Episode 162
June 13, 2023

From Fashion to Frozen Flavors

with Alicia Liu, Founder and CEO of Lavender and Truffles

About this episode

In this episode, Lee is joined by Alicia Liu, Founder and CEO of Lavender and Truffles. Raised in the midst of art, food, and fashion, despite being encouraged to pursue business, it’s no surprise that she managed to incorporate all three in her career journey. Alicia joins us to discuss her varied career journey from her first job as a graphic designer to interning at fashion magazines, working at Prada, then Amazon, and ultimately founding Lavender and Truffles. Tune in hear Alicia’s advice and learn how her story weaves together her upbringing, experience, and passion to culminate in an inspiring, authentic business endeavor.

This episode is sponsored by

Exclusive Deals from Our Sponsors:

  • AWESOME CX by Transcom provides high touch, personalized customer experience services to consumer brands of any size! Email Lee at lee@stairwaytoceo.com to learn more about their award-winning services and Awesome Coffee Chats. 
  • Listeners get 20% off with Lavender and Truffles by using the code: LTFRIENDS20 

In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

[02:38] Alicia Liu’s family background and how her exposure to art, food, and fashion growing up informed her career decisions.

[07:37] Why entrepreneurship never occurred to her as a child and what her parents encouraged her to do.

[09:59] Alicia’s career journey from her first job as a graphic designer to interning at fashion magazines, working at Prada, then Amazon, and ultimately founding Lavender and Truffles.

[17:50] The two most pivotal figures in her career journey and how they inspired her to start her own business.

[23:37] Alicia’s experience at Amazon, what she learned about e-commerce and digital marketing, and how it prepared her for her current role as Founder and CEO.

[27:07] What inspired her to start her plant-based ice cream company, Lavender and Truffles, and how she incorporated her prior experience into the business.

[31:27] How she developed her unique flavors and launched the product in record time.

[36:35] Why she decided on the four-ounce portion size and how she landed on the name, Lavender and Truffles.

[40:10] The greatest challenges Alicia has faced on her CP journey thus far and her advice for others looking to pivot to a more fulfilling career path.

[47:55] Her greatest learning as an entrepreneur and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

 

To Find Out More:

Alicia Liu

Lavender and Truffles

Lavender and Truffles on Instagram

Lee Greene on LinkedIn

Stairway to CEO

Stairway to CEO on Instagram

Awesome CX by Transcom

 

Quotes:

“[My parents] told me I had to go to business school, so I told them I was majoring in business and minoring in art, but I actually majored in art and minored in business.” — Alicia Liu [0:06:50] 

“Instead of going to class for a semester, I actually went to work and I went to work in an ad agency in the art department.” — Alicia Liu [0:12:45]

“[Patrizio di Marco] took me under his wing, and I'll never forget it. There are two people in my whole career that have made a big pivotal impact and he was one of them.” — Alicia Liu [0:18:40]

“It came to a certain point where I was getting tired of the industry that I was in, and I wanted to switch to something else. I had to really think about what I wanted to do, and I always go back to cooking.” — Alicia Liu [0:27:46] 

“Dairy's not really in an Asian diet. My daughter was eating a lot of ice cream and I realized it's not healthy for her to eat it all the time, 'cause we get a tub every week. And I decided, ‘I'm going to make you a healthier version.’” — Alicia Liu [0:30:42]

“When you have to set up the business and come up with names and apply for permits and everything, and the tax ID number; I had that already set up for Lavender Truffles and I didn't want to go through the whole process.” — Alicia Liu [0:37:54] 

“My flavors are unique to the point where, ‘Oh, that's interesting’ is sometimes not enough to grab off the shelf. So I started these tasting packs — so that people can have an opportunity to taste all eight.” — Alicia Liu [0:39:10]

“In this CP journey, the big shocker is that it's a pennies business. It really is. Every penny counts.” — Alicia Liu [0:40:18] 

“You get to a certain point in time — where you've got to take some calculated risks and you have to put the faith in the universe.” — Alicia Liu [0:42:30]

“Follow your path, guys. Change is good. You can always make changes.” — Alicia Liu [0:47:47] 

“If you start your own business, you are open 24/7 for work, and it is very challenging to put the ‘closed’ sign on the door.” — Alicia Liu [0:48:10]

“To be an entrepreneur or leader of any kind, I think you have to embrace change. And it doesn't mean that you have to be a complete 180 flip, but just be nimble and be flexible.” — Alicia Liu [0:49:56] 

Read the transcript

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