We had the good fortune of connecting with Gonzalo Zulueta and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gonzalo, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
I have learned that risk plays a substantial factor in business. Just with the company was starting to take off, the COVID 19 crisis struct causing sales to drop 90% due to the factor that a large portion of our revenue came from local boutiques. I had to make a decision to keep the company alive. Making face masks was a sensitive subject that could be criticized by many. In order to keep my employees employed and the business present, I decided to go forward with designing the face masks along with my team. Due to the fact we were on lockdown I risked investing my savings into Facebook ads which was a risky task. Thanks to taking that risk I am selling 5 times what I used to sell and have landed a 3 year contract with the worlds largest and only Global Beauty Professional Sales Organization, The Kirschner Group.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
As a business owner, my business and customers happen to be my family. It has definitely been a rough 4 years while running the company. Many obstacles have been presented that have challenged me to want to continue and that have made me doubt my self. Running a luxury urban street wear brand can be very costly. I would say I have invested over $120,000 in the company since it first started in 2016; as any business owner can tell you, the first 2-3 years is pure loss. Keeping up will bills, payroll and production costs is nearly impossible especially when I was 19 years old when I started. I had to work multiple jobs including Uber and club promoting working 15 hour days to barley get by. Being under such financial pressure was definitely tolling on me but some how I had a dream and truly believed in my self. I would stay up all night watching motivation speakers’ videos including Chris Diaz and that would show me everything is possible through sacrifice. My parents also played a big role in inspiring to continue. My mother came to this country when she was only 19 years old not dominating the language and she happens to be a very successful business women. My father also came to this country with nothing and slowly found his way to executive positions in multiple banks in Miami and Argentina. Unfortunately he was diagnosed with cancer twice cutting his success short. Despite these challenges he beat cancer twice and is now one of the most successful financial advisors in Miami. My parents stories have shown me that no matter how hard the road gets, everything is possible with the proper work ethic.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If there is one thing you need to know about me is that I am a very hard worker willing to work 20 hour days however, I know how to enjoy life and live it to the fullest. Some of my friends say “Party” is my nickname. A typical weekend evening would take me to have dinner in Le Chick Miami to eat their infamous Fried Chicken or to Komodo for the best Peking Duck in town. Back Door Monkey, located in Wynwood, is also one of my new favorite restaurants. After dinner I would take them to Astra or Spanglish Bar to have amazing cocktails. As I mentioned I can party for hours, depending on their style of music I would first take them to Tucandela in Brickell or Dirty Rabbit. The night wouldn’t end well for me if I do not end up in CLUB SPACE were i’d say im a Space Ranger! For more calm nights I would usually take them to Lung Yai Thai Cuisine. It is a hole in the wall with terrible music but the food is unbeatable. They always have a 1 hour wait time minimum and the interesting thing about them is that you can only order food once, once you’ve ordered food you can not place another order. Lagniappe is also one of my favorites, many of the people who visit me are from Mexico or Europe and this has such a different vibe, you can enjoy Tapas and Wine till you drop. The difficult thing about Miami is that there are so many options and places to brunch. I am a food lover and actually used to run a page “Social Rover” when having 15k followers was considered being an “influencer” which would feature Miami’s top restaurants and bars. As far as brunch goes my favorites are definitely Zuma and Le Chick.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many people that have influenced my work ethic and career in general over the past couple of years. I like reading local success stories such as that of Lifestyle Miami and Christian Diaz. Lifestyle Miami is a local Miami Instagram page with over 850,000 followers that updates its followers on the hottest restaurants, events, hotels and keeps them up to date on the latest Miami news. One of the things that stood out to me about Lifestyle Miami is their mission to help the community out of good will. Every month they organize different community events such as beach clean ups and feeding the homeless. Lifestyle Miami’s CEO Miguel Zulueta is extra inspiring to me because he happens to be my older brother. He has always taught me to remain humble and true to what you believe in. Christian Diaz, CEO and Founder of Chris Diaz Agency, has also played a huge role in my career. Chris is one of Miami’s most predominant social media experts and in my opinion motivator. Chris posts multiple stories and tweets a day motivating and inspiring his followers to not only dream, but achieve their goals. Chris’s network is ever growing and has helped my personal brand reach the next level.
Instagram: @Gonzalozulueta and @Zuluetapparel