At Your Money Geek, we have a passion for green.
I'm not talking about money, although we do enjoy hacks to stack more greenbacks in our wallets. 😉 Rather, we enjoy the other kind of green initiatives, such as self-sufficiency, renewable energy, and eco-friendly products.
Today, costume designer and serial entrepreneur, Laura Frecon shares how she turned her love of green into an eco-friendly luxury brand.
Meet Laura Frecon
Serial entrepreneur, Laura Frecon, has a passion for beauty, fashion, life and all things green. She has made her mark in the industry as a Costume Designer and is the Founder of Verte Luxe, where you can find resources and eco-luxury products for living a more sustainable life.
As a Costume Designer, Frecon was part of the Emmy nominated team of designers for Mad Men. She has created costumes for legendary characters on shows and films such as True Blood, How to Get Away with Murder, Men in Black 3, Kong Skull
Island, The Brink, Hobbs and Shaw, and more. Frecon is currently working with Lou Eyrich on the Ryan Murphy Film, “Boys in the Band” for Netflix. Her love of fashion, beauty, and design is what prompted Frecon to create Verte Luxe.
She has chosen to dedicate her years of experience in the entertainment and fashion industries, as well as her love for the planet, to a deeper cause that not only educates people about how to live more sustainably but offers them eco-luxury products to use in their daily life.
Laura Frecon Discusses Her Career
How did you get started in your career?
I grew up on a farm and orchard in Pennsylvania. From an early age, I learned the value of our earth and why we need to protect it. I have always had a love for nature and the outdoors but also a love of the arts.
I started acting, playing the piano, and dancing as a little kid, so it was a natural progression for me to major in theater in college. I became very involved in environmental activism and helped to bring a recycling system to our university. I also helped to develop a reusable mug program, where students could bring their mugs to participating retailers to have their reusable mugs filled for a discount.
This was a completely novel idea in the late 1990s believe me!
I ended up becoming the head of the Environmental Committee for our Student Government Board and decided to dedicate myself to helping the planet, no matter what my career ended up being. I then went to graduate school in New York at the New School University and worked my way up in the New York Theater Scene.
After a few years, I booked my first television show, which led me to Los Angeles. Through years of working in the fashion and entertainment industry, I have seen the mass destruction and waste that both of these industries produce. I wanted to do something to help make a change. This need to make a change is how Verte Luxe was born.
What does a typical day look like?
I am working on a film right now, so my days are pretty full! I wake up around 4:45 am, make a coﬀee and a green juice, get ready and leave for the studio by 6. I try to take 30 minutes to read emails and do a little work on Verte Luxe before I head into the studio because you never know what the day will bring.
During my drive, I listen to mantras and meditations to get me ready for the workday. I’ve also been listening to the Mind Body Green Podcast, which is very inspirational. I have a 45-minute commute, so I use this time to do some breath work and mantras to get ready for the day ahead.
A usual day in the life of a costume designer is filled with getting the actors dressed and ready for their workday, costume fittings for future scenes, shopping, pulling at costume houses, solving any issues that come up on set, production and concept meetings and sourcing fabrics for any costumes that will be custom made.
If I don’t have to stay on set to establish a new costume, I try to leave my oﬃce by 8:00/8:30 pm. I have a light dinner with my husband and hang out with him and my dog to relax. I try to end the night
with a short yoga series or meditation to help me unwind, but sometimes it’s simply hanging out on the couch with a glass of wine, watching a show or reading a good book.
When I am not working on a film or television show, my day is filled with all things Verte Luxe. I am constantly taking meetings to onboard new brands and meet new resources, going to yoga, or a long beach run, taking a spin class, writing blog posts, building brand pages for the site and planning future events.
Professionally what are you most proud of?
Honestly, I am very proud of Verte Luxe. I feel that Verte Luxe brings together my love of the planet with my experience in the fashion and entertainment industry and helps to do something for the greater good. I love meeting with all of the brands that I am working with, learning their stories, and discovering what they are doing to make this world a better place.
It feels so good to take my work experiences and put it towards something bigger than me. I am proud of all of our brands, and I personally meet with and get to know each one of them. Working with these incredible entrepreneurs is the best part of creating Verte Luxe.
Looking back on your career, is there something you learned from the industry that you found surprising?
From the outside, working in this industry seems very glamorous. With fashion, the fancy cars and the red carpets this world appears very gilded. It is not. The hours are grueling. On average, a film crew works 12-16 hour days, working on faraway locations, lots of night shoots…it takes its toll on a person.
