Today's Notable Young Entrepreneur is Lilliana DeCotiis, whose ventures includes Vancouver's Loden Hotel, Tableau Bar Bistro and Homer St. Cafe and Bar. She lives, breathes and exudes hospitality in every way; find out more about her approach in today's profile...
Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
The hospitality industry is all about care for guest experience. In the end, our goal is to always ensure our guests are happy, comfortable and content. This principle includes establishing a relationship with our guests by providing a personalized approach and truly caring for and about them. Naturally, this can only happen if our colleagues are passionate about where they work. We are very lucky to have built a team of truly incredible individuals who love what they do each day. I think guests can see and feel that.
Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
It was an evolution of my family’s real estate business, which we’ve been working on for more than 45 years.
Our vision has always been to grow, expand and evolve. These goals move the business forward and from there we recognized the opportunity to move into a new area: hospitality.
We have owned and managed real estate for over 45 years so to take the step into hotels, though foreign, was a natural step. Ultimately we want to provide an enjoyable, warm, memorable experience with great service whether occupants are renting, leasing or staying a night.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part of the day-to-day is the creative process – building the Loden brand, and keeping the legacy of the business moving forward with passion, integrity and ambition.
The most challenging part has to be not having enough hours in the day. It comes down to time and some days I just don’t have enough of it. So, I’ve learned to become incredibly efficient but to also recognize that there is always tomorrow.
Where do you see your business going in five years?
I’d like to see the Loden become a national brand, expanding across the Canadian market and opening new properties in Canada’s major cities. I want our name to be synonymous with exceptional service, consistency, and elegance across the country.
What does success look like to you?
Success is not only about growing and building a business, but also living well, loving well, and eating well. Family, friends, food, fun, a “la dolce vita” attitude. That’s success to me.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
The opening of the Loden Hotel. From the inception, the build out (construction) and finally opening the doors, all of it embodied a vision and a greater legacy for our family.
I would also count the opening of two restaurants, Tableau Bar Bistro and Homer St. Cafe and Bar, as another milestone. Coming from the real estate development industry, this was a significant career switch and I’m proud to have achieved success in this industry, which can be very unpredictable at the best of times.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Love what you do, listen to your gut, be honest, straightforward and do everything with passion.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
The Loden is proud to participate in and provide support to numerous charities and organizations: Dr Peter Aids Foundation, BC Cancer Society and our own Vancouver Tree Lighting event, which grows larger every year.
I believe in giving back to the communities we operate our business in. More than goodwill, giving back is about social responsibility because I truly believe that all of us can make a difference.
What is Notable to you?
Family. I believe family is very important, and I value that. Also, being tenacious in business and not giving up. My dad used to tell me to never take “no” for an answer, that “no” just means try again later. As an entrepreneur, the road is not always easy, but as long as you stay focused and imaginative, you can reach your goal.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
I currently use the iPhone, but my heart is with BlackBerry.
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?
A healthy lifestyle starting with training in the gym, staying bendy with yoga, drinking lots of water, getting plenty of sleep and enjoying my espressos – they keep me going!