Those of you that have been around may know that my name is in fact not Lila. Far from it. My name is Desirée (Deh-see-reh). I prefer to hear my name pronounced in Spanish as I grew up listening to it, but Deh-suh-ray is OK too. Now that we have that out of the way, why Lila (Lee-lah) then?
Well, it goes back to my mother. The superwoman that gave me life is named Dalila (Dah-lee-lah, not Dah-lai-lah). A very long time ago when MSN Messenger ruled my after school hours and I poured myself hours into deciding who made it into my top 8 on MySpace, I decided Lila had a ring to it that really appealed to me. Since then it has blessed every single username I have ever owned and it was almost my cat's Ulla's name when we adopted her (we opted to keep the one she had been baptized with at the shelter).
It's quite obvious I have been inspired by my mother ever since I was born. She's an artist and to me it was normal to always have every type of art supply readily available at my reach. She was never one to prohibit any expression of my creativity. She let me scribble all over our walls, my reading books, and my dolls' faces. She let me use her expensive Liquitex paints instead of the cheaper craft paints that were supposed to be used for said artistic expressions of a 5-year old (I knew those craft ones were not good enough for my inner artiste). Our house walls were covered with her expressive large format artwork. Later on in my teens when I dabbled in paint, my work started accompanying hers on the walls. I quickly realized that I didn't like painting. My jam was drawing and printmaking. So, while we differ in mediums, we are incredibly similar in techniques. You can say her trace rubbed off on me. Even my handwriting as an adult looks almost exactly like hers. Those labels on your packages with my handwritten "Are you ready to honor yourself?". Yeah, that could have easily been written by her!
So when it came to name my soap company, DUH. Lila was the front runner. I wanted a name that was catchy and descriptive but not too specific into soap. It was a no brainer really. I didn't even think about it too much and it stuck. Lilasuds. All in one word. Short, quick, easy (I think).
For May I usually launch a soap inspired by her art called Aguas. As of a few years ago her art shifted gears from depicting organic textures into expressing the visual rhythms of the ocean. We're from an island and we're surrounded by water, so it's second nature to her. She's been exploring vibrant tones of blues and incredible large-format texture. So this year, the May collection was all about florals and with her permission, she let me move Aguas to June as it has a more summery feel.
My first Aguas soap was a typical beach soap (as shown above). Sand, water, the works. This particular design has become a bit saturated in the soap world so I decided to switch it up a bit to fit more within my company branding, as well as to make it a bit more abstract. She taught me to always push to break the mold that way. So I decided to take some elements from her art that called out to me and represent them in the design: the bold flash of color, textures, sea foam. The blue swirled insert represents the waves she likes to depict in her paintings. The pearls and white represent bubbles and sea foam. The gold is the little metallic touches she likes to incorporate into her work. I love how the redesign looks. It compliments her work nicely and doesn't feel overdone.
So yeah, that's how Lilasuds got its name and how Aguas came to be. It's all about my mother! I've mentioned before how much she means to me. She was a single mother that to this day still works hard for us and what she has. She ALWAYS taught me by example to be independent, hard working, curious, and to educate myself. She is currently finishing her PhD at 64 on Counseling and Art Therapy. It's also her birthday this month, so May is very special to me because not only do I get to celebrate her as my mother but I also get to celebrate her life. Happy birthday, mamita linda! <3