Meet Vanessa... Between the Sun & Las Palmas!
- Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand?
Hey there! My name is Vanessa Gonzalez, and I'm a visual artist and content creator who is passionate about diverse storytelling. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and grew up in the working-class neighborhood of Echo Park (pre-gentrification).
My brand is QNDM (queendom), a digital community dedicated to elevating the stories of WOC makers, creators, and visionaries to connect, inspire, and create a bridge between the multi-generational and multi-cultural narratives of creative entrepreneurs.
I created this platform to inspire women like myself, women who are on a journey to live a life of passion and purpose, and aspire to define their own stories. #wearethenarrative.
- How has your culture and heritage influenced your journey as a Jefa Entrepreneur?
I grew up around independent and resourceful women, women who persevered and got things done. Naturally, this is what I know, to be persistent, hardworking, and resilient, which has paved the way to continue reaching my goals.
My mother left Guatemala at the age of 17, like most immigrant stories, to support her family. I cannot fathom what it is was like to be so young, in a foreign country, and doing what you can to literally survive! Those traits are embedded in my DNA and keep me pushing forward as I travel forward in this journey of entrepreneurship.
- What is the inspiration behind your brand and doing what you love?
People. Stories. Human Connections.
In my late 20's, I searched for a creative outlet, and it came by way of photography. Being a photographer breathed new life in me and set forth a path that would lead me to where I am now. In this decade-long journey, I recognized I enjoy uncovering stories of people from different backgrounds. This time around, I wanted to add my spin and become the storyteller; and share the stories of talented, creative entrepreneurs.
- What has been one of the biggest challenges you have encountered throughout your journey, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I've faced throughout my journey is learning to speak my truth and recognizing the importance of my voice. I realized it was time for me not to shy away from my story. Hence, the birth of QNDM!
- How are you changing the narrative for women of color and elevating their Voices?
QNDM is changing the narrative for women of color by recognizing that we ALL have a voice and providing a platform for women to own their stories!
I believe that many women of color face the challenge of recognizing the power of their voice, identity, and story. Our experiences are beautifully complicated and must be shared with the world. Simply, it's time to own them!
My favorite quote: "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." ― Maya Angelou,
- How do you practice self-care and remain sane as an entrepreneur?
I have to admit this is a tough one for me. I enjoy being busy, and there are plenty of times that I put too much on my plate. But as of right now, those infamous Beach Body videos are helping me stay sane during these unpredictable times.
I am continually balancing being a mother and taking care of my family while working on building QNDM and my photography business. And let's not forget we're living in a pandemic at the moment. So, as best as I can, I'm working on taking it slow, living in the moment, and sweating it out with Beach Body.
I'm a DREAMER; moreover, like every dreamer, we want to conquer the world. I aim to evolve QNDM from a blog to a podcast format and build a lifestyle apparel brand (FYI: I have my first t-shirts in the works).
Of course, you cannot build without a team. I am looking forward to having a team of contributors and, most importantly, continue to grow the QNDM community. I hope you follow along on the journey!