We had the good fortune of connecting with Victor Valle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Victor, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Ah, yeah. This is an important one, for sure. Risk-taking seems to be a pretty massive pillar for me in everything I do, both professionally and personally. I once watched this documentary about some of the early tech companies in Silicon Valley and really fell in love with this quote–this mantra, I guess you can say–about prioritizing risk over stability. I think it’s easy to get some sort of business off the ground when you play by rules that have been set, when you operate under guidelines that give you some semblance of a path or northstar-esque direction. And I think I learned that when I started my first company–called “We Move Against The Tides”, which was a music publication and event promoter in the San Francisco Bay Area–years ago. I had no background in what it meant to really build a business or career in a sector from the ground up, and had to look to models and inspirations for what I wanted–and didn’t want–to do for my own company. As I moved on, though, I realized it was about claiming your stake in who you are, what you’re about, and what’s important to you personally and as a business. Ever since then–from working in the music industry and developing some well-known artists under Counter Culture Group to working with brands, artists, organizations, and beyond with Siempre Agency–I’ve always opted to take the path less traveled, to walk with a confidence in my step about who we are and what matters to the team, but to still allow myself to take those leaps of faith and make risk-taking decisions. It’s important for growth and for paving your own lane to stand out in all the noise, but it’s also important to stand up for what’s important to you. Siempre.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Siempre really has come to life from years of experience and slow moves into the creative agency sector. Running a music publication and events company really taught me a ton about getting a brand off the ground and delving into a creative writing sector that I had no serious experience with prior. After moving into managing and working with artists and musicians, I worked first hand at building social followings, credibility, attention, and movements with fans at the forefront–with supporters shining along with artists all along the way. There were a ton of things I didn’t love about managing or working so heavily in the music industry–especially being a creative myself–and knew that my expertise all led toward being able to advise, guide, and direct brands, companies, organizations, artists and beyond into really leading with storytelling as a way to shine light on what they are all about. I love that. It awakens the old, inner journalist in me, and that’s something I have always had a deep love for. Siempre is the culmination of all that experience–of years of working toward figuring out what I really loved and enjoyed and knew I would want to grow more in. We work on advertising, marketing, design, branding, strategy, research and beyond–essentially taking ideas and fleshing them out for the world to see. It’s an amazing thing to be involved in a concept from inception to realization, and it’s beyond satisfying. We have a number of different types of clients, but we’ve been heavily focused in strategy around the multicultural crossover market, since that demographic is such a huge one that remains untapped in a number of ways. We work with brands to really show representation–and understand the importance–in a number of different ways. The team is a team filled with people of color who come from immigrant parents. We heard different languages at home, but spoke english at school. We immersed ourselves in a variety of different cultures and navigated these thinly laid out lines (at least in our lives) with ease. Our goal is to really work towards highlighting those stories, specifically.
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.
Man, oh maaan. There’s so much about Los Angeles that I love and so much that has changed. I grew up in LA and moved away to the San Francisco Bay Area for close to 10 years, so it’s been a very wild ride coming back as an adult after so long and relearning the veins of a city I claim as home. I mean, first and foremost, tacos. Always tacos. Leos’ for the al pastor, specifically the one on Sunset and Western. Probably the beach, since beaches in Southern California are special for some weird reason. Probably cruise around, listen to good music, show some of the sites. I spend most of my time around the East LA area, so it’d be a lot of roaming around Echo Park, Highland Park, etc. I’d definitely take them to Taco Nazo for the best baja-style fish tacos, hands down.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I saw this great tweet the other day that really resonated with me about not being self-made, but rather, being community-made, family-made, and ancestor-made. I think most people tend to forget all the people who helped them along the way–all the people who cut them some slack, gave them a second chance, held their hand through learning, all of that–but honestly, I’ve had so many people who helped me along the way I couldn’t just thank one person. I do want to say, though, that it’s rare to find mentors who have your best interests in mind and who you can trust. I’ve been burned heavily in the past, so I’ve dealt with it firsthand. Be trusting, be open, but always tread carefully. A lot of the creative industries are cut throat that way, but I’m always about trying to build community at every opportunity I can.