It is very stressful because of the time and money at stake. What nobody sees is the hard-working crews behind the scenes doing back-breaking labor to make it all happen.
What advice would you have for people that are having diﬃculty making it in the industry? Don’t Give Up!
Keep doing the work and putting in the time, and it will come. I promise you. I worked two jobs while I was in graduate school, and as I was working in tiny black box theaters to get to the next level. It will not always be easy, but if you really want it, you can do it.
Laura Frecon Discusses…
What is one thing you have learned from being successful?
The biggest lesson that I have learned is that sometimes you are going to fail. As a perfectionist, I grew up thinking that I had to excel in everything that I did. I spent so much time trying to be perfect, that I forgot to enjoy the ride along the way. Failing at something can be the best thing because it leads you to the path that you are supposed to be taking.
Is there a mistake you have made starting out that you wish you could change?
The biggest mistake I think I’ve made is that I was too serious about my career in the past and forgot to embrace the journey. I was continually striving to get to the next level and forgot to enjoy the moments of actually building my career. If I could go back in time to ten years ago, I would spend more time being truly present the jobs that I was on and the people that I was meeting.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
If you work hard, have a positive attitude and believe that you are following a career path that you truly love, you WILL succeed. However, you have to put in the work. I am a firm believer in manifesting the career of your dreams, but you have to be willing to work for it.
One thing to remember…That overnight success story probably worked for years before becoming an overnight success. It will happen if you really want it, but you need to work for it.
I think networking is key. Going to events and meeting people in the industry are good ways to connect. Work on getting a mentor who can provide resources and help with guidance. I am a
I am a huge fan of education, whether it is going to school, learning by doing and/or reading. Knowledge is power.
How do you manage time?
I am very organized, which helps with time management.
I create lists every single day. I write out a list for my Design work and also a list for Verte Luxe. As things get accomplished, I cross them oﬀ the list.
I use a calendar on my phone, but I also am a fan of a wall calendar with color-coded markers to keep track of deadlines.
Do you have any apps, books, or tips that you use to be more productive?
Apps: The Daily Calm, Podcasts, Planoly (to help with planning social media posts), My Fitness Pal (to keep my food and exercise on track) and Expensify (for tracking business expenses)
Our Verte Luxe Team uses Confluence and Jira software as well as Slack. It is a huge help because our team works remotely. It is a way for all of us to stay organized and helps us to communicate throughout the day.
Do you have any advice for people that may feel discouraged about reaching their goals?
Write it down. Write down your goals and make lists to help you achieve them. Write a diary of thoughts, feelings, motivations to help you stay true to your goals. When you are feeling discouraged, go back to your writings to give you your own inspiration.
If you could recommend one book to help people be more successful, what would it be, and why.
I am currently reading: “Conscious Capitalism” by John Mackey (Co-CEO, Whole Foods Market) and Raj Sisodia. For someone in a business start-up, this book is helpful and inspirational towards building and ethically run business.
I am also reading: “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday. This book is very helpful for when you hit roadblocks in building your business.
How import is fitness to success?
Fitness is crucial to both mental and physical health. I am a huge fan of exercise. I honestly would not be as successful or productive without exercise.
Do you enjoy working out? If not how do you get motivated
I love to work out. I love to run, spin, yoga, bike, snowboard, and I am trying to learn to golf. To me, exercise is a form of stress release and happiness for me.
Any upcoming projects you are working on?
Verte Luxe is very excited to be partnering with The Treehouse Bel Air for a very special Hi Vibes Eco-Luxe event on October 12th, 2019. The event will showcase a Verte Luxe marketplace with our brands, yoga, meditation, tuning forks, a sound bath, numerology, plant-based food and cocktails, and so much more! It will be a day filled with experiences for our guests to re-set, re-energize, and re-vibe.
I am currently working with Lou Eyrich on the new Ryan Murphy project “Boys in the Band” for Netflix.
Please stay tuned for our upcoming Verte Luxe Hi-Vibes event and visit VerteLuxe.com to discover our eco-luxe brands and happenings. We have some amazing retreats and events that we are planning for the near future.
Where can people connect with you online?
For Verte Luxe:
For Laura Frecon Design:
What is one thing you wish everyone knew?
I am an open book. Feel free to ask me anything, and I’ll tell you about it!
What is the best advice you have received?
When I was in college, one of my professors told me that I should always take pride in my work. He told me to make sure that the work I submitted was something that I was proud of. No matter what the outcome of getting the job, winning the award, whatever it is…you can be always proud that you did your best work.