ANGELA LUNA + ADIFF
JUL 27 2017 - Meet Angela Luna, the founder and CEO of ADIFF, a new humanitarian fashion brand that utilizes the fashion industry to create aid and awareness for global displacement. Angela is a solution-based designer, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and human being.
why do you do what you do?
My ultimate goal is to make a difference (or make adiff!) in the world. I created this company because I wanted to help refugees and displaced persons - I greatly felt this sense of injustice and wanted to find some way to provide assistance. I also believe that we underestimate our clothing, and it is capable of so much more than we give it credit for. I want to change how we view our clothes, and help save lives at the same time.
Another way to answer the question is this: in our crazy world, movement is one of the only things that makes sense to me. We all use our bodies to move and express- we all dance and when we dance, we experience joy. We feel connected to our communities, our histories, our present and each other. When we dance, we feel free.
what is the best compliment you've ever received?
After I presented my company at a fellowship program, someone there (who I'm actually quite good friends with now) called me a "hero". Granted, I thought everyone participating in this program was a hero, but that is a incredibly strong, empowering word! That's definitely been one of my favorite compliments.
where do you thrive?
I'm actually kicking myself for saying this right now, but I really do thrive under pressure. Which is hysterical, because I'm actually in one of those situations right now. But of course, I hate pressure! Almost everyone does. Being challenged is one of those things where it brings out the best, but it always sucks when you're doing it.
what's one bad habit you can't seem to shake?
Being an entrepreneur, especially a woman founder, is a challenge. Being a female entrepreneur while also trying to start a somewhat controversial, novel business is even harder. I've received almost all positive feedback to what I'm doing, but of course there will always be haters out there who have a lot to say, despite not doing much about the issue themselves. I definitely have a bad habit of reading the negative comments, emails, or messages. I know I shouldn't do it because it does nothing but bring me down or get me worked up, but I really can't help it! Now I actually have a co-founder who manages our general email; she acts as a barrier for me, so my bad habit is almost gone.
What's the best idea you've heard recently?
I'm actually one of the finalists for the MassChallenge startup competition, so I'm literally surrounded by amazing ideas and startups. But one of my favorites though is a nonprofit called Miracle Messages, which connects homeless to their family members, as a means to get them off the street. I feel like it's an amazing way to eradicate homelessness in the most sustainable and heartfelt manner.
What's the biggest lesson you learned this past year?
This one is so easy: TRUST YOUR GUT! First impressions are generally right. If someone gives you a bad feeling, don't get involved. Forcing your gut to think it'll be okay will always end in regret, at least from my experience.
Follow Adiff on Instagram and Twitter @Adiffbrand and Facebook @Adiffstartup