We had the good fortune of connecting with Manuela Proano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Manuela, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Ever since I was a kid I have always been an entrepreneur. I always knew I wanted to be a CEO and have my own business. And this one actually came to be by combining my passions and the situations I was living through in my life. After having worked in a fashion magazine as a creative director, lead stylist and producer, and then being pulled by McCann Erickson as an executive, it became increasingly clear to me that I wanted to use my knowledge and skills to help other business women and entrepreneurs create highly profitable businesses out of their passions and leave the corporate world. I related it all to fashion. So I started off my own business as a fashion consultant and a marketing expert in an underdeveloped fashion market. As I positioned myself and created my own brand, people actually started contacting me to help them grow their own personal brand as I had and was continuously building and mine in a way that resonated with people.
I connected with a true necessity: “Help me be seen in an attractive, magnetically way where I am an influence, an opinion leader, an authority in my field. Where people prefer to work and relate to me, rather than the competition.”
I leaned to do that through fashion, style and building a powerful aligned presence.
What should our readers know about your business?
I always say that MPPA Studio is where style and fashion meets personal branding and business. Working with me is a full immersive experience of leveling up from the inside as a individual, from your mindset, your style and presence and going into your business and life goals.
I come from a fashion background. I received my Bachelor’s in Fashion Communication and Marketing from IED Barcelona, and since then I have gathered experience in brands like Adidas Originals, McCANN Erickson, Nestle, YPO and Ecuador’s Cosas magazine. I have a masters in Leadership and coach female entrepreneurs around their leadership, self-confidence, style, and achieving their goals.
I leverage my experience and knowledge in the European and Latin American fashion scene to help create relevant, powerful, elegant and appealing personal brands in the Americas. With a keen eye for aesthetically design, detail and luxury, I combine my experience in business, marketing and coaching to bring, everything into one place – mindset, business and marketing strategy + lifestyle, aesthetics and design to help entrepreneurs build a life they are passionate about and become the leading players in their industry.
MPPA Studio is connecting brilliant minds across the world to collaborate in creating coalitions, conversations and movement around entrepreneurship, personal branding, influence, fashion and the creative industries, through THE SECRET FASHION MOVEMENT. Where we aim to support entrepreneurs reach their next level, while generating impact in the industries involved.
Ultimately, TSFM as well as MPPA Studio aim to create a Scholarship found for brilliant, new emerging talent in Latin America to be trained at some of the best fashion, creative and business schools in the world.
I took me 7 years to really craft a business, an image, a philosophy that would represent me so well in order to create a badass personal brand. The biggest challenge I faced was self-doubt and finding a niche. As many entrepreneurs, I’ve cried, I’ve sweated, I have been broke. But it has been worth it!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For me, Miami is a place to celebrate senses . If having a week-long trip, I would take my best friend to highlight all her senses… I would take her to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and Viscaya to enjoy the nature and historical culture of the area.
She is as much into fashion as I am so I would also take her to the Design District for a shopping day together and just walk around in the beautiful Miami weather.
I would take her to my favorite restaurant, Swan, at night, have coffee at Books & Books and grab a drink at Dante’s Hifi.or Mezcalista, but not without having our hair done at Studio Raupo Hair Salon.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my family who are my biggest source of inspiration. Also Simon Sinek and his book The Infinite Game, Which allowed me to see life and business in a whole different perspective, opening my mind up to new possibilities.
Photographer: Sebastian Rivadeneira, Saul Endara, Soledad Rosales & Malad Goyes