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Entrepreneur Chat

HoneyLab Creative's Ximena Caminos

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In the Miami art scene, few people have made an imprint quite like Ximena Caminos. As the former Artistic Director and Chair of FAENA Art, and Partner and Creative Director of the FAENA Group, she helped transform Miami's Mid-Beach neighborhood into a magnet for cool, bumping South Beach off its glamorous perch. In 2018, she embarked on a new chapter with the launch of think tank, HoneyLab Creative, and its nonprofit arm BlueLab Preservation Society, which is dedicated to environmental issues.

While she's been making inroads in innovation and sustainability—a new biodegradable plastic, habitats for seahorses—she hasn't exactly left the art world behind either. Caminos, who's originally from Argentina and is an XPrize Ambassador, is also the Artistic Visionary Planner for The Underline, an in-the-works art park stretching a whopping 10 miles underneath Miami's Metrorail transit system.

Here, we get to know the pioneering mover-and-shaker as she talks about her career pivot and reveals her guide to the entrepreneurial life—plus, her secret hideaways in the Magic City.

Ximena Caminos, photographed by Greg Lotus

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Q&A

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What were the inspirations behind HoneyLab and BlueLab?
It was a natural process. I needed to create something that resonated with my life's purpose. For 15 years, I was Partner and Creative Director for FAENA, oversaw the arts, and all aspects of communication and design. After that incredible experience I decided to shift, having the urge to create my own launchpad for ambitious ideas, involving my favorite things: urban acupuncture, cultural placemaking, challenging mindsets, the creation of new myths...
BlueLab was also part of the same natural process and came hand in hand because it's HoneyLab's eco sister—an interdisciplinary, impact-driven, eco-philanthropic 501 c3, seeking to reconcile us with the water world. Our mission is to find executable third-millennium solutions to second-millennium blunders, including overfishing, plastic pollution, aqua-floral imbalance, irresponsible tourism and the shortage of ocean-based art.
To sum up, both platforms were created to welcome the most unlikely mix of bold international art, applied sciences and colloquial wit to address burning issues—while creating joyful new city landmarks, commissioning immersive, site-sensitive interventions that inspire and awe.

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What's the story behind the names?
To me, culture is the honey of society, and bees represent a symbol of a collaborative system: the hive mind. The word Lab comes from laboratory; it's a laboratory of extraordinary talent collaboration.

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Best part about owning your own business?
Well, freedom, and with that comes a lot of risks and responsibilities. I like to spread wings and fly high with no golden parachute; I love to be my own boss.

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And the most challenging...
I am tough with myself and set high standards—that's the only way for me.

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What are the top rules in the Ximena Caminos guide to entrepreneurship?
Play ahead of disruption, plus:
Priority,
Strategy,
Focus,
Impeccable execution
And, crucially, flexibility in adapting to sudden changes.

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What fuels you as an entrepreneur?
The future is faster than we think and to be an entrepreneur is to be in sync with it—and that thrills me! It's driving into an unknown territory—challenging, beautiful, exciting! The maps that we have are old; I am curious and love to explore. X marks the spot, right?

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Ximena's Miami Guide

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Nina Johnson Gallery, photograph courtesy of the gallery

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Artist Ateliers
I love to visit young and upcoming local artists' ateliers. Miami is full of incredible artists who are enriching the local art scene all year long. My favorites: Fountainhead Residency, Bakehouse Art Complex, Nina Johnson's gallery.

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The patio at Broken Shaker in the Freehand Miami Hotel, photographed by Adrian Gaut

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Good Eats
Boia De, in the historic Buena Vista neighborhood of Miami Beach, serves delicious, real food and will make you feel at home. I also love Pao, Blue Ribbon and Mandolin and the cocktails at Broken Shaker.

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The sun-kissed shores of Miami Beach, photographed by Boucher Brothers

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The Beach, Of Course
One of the best things about Miami is its connection to nature. The beach is where I go to think. I often take long walks on the boardwalk and use this time to reflect while taking in Miami’s endless skies.

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Shop Talk
I love Upper Buena Vista and Citadel.

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The entrance of the retail sanctuary, Upper Buena Vista

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