Profile: Analisa Hightower: Lola’s Foundation
November 29, 2011
The Fresh Outlook recently spoke to Analisa Hightower, founder of Lola’s Foundation, who told us a bit about her life.
When she graduated from college, Analisa Hightower was one of the many young and unemployed people looking for a job. After a short stint in fashion, where she helped a friend with the launch of his men’s undergarment company, she decided to start her own company, fulfilling her desire to help people by “making sure all the money goes back to the people”.
Analisa’s company, Lola’s Foundation, an American not-for-profit organisation, relocates goods and services that otherwise would go to waste in order to provide families and shelters in need with food, supplies, health education and access to afterschool programmes.
As she runs such an interesting project, Analisa seemed like the right person to talk to for business and life advice.
Being an ambitious person, Analisa has always known the value of ambition and attitude when launching your own business as well as during unpredictable moments in life. When speaking about the key to success, Analisa confirmed that yes, attitude is everything:
“Of course ambition, determination and innovation are keys in creating products and running a business. But attitude will take you there. Skills can be learned, I’m a firm believer and example of that. But attitude will determine if someone will bother to learn those skills or push forward even though things look bleak. And if it doesn’t work at the end of the day, if you gave it your best shot, you know there’s nothing you could have done differently,” she said.
Analisa, who could count on the help of her family and friends, mainly found the inspiration for her organisation from her grandmother, her ‘Lola’ in Tagalog, one of the languages spoken in the Philiphines:
“I named the foundation after her because she was an entrepreneur; growing up in poverty in the Philippines, raising her siblings without parents and then raising her own family. She was an entrepreneur, started her own business and sent her kids through school. After that she sent her grandkids through school and helped raise me. She stressed helping others out, which is what her foundation aims to do,” Analisa said.
Analisa, who is evidently a determined person, told us about the time she had to deal with sexist remarks from male colleagues: “I’ve faced those,” she said. “I [would] say, ‘You’re making me uncomfortable.’
Some have gotten the hint, others haven’t. Those who do I still talk to. Those who don’t? I just have to avoid,” she added.
Moreover, if she had the chance to go back in time and change her past, she said she would have been more assertive and she would have said ‘no’ to friends who had wanted to go into business together: “There’s a dynamic between friends where when in business together, they want to walk on eggshells. One will eventually blow up at the other which puts a strain on the friendship. I’ve found family is actually easier to do business with because there is a much more open line of communication.”
For more information regarding Analisa and Lola’s Foundation, please visit www.mylola.org
By Rosaria Sgueglia
[Image courtesy of Analisa Hightower]