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#WCW Cate Luzio | Founder and CEO of Luminary

Here at LIVELY, we’re constantly surrounded by swoon-worthy women that are killin’ it in their businesses. We're launching #WomenCrushWednesday to celebrate the boss babes who provide us with a constant flow of inspiration, support, and endless girl-crushes.

Up next, Founder and CEO of LuminaryCate Luzio

 

Where are you from?

Born in Ohio, Raised in NJ!


Tell us about your journey to entrepreneurship and how Luminary came to be.

After almost 20 years in financial services, senior leadership roles for JPMorgan and HSBC, and leading many of the diversity efforts, I wanted to have a bigger impact - and not just in one company or industry. We need to continue to invest in the pipeline of women, not just focus efforts on senior/C level, or just creatives or entrepreneurs. We’ve been able to create opportunities for women that will help them develop themselves and their careers. If we don’t invest in our pipeline and provide access for women (and men) to come together and cross-pollinate for learning, idea generation, community building and revenue opportunities, the numbers at the top will not change. Luminary was born out of these gaps to deliver a physical space for community.

 

Here at LIVELY, we think every badass woman has had to take a risky leap of faith to get to where they are now. We call this our YOLO moment. What was yours?

I left a very successful and lucrative 20 year career in banking to self-fund and launch Luminary!

 

What does balance look like in your life? What’s your secret?

I don’t really have balance. I never have. I focus on prioritization. We all have glass balls and rubber balls in the air and you have to manage each day so that the glass balls don’t drop. They change on a daily basis and that’s ok. Other than that, I get so much out of traveling the world. I’m at 115 countries so far and any new trip re-energizes me!

 

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?

Work hard and take every risk you can.

 

As a woman, what has been your biggest trial in your entrepreneurial journey and how did you conquered it?

The emotional roller coaster is the toughest part. It’s harder than it looks and I am not sure anyone conquers it when you’re an entrepreneur, but surrounding yourself with a network of support is important. For the ups and downs, the advice, the tough love. Having access to a network like this shouldn’t be underestimated.

 

What’s the biggest myth of starting your own business?

No politics. There are always politics and you have to figure out how to play the game whether you work in a big company or run your own.

 

When do you feel most empowered?

Surrounded by the Luminary community of women! They are the reason for what we are doing and who we are.

 

People say that building a “network” is vital to your entrepreneurial success. Do you agree? If so, how has your network helped you get to where you are today?

Yes, 100% but you can’t just network. You need to leverage it, follow up, ask for help, give help too. Reciprocity is a big part of networking. My network and how I built it and managed it is a huge reason for why I am where I am today.


What are your thoughts on “following your gut”?

Pretty much my #1 rule. I always go with my gut, but definitely lean on a ton of preparation to execute.

 

What three things do you need to have a successful week?

My team
Engagement from our Community
Time with my partner (Joe)

 

Describe your personal aesthetic?

Being authentic and real.

 

Tell us something you wish you would have known 5 years ago.

That I could start my own business.

 

Fave 3 LIVELY Pieces?

The busty bralette
Seamless busty bralette
All day mesh trim bralette (game changer!!)

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