Go Big: Lisa and Cathleen Bring the Diversity of the World Into a Gift Box
The truth is, trivago couldn’t help everyone go someplace new in 2020. So instead, we’re celebrating the people that turned challenge into opportunity by starting new businesses, pursuits, and passions. When they couldn’t go far, they chose to go big.
“I always wanted to create something bigger than myself.” When her successful entertainment career stalled during the pandemic, Lisa Marie Posso teamed up with Cathleen Cher and pivoted into a whole new realm: curated gift boxes. Together they co-founded Gyfting, a gift company that highlights minority-owned brands.
By June of 2020, Lisa Marie was working 18 hours a day, seven days a week, researching brands, packaging and ideas. The pandemic had put a halt to her events business, and for a while she was feeling depressed. Then:
“When the universe handed me an idea on a golden platter and said, ‘take it or leave it’—I took it. I worked just because I was excited,” she says. “It was, how do I make this happen? And how do I get out of this position I am in? I was hurting financially, with bills for events that I couldn’t pay because the events weren’t happening. I had to push forward.”
Both had careers steeped in music, production, and entrepreneurship. Lisa Marie has been a club and festival promoter, the tour manager for Skrillex, and owned an events company. But she always had the sense she wanted to do something that would make a difference. For her part, Cathleen had been running her own music video production company, working with the likes of Megan Thee Stallion and FKA Twigs. Then, “Like so many of us, with COVID-19, I had to pivot,” she says.
Cathleen also recommends teaming up with a business partner. “Running your own company is really hard,” she says. “Sometimes you feel stuck, or you’ve messed up, and it’s nice to have someone to bear that with you.” Still, “while you want someone who has the same goals you do and is aligned with that, look for a partner who complements you with experiences and skills you don’t have,” she suggests.
But, Lisa Marie chimes in:
“Don’t wait too long to start your business, because otherwise you will talk yourself out of it. Just jump in there!”
A Business Blooms
While the two have only recently launched their website and company, they have already found an eager audience. “There’s a need not just from consumers, but from Fortune 500 companies as well, looking for ways to connect with clients,” explains Cathleen. “I will say, it’s not easy to curate products the way we do. Finding female-owned and minority-owned brands isn’t easy. A lot of people are taking notice of that and support our mission.”
“We are heading in a great direction,” says Lisa Marie, gazing around her apartment, piled high with boxes. “I feel good about the future. In fact—I’m thrilled about the future.”
Inspired by Lisa Marie and Cathleen’s story? Keep an eye on our channels for other interviews in our Go Big series!