We had the good fortune of connecting with Gigi Carballo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gigi, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
I think taking a risk can easily be thought of with a negative connotation, but something that I’ve learned over the course of my life/career is that sometimes taking a “risk” is necessary for growth. By human nature, anything that’s outside of our comfort zone can be considered scary or risky, and we usually avoid these things, but on the other side of our comfort zone/safety-net is the potential to do something great. To be different, to make new choices, and to bring change. In business and in life in general, I think the things that involve risk-taking are usually the most worth it. The important thing is to come to a point of faith in yourself and your capability to take these leaps and trust that whether you fail or succeed, it’s better to have taken the risk and learned from your experience than to settle and wonder “what if.” Personally, as an entrepreneur, I’m taking risks every day. I took a risk by not going to college directly out of high school as expected by most, but instead, I focused on working in my field and gaining real-world experience which has taught me some of the most valuable skills and lessons. I took a risk by pursuing modeling without an agency and working freelance where I’ve met so many amazing people along the way that have introduced me to the industry and given me a chance. I’m taking a risk right now by starting a new business amidst a global pandemic (coming soon) but I have total faith in the vision and purpose behind it and I know that no matter what, something good will come out of this “risk”. Without taking risks, I wouldn’t have evolved into who I am now and I wouldn’t continue to grow into who I hope to become.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Having an entrepreneurial spirit, I’ve dabbled in a few different fields over the years. I’m only 20, but I’ve been working since I was about 14, always having a hunger for expanding my skills and doing what I can to set myself up for success. I started out my professional life in modeling, and this is something that I’m very passionate about to this day, as it inspires a confident and creative side of myself. I then ventured into social media and digital marketing, becoming an intern at a production studio at 15 and eventually working as a social media manager by around 16. Over the years I’ve continued expanding my skills in digital marketing and thoroughly enjoy all of the aspects involved in bringing a business’s digital presence to life, from strategy to branding, content creation and distribution. While expanding my knowledge and skills in a more “technical” sense with marketing, I’ve still played roles that have allowed my creative side to shine, mainly in fashion. From styling my own photoshoots to creating blogs and video content, I’ve always had a love for fashion and the creative expression that comes along with it. Vintage and thrifted fashion are my specialties, and I have built my personal style around a collection of pieces that I’ve curated over the years and continue to hunt down. Not only is vintage fashion unique, but it’s a sustainable approach to clothes which is an aspect I am also very passionate about. For this reason, and many more, I have decided to launch my own online vintage and second-hand store within the upcoming month. This is my latest business venture and I couldn’t be more excited to share my passions with the world. (Coming Soon To ElevenSomewhere.com) It hasn’t been easy getting to this point. I’ve faced many points of confusion and feeling lost or uncertain, but I always remind myself that my life is up to me, and there’s nothing stopping me from creating a life I love. With good intentions and a grateful heart. In my life, I’ve been met with many struggles and a troubled past, but over time I have learned that all of the circumstances that have lead me to this very moment have served a purpose, and it’s up to me to understand the lessons and perspectives that have come along with them and embrace the uniqueness and individuality these situations have created within me. I’m passionate about sharing this message to others, encouraging them to embrace their individuality and all that makes them unique, for that is their power. Whether through fashion or any other creative outlet, you have the opportunity to embrace all that you are, unapologetically, and that is what my brand stands for.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being born and raised in Miami, I’ve definitely made my way around the city over the years. Whenever I’m showing someone around town, I like to introduce them to not only the iconic spots Miami is known for (like ocean drive in south beach) but I also want to give them the “local” experience, and an introduction to the culture. I’d take them to the famous Versailles restaurant to enjoy some authentic Cuban food, domino park in Little Havana to watch the locals play, and maybe a quick stop at the goodwill on Calle Ocho for some thrifting. Then. I’d take them to one of my favorite parks, Kennedy Park, in Coconut Grove where there’s delicious frozen lemonade by A.C.s Icees and a great view of the water towards the back of the park! I’d also take them to some of my favorite spots in Wynwood and the Design District like Coyo Taco and OTL. I’d show them around more of the city with a stroll around Brickell city center and a hop on the metro-mover to downtown for a walk around bayside and the AAA. Personally, I enjoy rollerblading, so if they’d like a recreational activity I’d take them to south pointe park for a skate or bike ride along the path then hang out on the beach. I also frequently attend group meditations on the beach at south pointe park so I’d take them to one of those for some zen time. There are so many things to do, the list goes on! I think the main point I like to make when someone visits is that Miami is more than the common tourist attractions, there’s so much culture and vibrant energy to be found in less-common areas and I think it’s a great experience to include in a visit!

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?
I’m a strong believer in the idea that “everything happens for a reason.” and that every person and experience we come across serves a purpose in our life, so I could create a list of people, groups, books, etc. for this shoutout, that have played a role in my life and success, and I am grateful for each and every one of them, but today I’m going to limit my shoutout to a quote that quite literally changed my life: “Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll It may seem simple, but reading that quote for the first time many years ago completely shifted my perspective, and I believe it has played a HUGE role in how I approached my life from that moment forward. I no longer allowed myself to become a victim of my circumstances but instead decided that it’s up to me to “react” to my life in the way that I choose and to take action towards creating the life that I want for myself, not just letting it pass me by. This inspired me to enter the creative/entrepreneurial field and begin taking chances, believing in myself and working hard every day towards an overall fulfilling life. And being in this mindset has allowed me to come across even more people, experiences, outlets etc. that have positively impacted me and shaped who I am today. So shoutout to Charles R. Swindoll, and the simple yet powerful quote that changed my life.

Website: https://www.gigicarballo.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gigicarballo/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gigi-carballo/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gigicarballo_
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gigicarballo11/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCii0PYZ5zd3G2Oc7K0J7dKQ/
Other: Online Vintage and Thrift Boutique Coming Soon! Stay up to date on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elevensomewhere/?hl=en

Image Credits
Image Credits to John Anthony Film (@johnanthonyfilm)

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