Courtney DeLaVega + Neat Edit
Courtney DeLaVega had a successful career at an ad agency when she decided to take a leap, leave her job and tackle the other side of advertising: post production. As Co-Founder and Executive Producer of NEAT EDIT, Courtney has gotten to work with some of her most desired clients. A rare southern California native who doesn’t know how to surf or swim, Courtney describes herself as the perfect girly stereotype, with one exception - she loves whiskey. She named her company after her drink order and hosts a weekly whiskey tasting at her studio to bring the warmth and camaraderie of sharing a drink to every relationship.
Why do you do what you do?
As far back as I can remember, I've feared growing old and looking back on my life wondering why I didn't spend more time around the people I love. With that in mind, I've always been motivated to buckle down and work really hard as a young person both in college and as a young professional, in order to earn the lifestyle I have now; which includes a morning commute and workday with my husband, and unlimited time off to spend with my family.
What is the best compliment you've ever received?
Literally anything to do with my intellect. Women are always, and often solely, complimented on their appearance. (This is most definitely no surprise to your boss lady readers.) Yes, women are stunning and vivacious, but OUR BRAINS ARE SO COOL! They work so fast and hard, it’s about time they get some recognition!
Where do you thrive?
This answer is going to get embarrassing, but I thrive when I “shake” — let me explain... When I was little and faced with challenging tasks that were barriers to the good stuff (i.e. do my chores before I play, eat vegetables before dessert, get my homework done so I could play, etc.), I would make a promise to myself that I’d follow through on it. I'd seal the deal by literally shaking my own hand. After doing that for so many years and never breaking a shake with myself, it just kind of stuck. So to this day, I make agreements with myself about what I want to achieve and still literally shake my own hand on it. It’s my guarantee to myself that I’ll make it happen, and I always do! It’s how I took on huge course loads in college, hit career milestones, and it’s actually how this company was born; I made my husband shake my hand while we were walking the dogs one day!! Nerdy, right!?
What's the quirkiest part of your daily routine?
Aside from all that hand shaking? Probably the way I pass time during my commutes. I come from a family of great singers/impersonators and I appear to be the black sheep, but I’m actually a closet impersonator myself! Most of my friends and family know I do some good rap impressions, but the real gems are in the singing. I’m just way too shy to EVER sing in front of anyone so it only happens in the bubble that is my car. My husband is the only one who has heard them, and that was after about a year into our marriage! It's a fun way I keep myself busy from thinking about work too much.
If you could only have one app on your phone, what would it be?
Ever accidentally wear a skirt on a windy day? The weather app!!!
What's the biggest lesson you learned this past year?
A bit of naiveté can take you places. I was watching Shark Tank just before we opened Neat Edit and one of the episode’s products was this eco-friendly soap, and the owner was this tween-age kid. He told the panel of sharks about how he already has agreements with huge retailers to sell his product. When the sharks asked how he got such a big deal for his product he said “I called the CEO up and asked.” The sharks were shocked and asked questions like “You called him directly?” and “He answered a call from you?” It was a great lesson that I really took to heart. Adults get so in their heads with fear and intimidation while really, the worst that can happen is you’ll get ignored. So what, right? I’ve run our business with that mindset and as a result, have secured new relationships with some of the dreamiest clients I could imagine.
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