Riddle me this… Nora Lee Notzen
Up close and personal with the co- founder and CEO of the mobile app VieLoco
If you knew then what you know now… would you still do it?
The question is not would I do it, as I definitely would, the question is when!? I would have done it earlier, had I only had the idea sooner!!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I have been fortunate to have been surrounded by inspiring parents and wonderful mentors who have given me invaluable advice. The best is “Everything is possible!”
What’s the weirdest rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
Let me think about this. Well, when I went back home to Laredo, Texas six years ago, I heard them said I was the runaway bride because I had cancelled three engagements… I had only been engaged once, but since I had long term relationships and never married the guys, they just assumed it was always me running away before I got to the alter.
What was your biggest break?
Most recently the biggest break was running into Jari Ovaskainen at 5 Hertford Street two years ago, especially after not seeing him for a while. He suggested we meet for lunch the next day to catch up. So the next day over a burger and Virgin Mary at Bar Boulud, I showed him the prototype for VieLoco. He said he liked it and he wanted in on investing in VieLoco. Then we shook hands! Having a hugely successful gaming tech investor behind us has been fortunate as we can learn from all his experience in his own businesses. He has also become a very dear friend.
Do you consider yourself lucky?
I consider myself a full on participant in life who embraces all. I like being in the game (not on the side lines watching), getting involved, getting back on my feet, moving forward, learning and evolving. That pro-active attitude has created my luck. Luck for me is born from a mindset and approach to life. I love life with all its challenges and ranges of emotions. I have though been very lucky in being surrounded by family and friends that I ferociously love who have nurtured me to be the best version of me!
What’s most important in your life?
Love, love of family, love of friends, love for humanity, love of self, love of wisdom, love is my DNA. Without it, nothing has meaning.
What other brands do you admire?
I admire Berkshire Hathaway, its values, and everything Warren Buffet stands for. He is in for the long haul (not the short term like many), and committed to all he invests in. His three investment principles, invest in business where you believe in the economics, invest in people you would marry off to your kids, and invest at a discount, in case you get the economics wrong. When it comes to luxury brands I admire Ralph Lauren. I like his story, the American dream, and the way he weaves in ethnic influences into his range for effortless chic, be it clothes or furniture. I also admire Hermes and the colour, style, heritage and craftsmanship that goes into all they do. For jewels I admire VanLeles Diamonds. She is a personal friend, who has dreamed big and followed her passion for beauty and gems. She has a beautiful bespoke jewellery shop on Bond Street, alongside all the big names. She creates unique pieces inspired by her African heritage with the best stones.
Do you have a guilty pleasure – if so what is it?
My guilty pleasure is escaping to a spa at least once a year. But since VieLoco, I have not been for over two years! My first experience was at the Mayr Clinic in Austria in 2002, and I have been about seven times. I have also been to Canyon Ranch in the USA, Chiva Som in Thailand, The Farm in the Philippines, Buchinger in Spain, and the Sha in Spain. It is important to get away, recharge your body, mind and soul.
Describe your personal sense of style.
Sartorial explorer, playful, feminine and fun. I dress for myself and am inspired by everywhere and everything. I am a sucker for dresses and heels. I do not have one look and I love mixing pieces from my mom and grandmother (usually jewellery, belts, bags, and fabulous coats!).