Inspired by a pair of hand-made shoes combined with the purpose to spread joy, Mitzi Rivas brought Livie & Luca’s first collection into the world in 2005. When her close friend, Amie Garcia, saw that first pair of shoes she fell in love and wanted to give them to her own children, and to others. As a teacher, Amie strove to make a difference in children’s lives and she knew through these beautiful healthy shoes, that purpose would continue.
Our mission at Livie & Luca has always been based in these values - to spread joy and to make a difference through the creation of comfortable and whimsical shoes, to do meaningful work in which our products positively affect the lives of others. The guiding idea behind Livie & Luca is that we sell more than just shoes and this idea has proven to be the key to our success.
We’ve grown our business as our community. This community is near and far: the employees in our offices and factories, our customers and their children, our neighborhood, our city, our world. The more our community grows, the more opportunity we have to touch lives through our mission of spreading joy. Passing along joy is how we practice our mission of sustainability, because we care about the long-term well being of our community.
Children are near and dear to our hearts and most of our charitable giving focuses on making the world a little better for our upcoming generations.
Spreading joy, growing community, making a difference – this is Livie & Luca.
Mitzi is a child of political activists and entrepreneurs who were passionate and committed to peace, sharing, serving and celebrating. Growing up without a TV, she sketched and played dress up - it was a richly creative, colorful and playful childhood.
As an undergraduate at UC Berkeley her studies focused on the power of local communities to create change. She has worked in health education for women and migrants, as a professional makeup artist, at a Fortune 500 company and has finally found her calling spreading joy through Livie & Luca. Living with purpose and creativity are her motivating principles.
Q&A with Mitzi
My perfect day: It starts with a perfect morning. I rise slowly, sit and give thanks. I go downstairs to greet my family and have my cup of coffee. I absolutely love to putter around my house in my pajamas until the very last moment.
Some favorite things: Birds, art, ceramics, hiking and working out, cooking, meeting chefs and having them over to cook for friends, food fiction, food movies, recipes, remodeling houses in my head :)
My perfect meal: It depends on the day. But sitting around my kitchen with my family eating tortilla soup and drinking a glass of Tempranillo is pretty perfect.
My motto or quote to live by: “When you walk with purpose, you collide with destiny.” Bertrice Berry
My favorite sound: Birds chirping
The song I overplay: Journey, Don’t Stop Believing. Totally embarrassed.
Favorite childhood memory: My home busting at the seams with visitors on Christmas Eve.
My mentor or role model: My mother.
Amie’s first job out of college was as a bilingual elementary school teacher in economically challenged neighborhoods. During the 10 years she taught, she found herself enjoying many of the voluntary leadership roles that are necessary to make a difference in such communities. After teaching she went on to become an elementary school administrator for several years. In leadership is where she found true fulfillment.Always committed to making a difference in children’s lives, Amie saw the opportunity to do this at Livie & Luca where she could focus on the healthy foot development of kids. At L & L she is able to marry her passion for function and health to Mitzi’s zeal for style and design, all while offering her skills as a compassionate leader, dedicated to her team.
Q&A with Amie
My perfect day: Any permutation of Yoga and the beach.
My perfect meal: It's about the company as much as it is the meal. It could be pho at a local's joint in Vietnam while traveling with my best friend, a holiday spent with family cooking green bean casserole from scratch with roasted turkey & home-made gravy, or a roast beef sandwich and chocolate chip cookie at the top of a hike to Half Dome in Yosemite. All these put a smile on my face.
My favorite sound: The ocean.
Favorite childhood memory: My favorite childhood memory was being curled up in a ball on a bathmat. Picture carpet in the bathroom (it was the ‘70s). I imagine I was small enough (3 maybe) to fit on a bathmat. I would lay there while my mom or dad would take a shower and just daydream, feel the warmth of the bathroom, coziness of the rug, and the soothing sound of water falling. I have this memory of feeling safe, loved...100% complete.
Book I'd take to a desert island: Well, I wouldn't want to take a book I've already read. I'm thinking maybe I'd want to bend the rules a little and take the whole Harry Potter series. My 2 oldest children devoured them, and keep asking me to read it. If I happened to be stuck on the island for a while, I can imagine reading these over and over again.
My mentor or role model: I really don't have one mentor or role model. There are so many people out there with so much talent or wisdom to share. In recent years, I have to say, I have looked to my 3 year old many times when I feel overwhelmed, spread too thin, as he reminds me to be happy and carefree and to live in the moment.