We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeanette Castro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeanette, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk is something we all do in one way or the other. And obviously some risks are bigger than others. As someone with anxiety, I have a love/hate relationship with risk. I try to view all pro and cons to anything that requires me to take the plunge and risk something. With my life and career, risk has taken such a huge role, that if I didn’t take certain risks, then I wouldn’t be where I am now. I wouldn’t have a business. Owning a business is such a huge risk in any way you see it. Before going full-time, it wasn’t an easy decision for me to decide if to just pursue my business or continue the career I had gone to school for. I was a researcher in mental health when I started my business, and it was a stable income which is something everyone wants. But I felt the need to take the plunge and go full-time with my business when I saw it was growing and I couldn’t do both anymore. I was willing to risk financial stability because I believed in my business. Even though my anxiety was all over the place because this was such a huge decision, I never regret it and I’m glad I took the risk. I have done things because of my business that I don’t think I would’ve been able to do with my old career. I’m proud of what I have created by myself and the relationships I have formed due to the risk I took with my business. The risks I take now with my business are a bit different, but they still make me anxious, whether big or small. But I know that things will be ok, no matter what happens with the decision I make. My business is the product of risk that I’m so appreciative of the support it gets from others, I’m forever grateful since the support I got from others is what allowed me to take the risk.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
With my business, I make a bit of everything, mainly jewelry and accessories. The items I make are all a little different, so anyone can find something they like. My goal is representation, culture, empowerment, and nostalgia, which is mostly because growing up Central American, my group is heavily under represented. Plus my style wasn’t always easy to find at any store. So I wanted to have a business that has a bit of everything for everyone so no one feels left out. And honestly the women around me heavily inspire what I make. What I’m the most proud of is that I have been able to create a business that so many people identify with the items, whether it’s with the food earrings I make, or the stickers. To get to this point was not easy at all. This has been years in the making and lots of sweat and tears. The challenges I have faced along the way were not easy and at times I did feel like giving up. But if it weren’t for the support of my friends and family, I wouldn’t have been able to overcome them. Some of these challenges required a lot of patience too, which I had to learn to have along the way. I’ve learned so much from the challenges of owning a business, that the main things I’ve gotten out of them are patience and time management. The main thing I want others to know about me and my brand is that everything is made with a lot of love and care.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Growing up in Hollywood is always interesting to others. One of my favorite places to take anyone visiting here is the Bat Cave in Bronson Park. It is where the old Batman series with Adam West used to be filmed, so literally Batman’s cave. I would take them to walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame just because I think that is something that people always want to do. Places to eat I’d suggest would be Pink’s Hotdogs since it is such an iconic place and has good food. I’m Central American, so I would recommend my favorite Salvadoran restaurant La Pupusa DTLA Urban Eatery. I would definitely take them to eat some Korean BBQ as well. I’m a total nerd too so I would take them to different museums, like the Science Center and LACMA, but also The Petersen Automotive Museum since it is just so cool to see different cars there. Those are personally some of my favorite places. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to thank my friends who supported my business from the beginning, and my mother who has always believed in what I do.