This week’s podcast is many things. Much of it traces the dramatic details of shoe designer George Esquivel’s remarkable and inspiring life. Growing up in seedy motels, surrounded by drugs and violence, and with a father tied to a life of crime, some chance encounters greatly impacted the course and purpose of George’s life, a life that would go on to be grounded in ingenuity and authenticity, and the tireless pursuit of creativity and learning. Listen in to discover how making a pair of shoes on a trip to Mexico turned into 2000 pair produced in a garage, and the chance to contribute to Gwen Stefani’s iconic stage costumes. Since his start, George has designed for many more celebrities, including Jenelle Monae, Brad Pitt, and Madonna, and on this podcast he shares the key to those relationships that he holds so sacred. You’ll hear all about his supremely unique vision and process, how he works with private clients and retailers, and the many people and brands he’s worked with over the years. From Tommy Hilfiger and Anna Wintour, to Chloe and Tumi and more, George gets candid about what it’s like to create both for your own brand, and also for others. He shares advice and the way in which he perceives and truly lives his brand identity. We discuss his greatest hits like Tumi’s X bag and Accent Kit and his Fratelli Rosetti J. Crew loafer that Jenna Lyons still sports today. We get into creative spaces and personal style, and his downtown LA atelier and signature candle. He shares his favorites pieces from his own collection, the six things he’s loving right now, and we talk the magic of Harry Styles. Recalling the love and kindness of strangers experienced in his own early life, George gets specific about his charity efforts and Esquivel X Collection. It’s an honor to share George’s perspective and entrepreneurial story, so happy to do so, especially at this time of year, as people reflect on the year gone by, when people might need a little lift into the next one, because it offers strength, hope, motivation, and most importantly, a message of kindness and gratitude. Here’s the amazing story of George Esquivel, a talented designer determined to move forward as a maker, at one point, against all the odds.