Ana Guimaraes of Luxella Design: “You never fail if you learn from it ”

I would encourage businesses, both big and small, to do better about packaging. Now more than ever, using recyclable materials, eliminating plastic, and reducing the carbon footprint is extremely important. Although it is difficult for a small businesses to find a company that wants to produce limited quantities of sustainable packaging, an obstacle my business […]

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I would encourage businesses, both big and small, to do better about packaging. Now more than ever, using recyclable materials, eliminating plastic, and reducing the carbon footprint is extremely important. Although it is difficult for a small businesses to find a company that wants to produce limited quantities of sustainable packaging, an obstacle my business has faced, it is our responsibility to do our part to protect our planet.


As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ana Guimaraes.

Designer, Ana Guimaraes, always had a passion for the arts, however, she dedicated her life to being a wife and mother. Drawing inspiration from her Mexican heritage, family, and love for nature, Luxella Design was born during the pandemic to inspire her daughter to follow her dreams. Luxella Design is handcrafted by Ana in her California studio using sustainable practices and materials.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Thank you for this opportunity. Since a very young age, I was an artistic, left handed Latina. Unfortunately, growing up in a ‘machista’ society, expressing my inner artist was impossible. While having great parents, I was encouraged to study something ‘practical’. I did, and so studied accounting and worked in the business field in Mexico. On a vacation, I met a great guy in a bar in Ottawa, Canada and a year later we were married, and I moved to Canada. Wow. What a difference. As soon as I arrived, I started to study photography at Sheridan College. An amazing program where my inner artist began to develop. The next 14 years of my life were dedicated to raising my 3 amazing kids and we moved to California back in 2014 which has truly become our home. I started to take jewelry classes and knew I had found my calling; to create unique, sustainable, real jewelry for the modern women! I tell you this, because I believe like a beautiful gem, it is now my time to shine!

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

I believe disruption comes from doing things differently. I am a BIPOC woman that creates real, sustainable sourced, made, packaged and delivered jewelry. I hope you have a chance to visit my website and see that my designs really do focus on sustainability, not just as a ‘buzz word’ but instead as the core mission of my work. For example, the anise ring or the butterfly collection. All inspired by nature and all made of recycled silver and gold. I look forward to using sustainable gems, including Canadian diamonds and Montana sapphires, where I actually know the miner.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Well, I’m not giving out my age, but you might guess, as my oldest son is in High School. Before starting my business, I was not a big social media user. Really, my daughter is the one who taught me about Instagram. I was overwhelmed on how to post, what to say, but she was like “Mom its super easy”. There are two lessons here, you can always learn new things from your kids and that it’s never too late to learn new things. Right now I post myself, but when I get stuck I always know who to ask…

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I have been really fortunate to have great mentors. At Silvera Jewelry School, Anat Silvera, Joe Silvera and Jenn Parnell have always supported and encouraged me in the creation of my business. They are all quite environmentally conscious during their classes, promote best practices, and look for alternative materials that are better for the environment. Anat and Joe, at Silvera Jewelry, are one of the most well-known schools on the west coast with students from across the country and have outstanding visiting Guest Instructors. When the pandemic started they move quickly to online learning and I have continued to learn with them.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

I believe being disruptive is always good if it’s done to improve society in a positive way. I believe that if we come to a conclusion that something that has being done for a long time is no longer positive, there should be ways to improve it. My line is about using real stones, real metals from sustainable sources. Innovation can be negative. For example, “innovations” in mining have made it easier to go faster and deeper, and yet I would ask is that actually better for the earth. I use Canadian diamonds and Montana sapphires as I literally know the person mining them. In the Jewelry industry, there is lots to be done, including true traceability of all materials.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

It’s never too late to study or dream — This is my story, I continue studying, from Marketing, Instagram, Facebook, Photoshop, new Jewelry skills and today I have my own business

You never fail if you learn from it — In jewelry in one of my beginner’s classes I was trying to make a pendant. I made it so big, that I not even use it as a key chain. But I learned and really started to pay attention to size, dimension and weight.

Always have a goal — My goal when the pandemic started was that I was going to start my business by the end of 2020, and I did, on December 7 I launched my business.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

I want to continue building my brand. I also want to support my daughter, she is a strong and creative teen, and wants to learn about jewelry. She is creating her own line, Luxella Teen, and will soon launch her own website, stay tuned. I want her to know even at 12 years of age that as a Latina, she can do anything she puts her mind to. After all, ‘the future is female!”

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

The biggest challenge I see is that there remains a glass ceiling and inequality in pay across men and women. In a way, I started my BIPOC, women owned business and have chosen to work with organizations such as The Practice Space, which is also an entire female team, because I believe in the power of women. And while women are often responsible for the household chores (luckily not in my case) I also believe at the same time, women are more capable in successfully managing several priorities.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

Yes, the book is called Everything is Figureoutable, by Marie Forleo. At the beginning she talks about her mom and the lesson she gave her, “Nothing in life is that complicated. You can do whatever you set your mind to if you just roll up your sleeves, get in there, and do it. Everything is figureoutable” That had a big impact on me. I’m really passionate about supporting my kids in what they want to do, right now, especially with my daughter and supporting her in her business too. She is quite busy, from school, to ballet, to taekwondo, her podcast, and now her business. We are a busy family everything is Figureoutable!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would encourage businesses, both big and small, to do better about packaging. Now more than ever, using recyclable materials, eliminating plastic, and reducing the carbon footprint is extremely important. Although it is difficult for a small businesses to find a company that wants to produce limited quantities of sustainable packaging, an obstacle my business has faced, it is our responsibility to do our part to protect our planet.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

It’s never too late to learn. I learned that when I went to University of Ottawa for a semester on an exchange program. In a Marketing class, a man in his 70+s was taking the class. When the professor asked him why he was taking the class, his answer was “It’s never too late to study, that’s why I’m here”. I studied jewelry after my kids were born and continue taking classes. I’m also taking Taekwondo with my kids. I’m in the class with my teenage kids, my goal is to be a black belt. It’s never too late!

How can our readers follow you online?

I can be found at my website luxelladesign.com

Follow me on Instagram @luxelladesign and @luxella.teen

Facebook @luxelladesign

Follow my daughter Ana Paola and her friend Eva and their new podcast where they talk about our Planet @_vision.z.podcast on Instagram and Vision Z Ft. Ana & Eva on Spotify.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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