We had the good fortune of connecting with Raychel Espiritu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raychel, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind my success is living by spiritual principles, specifically the golden rule: treat people how you want to be treated. I had a great mentor who taught me “How you do anything is how you do everything.” I can’t be a different person in life and business, I’m one and the same. By practicing kindness and compassion in all aspects of my life, I am able to gain true friends and allies. I’m not being kind because I’m trying to get something out of it, rather, I’m genuinely being kind from my heart because that’s how I believe people should be treated. By carrying this belief into my business, I am able to listen when a customer has a complaint, and instead of getting angry and defensive, I reply with compassion and understanding. As a result, the situation dissolves and we are able to come to a resolution. My mentor used to always say “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar,” which is absolutely true. Somewhere along the way, there was a general belief that we need to be cold and selfish in order to be successful in business. That’s simply not the case in my experience. By practicing an attitude of gratitude, seeking to help others, and always looking at where I can add value, I have been able to grow Toolbox LA by 750% in revenue within 2 years. I was able to double revenue each month, and a lot of it had to do with repeat customers and referrals. People like doing business with people they like. It also helps me sleep easier knowing that at the end of the day, I did my best to help someone out. Running a coworking space for entrepreneurs allows me to interact with many successful Type A personalities, which can be challenging at times, but ultimately it is so satisfying to know that I was able to be a small part in helping them succeed. I’ve had to fail a few times and make some mistakes in order to get to where I’m at, and I perceive every experience as a lesson on how to do better next time.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me apart from others is my unique background in performing arts, marketing, and tech. The combination of all 3 has allowed me to successfully navigate changes in business with the adaptation of new platforms. Storytelling is at the heart of marketing, which I was able to learn through my bachelor’s degree in theater. That particular skill helped me build resilience in working with some of the largest tech companies and always seeing the bigger picture. Now, in my role as Community Director for an innovation lab, I am able to utilize my skillset to support entrepreneurs. I view challenges as opportunities for growth, so I never shy away from them. Facing challenges head-on is the lesson I’ve learned along the way. Am I going to let FEAR take over, to where I (F)forget (E)everything (A)and (R)run? Or do I (F)face (E)everything (A)and (R)rise? My story is one of resiliency; life has thrown me many curveballs and I’ve always been able to learn something as a result. I would not be the person I am today if it were not for the mistakes I’ve made along the way. When the pandemic hit, our team decided to take a financial hit and credit our Toolbox LA members for the month Los Angeles was under lockdown. We wanted our members to feel supported. Once the restrictions were lifted, we decided to reopen with proper precautions and as a result, entrepreneurs in the San Fernando Valley now have a workspace outside the home to get work done. This was a moment where I decided to face everything and rise. Overcoming challenges is a matter of making a decision to practice courage in the face of uncertainty.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First things first, we must visit the Self-Realization Shrine in the Pacific Palisades! It’s absolutely gorgeous, with a beautiful lake, swans, flowers, and meditation gardens. It’s so peaceful there and represents the spiritual side of this city. Then we’ll go shopping at all the boutiques on Abbot Kinney in Venice, grab a coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee, and then a delicious lunch at Lemonade. We also would visit my favorite restaurants which include: The Park’s Finest, a Filipino-inspired BBQ restaurant in Echo Park, Perch, the rooftop bar and restaurant in Downtown LA, and Kitchen 24 in Hollywood. Stopping in at the Doll’s Kill store on Melrose Ave is also a must.
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 shoutout goes to my mentor Jason Okuma, Founder/CEO of JATI, Inc., VP of Business Development at PMBC Group. Social Media Marketing PR Expert, Trainer & Speaker