There is a saying, "If you don't build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs".
I grew up with great examples of hardworking women, my grandmother and my mother, who both instilled in me a strong work ethic and drive. I'd be lying if I said I always dreamed of owning my very own business, I didn't. I just knew I wanted to do something that I love and was passionate about.
In 2004 I decided that passion was teaching, so I pursued a masters degree in Education through UCLA's Teacher Education program. I taught for a few years in East Los Angeles and I absolutely loved it, but with lingering student loan debt, high rent, and starting teacher salary I was struggling financially. It was then a friend introduced me to the insurance industry and retirement planning. I only intended for it to be part time but the more I learned the more intrigued and passionate I became, my ability to teach was instrumental to the growth in my career within the financial world. I was teaching families about the importance of preparing financially for their future. The more I met with clients it became very evident to me that there was a clear disconnect between the financial world and low to middle income families, Spanish-speaking families, educators, and women. My husband and I recognized the need for equitable access to financial resources irregardless of one's socio-economic background &/or gender, so we decided to do something about it. In 2008 we birthed our first business baby, Legacy Full Circle Financial & Insurance Services.
My husband and I are very ambitious people, which can be both a blessing and a curse at the same time. Something else we share in common is our love our beer. It's always been a hobby for us to try the latest and greatest, and plan our vacations around breweries/bars both near and far. It was in fact on one of our trips five years ago that we sat in a dim lit beer bar and promised one another that if the opportunity eever came up we would open our very own craft beer bar. We turned our love for craft beer into a business. Since the opening of our first business, we have managed to open three bars and have a fourth one on the way.
Life has a funny way of directing a path for you, and the lessons learned along the way are priceless. I don’t have parents who have a business background, nor do I have a rich aunt or uncle to mentor my growth as a business owner; I had to learn through trial and error (some very expensive errors).
As I continue my growth as a business woman it has become very clear to me that a very real lack of access exists for POC and women when it comes to resources, mentors and funding which is why I felt so passionate about creating this space. A space that can be accessed for information, inspiration, and empowerment. A space that can potentially boost under-served communities and catapult future generations of entrepreneurs. I don’t claim to know it all or be the solution to a larger systemic problem that exists, but I can offer my support.
When I was younger my mom shared this story with me about a young girl walking along the ocean hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean. A woman approached the girl and asked “Young lady, what are you doing?” The young girl replied, “throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die”. The woman laughed to herself and said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference!” The young girl smiled as she picked up the next starfish. Hurling it far into the sea she said, “I made a difference for that one”!
If this site makes a difference for even just one person, my friends, it will have served its purpose!