Natural Light on Lisa Gutierrez Martinez
CONSCIOUS CREATIVE: Lisa Gutierrez Martinez
READING TIME: 3 MIN
Lisa is the Owner and Creative Director of Lark Artisan Market, an innovative approach to community building through collaborative culinary events that happen in Southern California. I’ve only ever met Lisa over the phone, but from our brief conversation, I knew she was an unstoppable creative with a hunger to fuse the boundaries of building community and artistic appreciation. She calls herself a “late bloomer” as she waited a while before embarking on a professional and creative journey of her own. She’ll inspire you to get started on pursuing your dreams at any time, at any age.
Who are you? How did you get to where you are today?
I would describe myself as an adventurer as I am always looking for what is on the (next) horizon. I love discovering places, ideas and things - and, more than that, sharing them with others. I also love working with creative people and helping them find a platform or path to their goals. I am also a later bloomer, discovering my own path in my late twenties, but not taking real action until my late 30s. I learned that I am good at producing and that this talent can be transferred and applied to whatever is inspiring me at the moment. I currently create opportunities for people, places and brands to connect.
When and how did you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I have always wanted to own my own business - as my father once told me that the happiest people he knows are the ones who embarked on adventures of their own. But it was not until after I had my first child, that I realized it was up to me to create the world I want to live in. Being able to manage your own time, especially when you have a family, is the greatest reward.
Tell us about your business
Lark creates well styled dinner parties for people who love food, wine + design. It's an inclusive experience, where anyone who hears of lark is invited to the communal table. We are also a platform for people to express their talents, whether they are chef, ceramicist, writer, textile maker, etc... if we can bring whatever they are passionate about to the communal table, we will! Another, not so obvious, aspect of lark is that we are off-brand marketers by bringing good energy and awareness to people, places and brands. Overall, we hope to inspire others to follow their dreams.
What values are important to you and your business?
Honesty + Character.
What’s the thing you dislike most about being an entrepreneur?
I would say the feeling that you are alone in all of this. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it and it can make you feel so unsure and uneasy. The best way to handle this is taking long walks (get out in nature), connecting with people who lift you up, and talking with other entrepreneurs who know this feeling well.
What’s your favorite thing about being an entrepreneur?
Having the feeling that anything is possible. I liken it to chasing my brightest light. If I were to spend my time and energy somewhere else, the days, weeks and years ahead would be limited.
If I were to spend my time and energy somewhere else, the days, weeks, and years ahead would be limited.
What has been your most challenging moment in business?
The emotion that is tied to each outcome of this endeavor. When the smallest of criticism or compliment can affect my mood + thoughts. To manage this, I make a conscious effort to step back and look at the big picture.
What has been your most rewarding moment in business?
Knowing that I've sparked inspiration in others.
How and Why are you changing the world?
The beauty of lark is that we can impact people in so many ways - and each lark presents opportunity in everyone involved; so many things can happen when people gather at the communal table. I like the idea that someone can share their perspective, an unexpected comment, or introduce you to a friend and send your life on a totally different path.
What’s the importance of your location to your business?
When considering locations, we like the space to have substance, whether it's the feeling you get when you walk in the door OR the reason behind its existence OR the people currently dreaming + doing within its four walls.
Favorite Business Tools
Really, just my iPhone + instagram + Pinterest.
Favorite Creative Tools
For me, it's Pinterest because I can easily create + convey a vision.
What are the 3 things you wish you knew before starting your own business?
That I didn't need anyone’s permission to start.
To have the courage and awareness to get out of my own way.
It doesn't have to be perfect to be good.
Are you a full time or part time entrepreneur?
I would say I've always been full-time, giving it my all at every opportunity; however, I gathered all my courage and quit my "daylighting" job in June of 2018.
Since I had a hefty amount of time (7 years) working while creating, I'll share that I often worked nights + weekends + holidays. I worked through my lunch hour... and also took vacation days to make things happen. I definitely had to be (and perhaps even more so now) resourceful and creative with my time. I sought out people who might help in any way, shared my story and invited them along in whatever capacity they could serve.
Where do you normally seek inspiration?
First I would say I discover so much by reading books, magazines, newspapers and often cast a wide net whenever I'm at a bookstore, library or browsing on the internet. Second is imagery. I love how many layers of emotion + information one photograph can evoke.
Is there a person, book, movie, album, or art piece that has influenced your life and work significantly? Who, what, and how?
I admire the grace, style and smarts of Jackie O. The philosophy of starting your first rough draft by author Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird, my musical heart will always be married to Queen, and I'm always surprised how much I am moved by the colorful artwork of Mark Rothko.
What are your thoughts about the current social media landscape in relation to small businesses?
I love how Instagram has become such a supportive network and gateway for Lark. I do find the concept of social peacocking interesting and always make a conscious effort to keep our posts real. In our current political environment I am beginning to see a real movement towards stating and taking action your beliefs for social good.
Who are other conscious entrepreneurs we should know about?
@bc_serna comes to mind, he is someone who's every post makes me want to be a better person.
Stay in Touch with Lisa via
IG - @letsgoonalark
Email - hello(at)larkartisanmarket.com