Women's History Month: Giulietta (Pinna) is a Gem
You know those women who always look so put together, have impeccable style, grace and panache, and you want to hate them but can’t because you admire them so much? We are closing out a month of honoring women who own small businesses by featuring a woman who epitomizes this ideal: Giulietta Pinna.
Giulietta founded the Baltimore based firm Limonata Creative Consulting in 2016. I remember when she was toying the idea of starting her own business: she had recently left a corporate job in the wine industry that had her trapped in her car for 4-5 hours a day and left her creative spirit empty. She was looking for a solution that combined her creative sensibility and background in fashion and design. Ultimately she realized she needed to make the answer to her own question. And here we are.
In the two years since Limonata Creative was born, she has become a known player in Baltimore’s emerging creative and artisanal scene. Learn about Giulietta and how Limonata Creative got its start.
Tell us about Limonata Creative, what is your business about?
When people ask me "What does Limonata Creative do?" I tend to answer their question with another question: 'Have you ever seen an image in a magazine or for a brand that caught your eye and spoke to you? That's probably because that business probably hired a photo stylist to artistically direct, create and source all the items you saw in that image; to peak an interest, to tell a story, and ultimately to capture an ideal target audience - which was you.' Well, that's what Limonata Creative does....for the most part.
I say "most part" because Limonata also does creative event design; which I've adopted as an extension of my photo styling work. I apply the same thinking and strategies for photoshoots as I do to an event. The difference is scale. I often transform a conceptual thought into a larger, specialized environment for guests to experience.
What inspired you to make the leap to open your own business? Is this something you always aspired to do?
My family has a history of entrepreneurship which I always deeply admired. My grandparents (mother's side) and my father immigrated from Italy. They went from not knowing much about America to moving here, overcoming a crazy sequence of obstacles, learning how to speak English and then, surprisingly, starting their own businesses; which even more surprisingly, thrived successfully. Growing up, I always thought, "I don't know how they did it." But there was still a lingering, "well, if they could do it, then maybe......??" But I didn't get the guts to try until two years ago! And, honestly, I still don't know how my family members did it. Starting your own business can really be so daunting and challenging sometimes.
What was your first professional victory? Did you have a moment of, "Oh my God, I think this is going to be a success"?
Last summer, Baltimore Magazine contacted me and asked if I would be interested in fully prop sourcing, styling, and art directing a full 2-page interior/entertaining feature in their publication. I was like, “Ummmmm YES, LET'S DO THIS!!!!!!!” To this day, I think of that experience as a turning point for me. Since then I've styled multi-page spreads for Washingtonian Magazine, Edible DC Magazine, multiple advertising campaigns for a number of well-known brands, and coming up: a few of commercial film opportunities which can't be named yet...
What is the best part about being a woman who owns her own business?
Definitely meeting and working with other creatives who are supremely passionate about what they do. When I had my wine sales job, I felt trapped in a world of numbers, dollar signs and ultimately my car. It's been incredible to get out there and expand my world. I honestly didn't appreciate Baltimore or think there was much going on here when I first moved from NYC, but man, I was SO wrong about that! This city is crawling with brilliant ideas. It's also currently undergoing an amazing transformation with appreciation for makers. I'm so honored to even be a teeny part of it.
What helps you through scary moments of doubt?
As an entrepreneur, you go through a roller coaster ride of emotions. Some of your biggest life achievements can get muddled by the 'learn as you go' lifestyle - which it very much is. When I'm doubtful, I've learned to listen to advice from those I love most, appreciate honesty to the fullest - even if the truth stings, and acknowledge the almost burdening accountability for myself. I never used to listen to my gut -- those little feelings of, “Ehhhhhhhhh something feels off,” but now I do. It absolutely helps to listen deep to your inner self.
Are there other woman business owners/badasses who you admire?
YES! I could make a novel from all the women business owners I admire, but here's my top 3 right now, not in any particular order (yes, they change depending on what's going on in my life!). I think I have women crushes on all these particular women right now, not just because of their incredible success, but because of their determination, incredible integrity to themselves and ability to uplight and enlighten others: Grace Bonney of Design Sponge, Pum Lefebure of Design Army, and Joanna Gaines of Magnolia.