We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Romero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
Gotta risk it for the biscuit. Risk is absolutely necessary, calculated risk to be exact along with confidence and decisiveness once you decide it’s time to move forward. This means doing your research and not being overly optimistic or pessimistic, having a timeline of where you will draw the line. You have to know when to trust and fly and when to stand still. Risk has played a great role in my life and career. Starting my own business, Sakura Marketing Firm, and quitting my job of over 5 years to do that was a risk, moving to California with no network after college from Utah to follow my dream of working at a reputable publicity and marketing firm was a risk, but the risks have been worth it. The calculated risks have been character building and future investments.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more? What has been the journey and risks here? What books did you read?
I have the great honor of being a founder of Sakura Marketing Firm which is a digital marketing agency in Los Angeles that also offers PR services and social media marketing. The most special part is that the 25-year-old boutique PR firm that I worked at and that is known for integrity and stellar work before I started my own digital marketing agency became mine this year thus allowing me the opportunity to fuse our portfolio, extend our reach, and our company. As part of our entire portfolio, I have personally worked with or collaborated with on behalf of our clients with brands such as Fireball Whisky, 11 Ravens X Rolls Royce collaboration, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, to more local companies that play an amazing role in our community in Los Angeles such as the Spring Arcade and more. In addition to my marketing business, I have an e-commerce shop as well so we’ve expanded into these areas. I’m so proud to be a female founder of a marketing company and I’m also so proud to be a Latina founder at that. Saying that makes me very excited because statistically speaking, that shouldn’t be what I should be doing according to many people. My portfolio is eclectic as I started in the entertainment industry and it has evolved as my company has grown and developed departments for each arena such as fashion, interior design, etc. My journey has certainly not been easy but it has been unique and special. My journey up to this point included financial burdens as I was alone in California with no network as my Guatemalan parents raised me in Utah and we had no connections that could help advance me so I just had my grit and my voice. So to now work with the level of clients that we have is a tremendous honor for me. That humble grit dedication shows in everything we do to this day. I had a hard time getting my foot in the door as a Latina woman in the Entertainment and Fashion world so that was a risk to go for it but it’s where I wanted to start my career after college. Statistically speaking, we aren’t really in any of those positions, and believe me, I wanted to quit. It took everything out of me and luckily as I was ready to call it quits on my LA dream, I started working for the company that I now own for over 5 years as an Account Executive. I appreciated the opportunity deeply. After many years with the company, I decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur like the agency owner that I worked for and was deeply inspired by. Once I decided to go my own direction, I did my research and bought the books Set for Life by Scott Trench and the 4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. These two books allowed me to set up the foundation of my plan which was to attain the company that I worked for as my first client as a now non-employee and newfound entrepreneur of digital marketing. I was so happy to see this happen and it all grew from there! A whole year later, I didn’t know that the owner would welcome retirement which changed my life as it meant that I would end up owning this boutique PR agency company due to my relationship and value. This has been my biggest life honor and blessing. This is how I ended up with a PR and Digital Marketing company. I’m so excited to keep growing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles is a gem and if my best friends were visiting, I would show them an array of things! The first location that came to my mind was the Last Bookstore, everyone needs to experience this one of a kind labyrinth-like book store with a quirky romantic edge. I’d also make it a point to grab a bite on Melrose and hit up all those boutiques and restaurants, a nice dinner at the Sofitel is a must, and a visit to the Hollywood sign and stars is absolutely necessary. Food trucks are a must as well, a round-up guide on taco trucks needs to be created, there are so many great spots in LA, we’re literally so lucky!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m especially thankful to God. There are so many people, mentors, and books that deserve my recognition, and thank you. Their love, support, and encouragement have made all of the difference. The first people that come to mind are of course sisters and my parents who immigrated from Guatemala and provided us with the opportunity to have the “American Dream.” I never for one day take the opportunity to chase my dreams for granted. The next person that comes to mind is Mary Hall Ross from The Ross Group which is now a part of my company. She has provided an infinite amount of love, support, and grooming on both a professional and personal level. There is also a special woman that encouraged me to put a deadline on when I would like to start my own business instead of just talking about it, it was simple and yet deep, I chose my date a few weeks after and went my way. For my personal development, Viviana Aiello of Lovesgravity which is created to empower women has been a major blessing in my life. Aside from this as I look back on my life, I was very lucky to come across amazing professors, teachers, and people that have guided me. As far as books, organizations, and of that nature, wow! There are so many! I personally love books by Tony Robbins and had the best time attending Unleash The Power Within last year. As a child and young adult, I spent a significant amount of time reading books about Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. As a Latina, I’m inspired by Selena Q who I feel embodies a lot of millennial Latina women, and Salma Hayek because she strongly identifies with her roots. I love Grant Cardone as well, the 10X your life book is one that everyone should read for a dose of reality on why if you aren’t sold on your own idea than the probability of anybody else being sold on it is well pretty close to none. For me, music is where I truly get inspired though. My love for music is endless and you will be judged by the content of your music library. A lot of my career can be attributed to music, from really analyzing the lyrics to getting lost in the beats that help me write, work, etc, music is beautiful.