Vanessa StofenmacherOccupation: Founder, Creative Director at Vrai & Oro
Vanessa graduated from OTIS College of Art & Design with her BFA in communication arts and graphic design. She started her career in branding and launched the boutique design firm, Duk Design in 2010. The firm specialized in creating brand and web identity’s for startups and emerging companies. During this time, Vanessa was recognized by Google as a top 20 emerging designer in UX. Continuing to further her education in design strategy, Vanessa studied User Experience at General Assembly, LA. With a passion for both branding and technology, she saw an opportunity to fuse the two and cofounded the e-commerce brand, Heirlume. Heirlume used predictive and learning algorithms to help match men with the perfect gift for their significant others. The brand developed into a marketplace for fine jewelry and it was here that Vanessa was exposed to the behind-the scenes of the traditional fine jewelry industry. She realized that markups were averaging 8-10x, products were being made oversees with cheap and deceiving materials and the concern for ethical labor practices seemed non-existent. Not able to turn a blind eye, Vanessa founded Vrai & Oro out of the desire to disrupt the traditional ways of fine jewelry industry; offering simple, high quality jewelry at an honest and transparent value.
What is your key to feeling beautiful no matter how busy you are?
Meditation. I feel most beautiful when I’m calm and confident.
What is your greatest strength?
Do you have any hidden talents?
I played the violin for 9 years.. although I’m not very good anymore.
Do you have a go-to nail polish color? If so, what is it?
A neutral shade in between nude and blush.
Do you ever get nail art? Would you if you haven’t? What would you get?
I’m a minimalist at heart so I prefer a single simple shade of polish.
What is the last book you read?
The Tao of Wu
Coqui Coqui (coco-coco scent)
Who is your style icon?
Solange Knowles currently.
Who has the best coffee in LA?
I don’t drink coffee but the best iced tea is a tie between Eightfold and Verve.
Mac or PC?
Who do you admire most?
Beyoncé (haha). She’s determined, real, and embraces her flaws. Turns lemons into lemonade 🙂