We had the good fortune of connecting with GABRIELA VELASQUEZ and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi GABRIELA, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of my brand has been to be myself. I use my personality as inspiration and that has made gabri.LA genuine. My personality shows not only through my statement pieces of clothing and accessories but also in the way I interact with my customers and the people around me. Whether they are shopping in person at a local pop up or online, my pieces and I are going to make everyone feel special and unique. I want every person I have an interaction with to have something positive to remember my brand and I for.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a first generation Mexican American born and raised in LA-Echo Park area by hard working parents. Growing up I always knew I wanted to do something related to art and fashion. I was involved in everything I could like putting together fashion clubs, and even worked backstage as a dresser for runway shows around the city. I began working at the mall when I was 16 and had multiple retail jobs after that which helped me develop customer service skills. After high school I attended FIDM as a fashion design major. In 2013 I obtained my degree and became a mom! I landed a few jobs within the LA fashion industry and my career rerouted towards a more sales driven path. I’ve always been a people person so attending trade shows was always fun plus the merchandising experience is now coming in handy for my pop ups! I love learning and always got involved in every job aspect possible which then led me to learn more about e-commerce and marketing. On July 24th of 2020 I was having some serious trouble sleeping so I decided to use my time wisely! I realized that I have all the knowledge, experience, and dedication needed to start my own small business. Nothing good comes easy! I’m working at all times but I know that one day it will all pay off. When doing pop ups it’s important to keep in mind that not every event will be amazing but always keep in mind that every person I meet can one day be a potential customer. Not every style will sell out and that is okay! I take all these challenges as opportunities to learn more about my customers as well as take notes of what areas are more into my brand. Taking all challenges as learning experiences is a must to keep me going and growing.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have so many places I love going to but below are some that I continue to go to through the years! Besides the below, I am trying new places. I do love rides and don’t go to theme parks often so I would definitely take this opportunity to go to Six Flags or SkyDiving!
Echo Park Local Bars- Echo Park is home so any local bar is always a good time! Not only is it convenient, just a few blocks away but you can get your hands on a lot of yummy handcrafted drinks!
Tacos Villa Corona- The breakfast papa burritos are delicious!
La Cuevita + Los Dorados- Have a mezcal cocktail followed by the barbacoa flautas from Los Dorados! The barbacoa are my favorite but they are all sooo good!
Salsa & Beer- Aside from the looooong wait to be seated here everything is soooo good! My favorite are the creamy chicken enchiladas along with a Michelada!
Ave 26 Night Market- You can find everything there! They recently moved locations but if it is anything like it was in Lincoln Heights it was everything!
Ramirez Market + Mariscos Jalisco- Make a quick stop at Ramirez Market for endless options of drinks then make your way to get the best shrimp tacos dorados!
Elio’s Woodfire Pizza- The pizza is perfect and Elio is such an inspiration.
Teardrop Park- Picking up a charcuterie plate and some bubbly to enjoy the beautiful view of DTLA is one of my favorite things to do!
BOSSA NOVA- Everything is delicious and a great place to go have dinner
Local Pop Up Event- I love to attend local pop ups to show support.
Salazar- Not only is it a cute place the drinks and food are soooo good!
La Cita- La Cita is a guaranteed good time!
Las Perlas- Pre Pandemic this was my go to for palomas, mezcal shots, handmade tortilla quesadillas, and churros! They unfortunately don’t serve quesadillas anymore but it is still one of my favorite bars in DTLA!
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 am so thankful for all the support from my loved one and my family! They have all contributed to my dream with helping me set up/breakdown at pop ups, dropping off packages, picking up new merchandise, and hyping me up to keep going! They seriously have lifted so much weight off my shoulders which gives me more time and energy to contribute to gabri.LA and to keep providing the ultimate experience to my customers!