WIT Stories with Lourdes Arocho

Lourdes Arocho WIT Stories

Lourdes Arocho is the Vice President Toys and Hardlines at Universal, and has been an active member of WIT since 2009.

What is the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as a businesswoman today, and why?
The best advice I have ever received was the importance of having great mentors. A big part of my success is because of that advice; and through mentors, I have had so many opportunities in my career. I now make it a priority in my own career to mentor others and pay it forward.

What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in business, and how did you overcome it?
At the start of my career, my biggest challenge was not having an undergraduate degree. I felt that was something that would limit my growth, and so I went back to school part-time as a mom of two with a full-time job. It was one of the toughest things I had ever done, but continues to be one of my biggest accomplishments. With growth and success comes different challenges and obstacles, which I continue to face. My advice would be to decide which ones mean the most to you, and tackle those head on.

What advice would you offer women wishing to break into the toy/licensing/entertainment industry?
It would be the one piece of advice that has made the difference in my career, which is the importance of having mentors and being active in the industry.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
I believe many more memorable moments are yet to come, but the one that I’m most proud of at this point in my career is the launch of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in toys. It was the most collaborative and educational experience working with Playmates Toys on research, strategy, creative development, marketing and analysis. It was such an incredible opportunity, and I couldn’t be more excited about our portfolio at Universal and the fantastic partners we will be working with to bring these franchises to life in toys.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing a young boy or girl carrying their favorite doll, plush or action figure. Knowing that we are developing product that is creating happy memories for kids is what I love most.

What’s the ONE thing you recommend ALL businesswomen do right now to take their business or career to the next level?
Don’t get caught up in what other people are doing, keep your eye on the prize and let your work speak for itself.

What advice would you offer working moms?
Never miss the big moments with your kids – NO MATTER WHAT!

What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
During my first hour of the business day I try to stop for a 5- or 10-minute chat with each member of my team. It gives me the opportunity for an informal check-in before getting tied up in meetings. I don’t do this every day, but definitely at the start of the week and then mid-week. Then I pick up voicemail, go through my schedule for the day and check my to-do list from the night before.

How do you recharge/reboot?
Vacation is the best way, and I’m hoping to go on one soon!

What’s your favorite mobile app?
Since moving to Los Angeles from NY my favorite app is Waze. It’s been a lifesaver and helped me learn more about the area and how to get around.

What is your favorite productivity tip?
Do the thing you want to do least first, so it motivates you to keep going and get to the fun stuff!

What is the one thing you couldn’t live without?
No question, the one thing I could not live without is my family.

Who is your hero? (In business, life or both)
I have too many to name, there are so many people both personally and professionally who have inspired me.

What does WIT membership mean to you? How has it impacted your career?
It has given me the opportunity to meet such a diverse group of professionals beyond the licensor/licensee relationship. Having participated on committees and now on the board helps me not only have a voice but have the opportunity to listen and learn from incredibly talented and strategic professionals.

What do you wish other people knew about WIT?
I wish they knew just how dedicated the team at WIT is; not only about the programming, education and value they strive to bring to their members, but how they challenge themselves to raise the bar each time. This is a passionate team that does not settle for what worked last time, and that is inspiring.

What has surprised you most about WIT?
Less surprised and more impressed by how much the organization has grown and the continued level of commitment by the volunteers to create a forum that educates and inspires not only women but the toy industry as a whole.