We had the good fortune of connecting with Erica Alvarez Castro and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Erica, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
When I think about a risk, I try to trace it to its source. Ie. where is this idea / risk coming from? Is it an impulsive risk? Or more importantly, is it coming from a place of higher thinking and feeling within me? Is it coming from a calm, divinely guided place? An impulsive risk can be small, and fun! And if you don’t have too much to lose, well why not take it? But, if the risk is much greater, say like leaving a stable 9-5PM at the beginning of a global pandemic and potentially losing a lot of money (as was the case in my journey), then you really have to stop, think, feel, and essentially figure out where exactly the idea is coming from. Personally, I kept tuning back into the idea / risk, and it felt so right and divinely guided, that I trusted my gut and went with it. Now, that doesn’t mean that it was smooth sailing from there… It just means that every time that I had doubts, I could go back to that place of knowing that all would be right. Months later, I can confidently say that I made the right decision; trusting my higher intuition and taking all the right the risks. At the beg. your foundation can feel shaky, but once it’s firmly in place, your confidence will soar!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Co. is a Spiritual Lifestyle Company and Shop located in Hoboken, NJ that is meant to raise awareness about Spirituality, and that aims to bring like minded people together, in order to form a greater Mindful and Spiritual community. I have seen a lot of Lifestyle Blogs and Companies meant to promote simple “femininity” or “coolness” but I have not come across too many that promote individuality, wellness, or oneness. Mindfulness and Spirituality has always been a huge part of my life, but somewhat hush hush due to its perceived “taboo” nature. Overcoming my fears to share this part of my life, and band people together to form a greater Mindful / Spiritual Community, has been the greatest risk that I have ever taken! But it has also returned the greatest rewards and accomplishments. Six months later, I am finally feeling confident, and proud! Looking back I’ve really learned, that hiding who you are, in order to conform to society’s norms, brings nothing good of it!

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?
I’ve actually never been a huge fan of planning trips! I’ve always felt that the best trips, have been spontaneous and uplanned. When you stroll around a place, without any set goals, you allow yourself to discover everything about that place, in a naturally organic and divinely guided way! This might not be for everyone, but personally, I do my research, see what resonates and maybe pick 1-2 things I absolutely must see while traveling. Usually, I start my day there, or arrive by mid afternoon, and then see where the day takes me. If you stress yourself out on vacation, packing way too much into the itinerary, then what’s the point? You’ll end up needing a vacation, from your vacation! 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?
My company’s success is without a doubt, due to the incredible female community in Hoboken, NJ and on the internet! Prior to starting my own company, I was working in a very toxic work environment where the women did not support each other, and were extremely competitive towards each other, to the benefit of all of the other males within the company. To be honest, this had been my first experience in such a patriarchal, toxic work environment, and it left me totally defeated, wondering if women were in fact, the problem? However, my company and its connection to the female community quickly proved me wrong. Women, who were literally my direct competitors (in every sense of the word) sprung up to help me, guide me, and lift me and my company up towards success! Owning a small business is hard, but being a woman and owning a small business, is even harder; I think we all instinctively knew this, and banded together to lift each other up. It has been the most beautiful transformation and journey! Looking back, I am so thankful for them…

Website: www.theCo.online

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theco.online/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericaalvarezcastro/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/onlinetheco

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theco.online

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.