Meet Lila Limon, founder and creative director of Squeeze de Citron, a colorful line of bags handmade by Mexican artisans. After graduating with her bachelors degree in business in Mexico, she moved to New York City to continue her studies, studying Fashion Merchandise Management at FIT. She then got married, had two kids and moved to Florida. That’s where she started introducing her bags to market through charity events. After quickly selling 500(!), she had an “aha” moment and decided to truly launch her business. Today Her Squeeze De Citron bags can be found in more than 120+ boutiques in 24 different US states, Cayman Islands, Bahamas and Bermuda, as well as online at squeezedecitron.com. “This is an inspiring brand that represents happiness and joy through fun colors and textures,” shares Lila, who lives in Cos Cob with her husband and son, 7 and daughter, 9. She adds, “There is so much rich tradition behind them.” In this week’s Meet a Mom interview, learn more about Lila, her commitment to creating a fair trade and sustainable line, her life as a working mom and more.
When did you realize—wow, we really have something here?
After testing the market with charity events, people would not stop requesting them. After selling 500 I decided to fully launch a year ago. Now we are in 80 boutiques in 10 states! It’s wonderful that people are responding to this brand and its uniqueness.
Wow, that’s incredible. We love them for running around town with the kids. Why are they the perfect “mom” bag?
They are perfect Mommy bags and lifestyle bags. They’re made of recyclable plastic and waterproof. They’re easy to clean, durable, foldable and perfect for travel.
Can you please tell us a bit more about your commitment to sustainability?
We offer a sustainable program for all US clients on our website. When they are done using their bag, they can ship it back to us at our cost and we will make sure to recycle it the right way, and we offer a 15% discount if they wish to purchase a new bag with us!
You’re also a fair trade company and give 65 percent of the cost of the bags to the artisans. Why was this so important to you?
It was extremely important for us to be a full circle company because our goal is always to give back and make an impact. Each bag takes 10 days to make. It would not feel right to take advantage of that. I pride myself on being Mexican and sharing a piece of my country by bringing these bags everywhere. We’re showing the world what these artisans are capable of, and rewarding them for that.
What has it been like for you as a working mom/entrepreneur mom?
I always wanted to be a working mom—I always wanted my kids to see their mom not just as a mom but as active, creative and inspired. It’s been a great journey and they’ve been a part of it. My daughter actually designed one of our bags that sold out! They’ve understood at a young age the hard work you put into something when you’re passionate about it, and you finish what you start. Also they see that work can be fun when you do what you love.
Do you have any strategies you use to make it all work, with your responsibilities as a mom and business owner?
I think it’s important to use your time wisely so I love to organize myself well and divide my time. I try to make sure the company is running as efficiently as possible so I can maximize my time with my family.
What are your favorite pieces?
From our Candy collection it’s the Aqua Rainbow Hearts. It’s pure happiness and from the Balance collection the Serenity bag. It has the most beautiful colors. It’s so elegant and unpredictable at the same time.