We had the good fortune of connecting with Elena Gonzalez Santulli and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elena, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My name is Elena Gonzalez Santulli, and I am the founder of Made by a Woman, a brand supporting woman-identifying and non-binary artisans. I became established in 2020, and will be launching in Spring 2021. When I started Made by a Woman, I didn’t realize the potential for the community it could generate. I doubted my ability, and didn’t think I was in any position to start a business. The business morphed into many thing in the early stages, and I had a lot of layers to unpack to make it genuine or I knew it wouldn’t last long. I don’t have a degree in business, and most road blocks came from a learning curve. I often questioned hiring outside of my skillset; but as a struggling artist, that wasn’t an option. I educated myself, and made it a few steps ahead each day. I believe ideas come to us to spark a bigger connection, and we shouldn’t ignore them. It’s up to us to find the message, and it doesn’t have to be glamorous. It all starts in your room while you build your business plan. Keep yourself accountable and treat yourself like a boss. Stay dedicated and make deadlines. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to launch. People may not be there along the way to see the hard work you’ve put in, but keep your faith that you will build a community meant for your business.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am the founder of an artisan community, a freelance artist, and a Writer/Director. I feel less inclined these days to define myself in a specific discipline because my path consistently changes, and I am open to the opportunities I haven’t even imagined. I find artists becoming more multi-disciplined these days due to the overwhelming amount of content we consume and the platforms available to us. The path for a creative career is so unpredictable, and you have to really pay attention to what your soul is calling for, or you’ll find yourself lost. My aim as an artist has always been to influence expression with no limitations, and I feel a responsibility to have my platform reflect this regardless of the medium. I want people to feel safe in my art to express themselves confidently and free of judgement. It’s taken years to learn to quiet the voices that want to dismiss, or threaten the artist within. This is not a lesson mastered, but practiced everyday. It’s important to not find ourselves stuck in comparison and false reality. Instead, surround yourself with a supportive community or follow inspiring content on social media that encourages you to flaunt your power. This helps me find perspective in self-love, and directly affects my work as an artist.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
These are some of my favorite spots in Los Angeles, but there’s just too much I’d love to share about the city. I’ve had some of the best times with unplanned destinations. You might come across a hidden door leading to a jazz room, or a star-wars themed bar, or walk a few miles to the top of the observatory. It’s filled with opportunities. It’s almost impossible to make such an itinerary, but this is a start. Obviously, we must start with food! Wurstküche – Amazing for a bite to eat after drinking, and walking distance to breweries. Great vegetarian options, also! Grand central market – Food court over 100 years old, offering some pretty authentic food vendors. Bourgeois Pig – My favorite coffee shop with a cool style, and an awesome secret room in the back, where I’ve written some of my best work. Frankie’s – New York-Italian style restaurant, green carpets and all! For all my Frank Sinatra lovers. Tatsu Ramen – My favorite vegan ramen, and super late night stop. Mel’s Drive In – Maybe slightly overrated, but I do love going back in time with milkshakes and jukeboxes. Daniel’s Tacos on Vineland – Always get the horchata. BARS: The Edison – Super classic bar, renovated from a power plant, that offers an incredible ambiance, burlesque, & live music. Really special place! Art District Brewery – My go-to brewery. I like the food and I like the beer! Angel City – Walking distance to other breweries, and often have food-trucks outdoors. ENTERTAINMENT: Groundlings on Melrose – Improv and sketch shows for great prices Comedy Store on sunset – The best date night. Rainbow Room – A classic. You’ll have some of the best nights. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Goddess Council has been an encouraging online sisterhood that has influenced my dedication to uplifting my community.