find success in anything that you do within the business, learn how to systematize it so that others can repeat the process in higher volume.
- Taking care of your own mental health, whether through a good book or by walking the dog, is absolutely essential to running a business. The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time!
- Never leave things for later that you can do right now.
- It always pays off to lead with kindness.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.