We had the good fortune of connecting with Fiorella Marquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Fiorella, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Healing, Helping, Impact. All I ever thought about was how much I wanted and do love helping people. I wanted to create a safe space for others while I educate and advocate for mental health. My goal has always been to be able to connect with others whether it is through posts, our podcast episodes, therapy sessions, events, and workshops- the goal is to help… One way or the other.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I specialize in mental health therapy/advocacy, women empowerment, and human empowerment. Through social networks, I dedicate my time to encourage people, to give them words of encouragement, and to educate them on mental health. A big part of what F.I.O. Effect is all about it giving back to the community. I do all of this by serving as a motivational speaker, blogging, engaging with my followers, and by hosting events in the community in which individuals learn about mental health. Now that F.I.O. Effect is growing and that I keep developing a voice; I am going to start fully focusing on all kinds of mental health topics. I am a proud immigrant, I also specialize in advocacy, and education on mental health in the immigrant population. Expect F.I.O. Effect to be a one-stop shop of mental health. It is hard to just pick one thing I am most proud of accomplishing with F.I.O. Effect. I would just have to say I am proud of F.I.O. Effect, in general.. Overall, taking F.I.O. Effect international (to Africa), winning the statewide competition, the self-care fairs, the free support groups, and everything else I have already mentioned. It has been one heck of a ride, and so worth it. I would have to say that what sets me apart from others is being genuinely interested in helping other individuals as opposed to being interested in the money I can make off of it. It has not been a smooth road at all. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and PTSD. My internal battles have been the hardest. I have had horrible days where panic/anxiety attacks took a toll on me. Anxiety comes with depression– been there, done that. There has been a lot of self-doubts, a lot of times where I felt I could no longer keep moving forward. and lots, and lots of people who called me “crazy” for thinking I could change the world and help others. However, having a good support system (which is built throughout the years) helps so much! Not everyone believed in my vision at first, and a lot of people ridiculed me. But I focused a lot on the people who really did and do believe in my vision and mission. It took a while, but I had to learn how to mute the negative Nancy’s. Attending therapy myself has helped me tremendously. I learned in life we have to take things one step at a time, and that life can definitely be unexpected. I mean, look at me! I live all the way in Arizona now! I moved in the middle of a pandemic! Life is unexpected, it’s hard, and it is one heck of a ride- but it is so beautiful and so worthy of living. I would want the world to know that F.I.O. Effect, INC. Is beyond a brand- it’s a person, it’s you, it’s me, it’s us. I am as human as it gets, and the entire purpose of F.I.O. Effect is to help others feel understood and supported. My story is real, yes I thought about taking my own life, depression has whooped my butt a couple times, and PTSD is a constant visitor- but there is help out there, healing exists, and we are here to help… You’re not alone.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Okay so I live in Arizona now, but if I were to live back in Miami, and I would get a friend to visit- I would take them straight to Bayside, haha. I love walking around the city and just enjoying it all. I would probably stop by Hooters or Chilis on the bay and eat. I would take them to Wynwood, have them explore, go to El patio, and have brunch in TAP 42. Beach days are a must- I am more of a calm beach vibe gal and my go to beach is Hollywood Beach. Basic stuff, haha. I like to go to Flanigan’s. order some Rib Rolls, visit museums, drive to Coral Gables, eat in Cassola’s because their pizzas are amazing. And of course, we would road trip to Orlando to visit Disney World and Universal Studios/ Island of Adventures.
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?
There are a few people I would say have contributed into my success, and that would be my parents, for always guiding me, pushing me, and supporting me every step of the way, for teaching me to always chase my dreams and chase the American Dream. My brother for being my bodyguard and my cheerleader. My friends, for lifting me up when I wanted to give up, for picking up the phone on the days I felt like I could no longer keep going, and for driving/ flying to me when I needed them most. The women I have crossed paths with that are also powerful and fearless- those who taught me about team work, self-care, and the importance of networking. My family- those who actually support me and believe in me and on what I do. And this may sound silly but my dog, Prince- for being the most amazing Emotional Support animal, and being there. Most importantly- God, because without him, none of this would be possible.
Other: Podcast: The F.I.O.Effect Show – You can listen to it on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and more!