Name: Jaclyn Miramontes
Founder & Creative Director @Gia Monae
YouTube Channel: Gia Monae
Words to live by: Everyone has the same amount of hours in the day. It is what we chose to do with them that separates us.
Do not allow yourself to get caught up in being busy rather than being productive.
Interview by Zaida Diaz
What inspired you to open your own boutique?
I had always had the thought in the back of my mind that I wanted to have my own retail store since I was 18 years old. However, I did not have the knowledge, courage nor maturity required at the time to pursue my dreams. I had some growing up to do. It wasn’t until I returned home from active duty and after I became a mother that I decided I wanted to work for myself on my own terms. So in May of 2013 I quit my cookie cutter stable job and just went for it. I didn’t have a plan, I just went with my gut and my heart.
Were there ever moments that others doubted you or you doubted yourself? How did you deal with it?
I DOUBT MYSELF EVERYDAY!! EVVVVERRRYYY DAAAYYY EVVVVERRYYYYY DDDAYYYY. I am human too just like everyone else and I am afraid to fail. But I don’t allow doubt to cripple me. I pray and ask God for guidance.
I am unsure of a lot of things more often than not, but I refuse to play into the mind games and I just accept that if something didn’t work it’s because God wants me to learn something and take a different direction.
Best/worst part about being your own boss?
The best part is the FREEDOM and the ability to make an impact and a difference without having to seek approval first. I try to have a relationship with my immediate staff and have real life discussions with them about life experiences and just share the knowledge.
The worst part about being my own boss is the instability at times. Because my business is still building a firm foundation it’s a challenge for me to continue to maintain stability and sometimes that can be really intimidating.
When it came to learning how to run your own business, what hurdles did you encounter and how did you overcome them?
I think it is safe to say everyone who starts a business experiences hurdles. One of my biggest hurdles was accepting that you cannot please everyone and dealing with harsh criticism, not constructive criticism. I honestly had to just let go. I had to hire someone who focuses on customer relations and it became less of a burden and stressor for me.
What inspired your first YouTube video?
I think I have always wanted to share my life experiences and show my voice to the world, but when I was younger (and as a matter of fact up until recently) I was always afraid of judgement and people’s opinions. I was concerned with things like what the people who knew me would say about me or if they’d criticize my appearance behind the camera.
I finally decided that I had to do things for me and that God planted the seed for a reason, there is a plan. I don’t know the exact reason yet lol, but I’m working on it. SO I decided to start by speaking about things and a world that is not discussed too often on YouTube, which is how to operate a business (specifically boutique business) in the hopes of educating, but also keeping it real for people.
How do you come up with new concept ideas for your channel?
I truthfully just go with the flow. I don’t obligate myself to film a certain video because I don’t need the stress. I am already extremely busy as it is so whatever is on my mind I run with it.
Do you ever struggle with coming up with new content? What are some ways you combat this?
I did struggle in the beginning because I was still trying to figure out who and what I wanted to be on YouTube, but since I figured it out it has been smooth sailing. Pretty much the answer was just be myself and talk about things that I am familiar with so that I either educate or help people feel human because they can relate.
Key tips for someone that wants to become a successful YouTuber?
Well hot damn, I would like to know myself LMFAO! I don’t consider myself a successful YouTuber, but what I think has helped my channel little by little and I MEAN LITTLE BY LITTLE lol is:
- Authenticity, meaning I am wholeheartedly myself whether it is offensive, aggressive, or anything in between.
- I have been consistent so posting constantly at least every two days and engaging with the audience. Same way I use all other social media.
If you do half ass shit you risk your reputation and your livelihood. I don't know about you but I don't ever want to know what it's like to feel hungry because I was too weak or entitled to take pride in my work. Not because I loved the job but because it is important to me to maintain a reputation. I was always the star student since PRE K ask my mama @rubigarcia0420 I always did the most because I wanted to make sure people knew me for my work ethic 👌NEW VIDEO LINK IN MY BIO #teacherspetonfleek #hateonit
Many of your videos are about providing women with the tools to help empower themselves, why was it important to you to create a platform that speaks to this?
This is important to me because I want to make a difference. I want to help thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of women find their voice. I feel like some women never do because they didn’t have the guidance or courage to be themselves unapologetically. I know because I was like that. I used to thrive on the approval of others. I don’t anymore.
Prime example, people attempt to tell me how professional I should be and what I should be doing because I am a business owner and before I would succumb to that. Now, I just say what I want because the main reason I started a business was so that I wouldn’t have to tip-toe around anyone. I want other women to feel that way. I want other women to feel empowered! I want them to own their life and make decisions with confidence.
What are your plans and aspirations for your Soy Mujer movement?
Oh man! This is my baby! I hope to create not only a platform, but a network of women who have put in work to succeed. I want to show women that it is possible.
I think social media has the power to cripple many of us and if it isn’t obvious already only the “perfect makeup” the “perfect face” the “perfect body” get notoriety and become “someone” on social media. I want to show women that it is possible to be successful and be somebody with little regard for what is on the exterior. I want to encourage women to be confident in themselves because they are worthy. I hope to do this by continuously providing inspirational content and maybe one day hosting a seminar that I can only hope will be life changing and not because I want to get rich and charge people some bullshit amount of money, but only sincerely because I want to make an impact. MONEY IS WORTHLESS TO A PERSON WHO DOESN’T VALUE IT I rather be RICH AF in spirit ANY DAY! High on life!
Why do you feel we need more women entrepreneurs?
I feel like the world is missing out by not having more women entrepreneurs. Women are so capable of doing so many things and managing it all with grace. I feel like we need more women who are entrepreneurs to step out and pave the way for future generations. This has now become EXTREMELY important to me as I am pregnant with my last child who so happens to be my one and only girl! I want her to grow up in a world where glass ceilings have been broken and the sky is the limit.
We know you’re super busy, do you have a morning ritual that helps you kick off your day on a positive note?
This is going to sound super weird and seem pointless to most, but I have to and I mean I HAVE TO make my bed every single morning or I will not function correctly throughout the day and I will be annoyed and things just will not go as planned if I don’t take this initial step. It is crucial and everyone in my house knows it LOL.
What goals have you set for yourself this year?
My personal goals this year is to truly slow down and appreciate all of the things I have accomplished and to grow spiritually. I want to be a more present person overall and I want to nurture and grow Soy Mujer to the best of my ability. I hope to finally hit a place of stability in my business as I am approaching the 5 year mark and just take it one day at a time. Previously, I was full speed ahead and this year I want to observe and appreciate.