We had the good fortune of connecting with Martha Gil De Montes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Martha, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
After 15 years in the corporate world, I had enough experience and know how to trust my instincts, feel confident about my skills, and determined enough to know I could be an independent professional who could start her own business. All those years of hard work have paid off. More than anything, they have made me fearless in the sense that I know I can go after projects I want, in areas that interest me and help my community. I know I have a unique set of qualities that I bring to my clients, for example, the fact that I was born in LA but raised in Mexico makes me very marketable and helps me diversify the type of services my agency offers. I’m also very conscious of how I spend my time and energy now, I suppose that comes with experience. I don’t take projects or clients that are not in alignment with my values and that has made my business succeed.
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?
MGM Collective, LLC, is a fashion & lifestyle boutique PR agency located in Pasadena, California. MGM Collective is a fully bilingual Latina owned business with 15 years of experience in Public Relations, Television On-Air Appearances and Production, Marketing, Social Media, and Special Events. Our objective is to create brand narratives that connect with the community and reach consumers in an authentic and impactful way.
I was born in LA but grew up in Mexico until age 12, when my family returned to the U.S. I had to learn English and adapt to a new culture which taught me how to be resilient, develop strong work ethics and be intellectually curious because there’s always something new to learn and discover.
My experience ranges from consumer public relations to on-air tv appearances serving as a fashion + lifestyle spokesperson on local and national Hispanic outlets including FOX, KTLA, Univision, Telemundo and CNN en Español.
I’m very passionate about the Latinx community and consider myself an expert when it comes to U.S. Hispanic media.
PR is all about storytelling and we have the power to change the narrative. Every brand has a unique story to tell and how you tell that story is important. In this ever-changing life cycle, where social media and the news just keeps us going at a frantic pace, we all have a chance to connect with meaningful causes, with our community, with brands that speak to us, so that we can make an impact and do good for our world. It may be a “pie in the sky” kind of outlook, but I truly believe that optimism and goodness can lead to a profitable brand.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve traveled plenty for work and I always love coming home because nothing compares to LA. I always joke with my friends and say that if I wasn’t already doing Fashion PR, I would do Food PR because I’m obsessed with food. I don’t know where to start because I have so many favorites, but I’ll do my best. My go-to DTLA restaurants are Bavel DTLA, Rossoblu, Girl & Goat – you won’t be disappointed, best atmosphere, music, cocktails, and food. I’m also a huge fan of classics like Philippe The Original and Oaxaca restaurant Guelaguetza in Ktown. Speaking of Ktown, Kang Hodong Baekjeong for all the Korean BBQ lovers. My boyfriend is a big breakfast guy, he grew up in weho and our fave place is The Griddle Café, the pancakes are worldly famous. I live in Pasadena and one of my favorite Mexican restaurants is Maestro, the food is always on point and reminds me of my moms cooking.
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?
All the credit goes to my parents who taught me work hard and be kind to people. They came from Mexico and had their own business, and I always saw this spirit of “can-do” in everything they set their minds to, whether it was starting their own business or helping out family and friends. I just admire them so much for their example and work ethic. In my recent professional ventures, I have a few people who gave me a chance and mentored me, who continue to be a source of inspiration and sounding board, like my previous boss Milinda Martin whom I still stay in touch with to this day. She gave me a shot at being on TV as a spokesperson, for example, and believed in me before I believed in myself. I am forever indebted to her among other mentors, because they opened a whole new set of possibilities in my career. Para mi gente, there is magic in supporting and guiding each other, I believe that we all the power to create a life and career that excites us on every level.