We had the good fortune of connecting with Chetina Guadalupe and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Chetina, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Always Live Lovely actually started out as a blog in 2009. I always enjoyed providing people with motivation and figured this was the best way to do it. The name of my business was inspired by my grandfather. Whenever anyone would ask him how he was doing, he always replied “lovely, lovely, lovely”, no matter what he was going through. This helped me begin to think about what it means to live a lovely lifestyle, what it means to always live lovely. As time progressed my business naturally grew to me doing speaking engagements, creating content, workshops, a podcast “Breaking Barriers: A Mental Health Discussion”, offering consultations, and now a private practice. My dream pursuing this career was to be able to offer therapy services, since I am a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. I now offer virtual mental health services to all California residents. I knew I wanted to create a mental health space unique to all to help others heal and that has accessibility on many levels. That is exactly what I did.
Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I like to look at myself as a creative. Always Live Lovely provides the space for me to create a form of healing. What most don’t know is that I have a background in performing arts, therefore my final piece of Always Live Lovely will be the music. This is what sets me apart in addition to being relatable. I love showing people a different example of what a therapist can be.. Most times we hear we need to niche down and I would get so anxious about it because I knew I was multi-faceted, I do not like to be boxed in when I dream. Yes, I have specialties I work with, but for me I am my niche, my passions are my niche, my skills are my niche. I am so excited to offer my authentic self to the community as a guiding light. Getting here wasn’t easy. It took 8 years of schooling and then an additional 3 years for licensure. Heck, I was an honor student, yet I failed my first psychology class in high school…look at me now! There were many times I chose to play it safe thus far in my career because, it is scary to lose your safety net. I want to look back over my life and know I tried, I took the chance. I want the world to see me doing what makes me happy, heal, feel whole, embrace life, and committing to my journey. Life is all about finding what works best for you and that is the basis of Always Live Lovely.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I LOVE the Bay, there are always plenty of things to do. Whenever someone visits it always goes down like this. I would take them to San Francisco to sight see and have fun at the peer. They could choose a fun activity they wanted to try and I guarantee we have it here. Everyone has to visit Lake Merritt and Downtown Oakland at least once. The culture, murals, food, festivals, vendors, the list goes on and on are must. My new gem I add to the mix has been Marcus Garvey’s Bookstore in Oakland. There is a restaurant to fit everyone taste buds and of course we have to go shopping, especially for Oakland gear for a local business. Lastly, I would take them to the best spot to see the views because, it is breath-taking.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shout out all the people I have helped in their journey of healing because, each have helped me grow to be the therapist I am today. My family and friends have been big supporters throughout my journey, believing in my vision, and rooting for me. In specific, my mom, dad, and big sister who has shown up for everything I was a part of since I was a child, financially supported me, listening to me day after day, week after week, manifesting, strategizing, and growing my dream. Lastly, my husband, he made a vow to help support me make this a reality and for me to take the leap so my dreams can be completely realized. Let’s not forget God though because, honestly he orchestrates it all. Thank you.
Other: Podcast: https://anchor.fm/alwayslivelovely
Rodrael Guadalupe Wenlock Nau Ormand Cooper Photography