We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristine Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kristine, one of the most rewarding things about getting to know so many entrepreneurs and creatives is seeing first-hand how many of them are focused on so much more than just financial results. So many of the folks we connect with are focused on having a positive social impact on their community or the world at large. Can you talk to us about how you are helping the community?
At GRL Collective we donate 20% of our proceeds to funding girls education in Jodhpur India, where we volunteer yearly. We also donate $5 of our adult Lucha tee to BLM and our kids Lucha tee to RAICES.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I started GRL Collective in 2017 after testifying against my abuser and taking a 40 day trip to India. In India I met some incredible women and girls while volunteering with the Sambhali Trust that changed my life. I saw first hand how important girls education was and how hard some girls had to fight just to go to school. I knew I couldn’t leave India and not do something to help so I started GRL Collective with the soul purpose to donate to this program so the girls I had come to love so dearly could stay in school. I guess that’s what sets us apart is that I started this business TO give back, I didn’t start this business and then decide to give back, this business wouldn’t exist without these girls. In the past 5 months the business has grown exponentially, beyond what I had dreamed up in my head. It took a lot of patience to get it where it is today, and as is anything that is worth fighting for, it was not easy. I overcame the challenges by always keeping the girls at the core of everything. They are our why and on the hard days I think of them to keep me fighting forward.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Bloom & Plume Coffee LA- loveeee their lavender matcha latte! Maccheroni Republic DTLA- handmade fresh organic pasta, need I say more? Outdoor seating available during COVID! Gloss Nails Silver Lake- BEST place to get an insta-worthy manicure. Grand Central Market DTLA- basically everything in here is delicious and it’s a place I always take my friends to when they visit from out of town! Poached Downey- I eat their breakfast burrito once a week, it’s truly such a treat! Tacos Don Goyo Downey- just look at their instagram and your mouth will start watering. Badmaash DTLA- Quick, easy, delicious. The butter chicken is so so good, Olvera Street DTLA- A fun place to get immersed in Mexican-American culture, cute things to buy and delicious taquitos. Elephante Santa Monica- The banana bread with salted butter changed my life. Hollywood Forever Cemetery- When it opens back up again, it’s such a perfect place for a girls night out! Dodger Stadium- When it opens back up again, do yourself a favor and get a michelada. BEST in town. Honey Hi Echo Park- the breakfast bowls look too pretty to eat and truly taste like a masterpiece!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this shout out to my amazing husband, my Mom, my Grandma and my closest friends. I would not be here without the support of each and every one of you. The late nights, the helping me for free, the shouting me out when no one else would, my heart if forever full.
Michelle McSwain Shaina Santos