Diana Verde Nieto
Co-founder & CEO, Positive Luxury
Location: London, U.K.
As the co-founder and CEO of Positive Luxury, Diana Verde Nieto is bringing together brands, retailers and people that care by awarding luxury lifestyle brands with the Butterfly Mark. She has transformed the butterfly into a trust mark that helps create a memorable shopping experience, fostering loyalty and generating trust. Working with over 200 brands, all of which are on a mission to be a catalyst of change for a healthy future; Positive Luxury evaluates, communicates and improves the reputation of brands, transforming the way they engage with consumers.
These days luxury goes beyond an actual product. Luxury is being able to trust the backstory of that product. As the saying goes, you can’t put a price tag on trust – but you can certainly put a Butterfly Mark.
What keeps you busy?
I’m a morning person, I always get up in a good mood. I normally go for a run or to the gym first thing, spend the day in and out of meetings and evenings at work related events or out with friends. Once I’m home, I can’t get to sleep without a cup of rooibos tea.
From the early days to what’s currently on your plate
I set up my first business in 2002, a sustainability communications consultancy called Clownfish. I always knew I wanted to do something that would make a real difference. It took awhile to get there but the journey was worth it. I started Positive Luxury a few years back, after selling and exiting Clownfish – it seems that entrepreneurial ventures are my thing. Positive Luxury keeps my day pretty full but I also sit on the board of a couple of NGO’s and the Young Global Leaders – World Economic Forum.
The thing that’s not on my CV is that I’m currently painting a picture for my goddaughter’s birthday and that is taking longer than expected…
The rhyme or reason
I grew up in a dictatorship and from a very young age wanted to be a human rights lawyer. I ended up studying business administration but I’ve always felt the urge to be a force for good, to do things for the betterment of the people and our planet – that’s what makes me really happy and spurs me on.
One day, I’ll look back and laugh at this…
I’m a glass half full kind of person. Although there have been and will continue to be challenges, I truly believe that’s what helps you grow. Every day is a learning curve but I don’t regret anything. I love learning and making mistakes – it’s what success is all about.
On a personal note, when I arrived in the UK, my English was terrible. My boyfriend’s friend spent a lot of time teaching me words, except he was telling me slightly alternative meanings. So there I was, at the first Christmas dinner with my boyfriend’s family – a very well established family – and his mum asks me “How’s your flat mate?” to which I unknowingly responded to with not such a polite word. At that point, she choked on the turkey and made it her business to teach me “proper” English.
When the going gets tough
A wise woman once said to me, “Edmund Hillary didn’t conquer Everest by looking at the summit. Think about where you’re going to put your next hand.”
Full speed ahead
What keeps me going are the people I work with, the people that believe in me and the goal of building a legacy business – one that once and for all, makes sustainability the norm and something that people just do.
The moments that make it all worth it
Happy clients, happy team, happy co-founder! And that after almost 15 years in this field, my dad finally understands what I do!
My friend’s dad… Sir Alex Ferguson.
Words to live by
Never give up.
Wow, so many, but for sustainability to become integrated and no longer have to be talked about. And in my personal life, to meet “Mr. Right and live happily ever after.”