We had the good fortune of connecting with Antonio Reveles and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Antonio, what role has risk played in your life or career?
As a first generation latino, many times taking risks was my only option! Being raised in a first generation household and carrying the title of a Jr meant that my priorities and life achievements had to be high. Therefore, standing out and achieving my dreams meant taking risks. Growing up, I took many risks such as being the first child in my family to go to college, major in a field that wasn’t considered successful to my parents, and expressing my sexuality to my traditional family. However, it wasn’t until last year when I was faced with the biggest risk of my career and my financial lifestyle. Like many individuals, I was left with no job or opportunity to apply for unemployment due to the pandemic and my work status. At that very moment I knew that my journey would begin. The journey to either make something out of myself, or allow the pandemic to destroy me and potentially lead me into becoming homeless. Having majored as a Visual Arts major and receiving my Bachelors Degree from the University of California Los Angeles, I knew that it was time to put my degree to use. The journey began as I started to post inspirational photos of interiors, Exteriors and Events on my social media platforms. Not knowing that I would attract so many individuals that would be interested in my services, slowly my clientele began to grow. What began as a small business providing design services for Interiors, Exteriors and Events has now become an Enterprise today bringing in over six-figures in income in the first year. I always knew that I was destined for more, I just never knew how my journey would play out. I look back and think about the many risks and challenges I had to face to get to where I am today and I am happy for each and everyone of them. If there is no journey, there is no story. If there is anything life has taught me in the last year, it is that everything happens for a reason. I can finally say that I am living my dream. If I can give a word of advice to anyone reading this, it would be to take that risk! Start that new business! Go out there and live your dream! You will never know what you are capable of until you take that risk.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Journey to get to where I am today was not easy, but I can definitely say that it has been worth it. Like many individuals I got stuck working a 9-5 that was only supposed to be what many of us call, “Temporary, ” but eventually get stuck working until we retire. I didn’t want to fall into that statistic. As a visual arts major, my goal was to start my own business and eventually make enough money to leave my 9-5. Always having that idea in the back of my head became an excuse as to why I truly wasn’t pursing my dream. There is a study that shows that 33% of Americans have not started their own business because they are too scared to fail. I was one of those 33% of Americans who found every reason to not start my own business. However, it wasn’t until the pandemic hit when I was left with no job or opportunity to apply for unemployment where I was given no other choice but to either start my own business or end up homeless. It was that very moment where the start of my business began! Living in a generation where everyone is on there phone and hooked for hours on social media, the idea grew to post Inspirational photos of Interiors, Exteriors and Events. Not knowing that I would attract many individuals that would be interested in my design services, my online presence began to grow! It didn’t quite start off that way though, The first few months we’re literally crickets! No followers, no likes and no income coming in. Having no income meant me being delinquent on my bills. A few months passed by and the interaction remained the same. No followers, no likes and no income coming in. I spent many nights crying myself to sleep because I couldn’t understand why this was happening to me and why people were not interested in my business. Being that I had no income and my bills were delinquent, at the age of 26 I was forced to file for bankruptcy. It was that very moment where I had a reality check with myself and I knew that I had to find a different strategy to attract an online presence which would in return attract potential clients. With the mindset of not giving up, I continued to post on my social media platforms and reach out to individuals who would potentially be interested in my services, Messaging potential clients became one of my most successful strategies, as I began to attract individuals with a large online presence which began to attract more individuals who were interested in my services. Weeks passed by, and the strategy developed non stop inquires, filling up my agenda and having me work 7 days a week. Today my small business has turned into an enterprise providing design services in the field(s): of interior, Exterior and Event Design, I feel so blessed to be where I’m at today and to see how much my business has grown in the timeframe of less than a year. Overcoming the challenges we’re extremely tough but not impossible. The important thing to do when facing a challenge is to always show up. When my bank account was over drawn and I was filling for bankruptcy, I still showed up and I never gave up! Its so easy to say I can’t do it and just give up on everything you worked for. But when you’re faced with the challenges and the journey, that is when life will really mold you! If there is no journey, there is no story. If I want anyone to take anything way from my story, I want them to always remember to show up regardless of the circumstances that life will throw at you. A young latino from the San Fernando Valley with no job built a six-figure enterprise in less than a year. Anything is possible! Chin up young one, the sky is the limit!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my very first client, Leslie Mendoza! Leslie was not only my very first client, but the very first person who believed in me! Like many of us, Leslie also knows what it’s like to start from the bottom! Leslie has been my inspiration and my mentor for the last three years, as she has spent those last few years building her own empire and bringing me along her journey. With the opportunities that Leslie provided me with, I have been able to grow my online presence and turn my small business into an enterprise! I will forever be grateful for the opportunities that Leslie has given me and remember to always stay humble as she has also done so despite her online presence and success.