We had the good fortune of connecting with Valentina Costa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Valentina, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Coming from Italy, I came from a reality where the standards were very high but most employers would try to not pay or not pay accordingly to the standards that I found here, which are what makes my job an actual job and not a hobby. In addition, here the flow of opportunities is so much more dynamic. Nowadays the scenario is different than then considering how the internet and the opportunities created by the new media have broken geographical boundaries for younger generations. My first stage was: No more starving artist, I will take anything that comes my way. Then I came to realize that I was working all the times but a good life for me is, yes, about growth, fulfillment and finances in great shape, but also about balance. Family, social life, making memories, working out, keeping my body and soul active and feeling energetic, cultivating hobbies are very important to me. Since I love my job and I get engaged for work by a lot clients, it is easy to fall in a spiral of workaholism because it feels fulfilling, and the adrenaline can be addictive. Unimagined opportunities now becoming a reality, the horizon always expanding. My current stage is: money comes and goes, time doesn’t, so I need to make the best of my time here in this planet. So I wondered: what is my call. Am I here because I want to be remembered for something grandiose, to prove something to myself/society/family, or to experience as much as I can and make memories? Or what else is there? Coelho wrote: “You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say”. It is not always easy to listen to our heart and we cannot always do what it commands us to, but I do think that every so often it is important to stop and listen, and get a vision for the future, and discuss this with others, so that we can prioritize goals and live well with ourselves and have a good work life balance and overall sense of fulfillment and living in peace with ourselves.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
As I kid I would always hear adults in Italy saying “this person was able to get established and wealthy thanks also to the after war flourishing economy of the 50s but now it is hard to do so”, which held me back a little bit from exploring but the curiosity was there: can I really not do it? Is it because the Italian system doesn’t allow it as easily? Which is hilarious and paradoxical because my father is an entrepreneur but, because of that, he wasn’t at home so much so I didn’t get his point of view as much as I would have liked. Curiosity is a blessing and a curse. I think I shyly listened to my heart and I played safe as much as I could and explored little by little, like a nomad in different scenarios. No regrets. I started my artistic career in London with AOFM and their amazing multifaceted freelance artists, The first classes I definitely didn’t fall asleep while attending. I wanted to work in fashion and music, the visual aspect of it. Nothing more fulfilling than making history by creating a memorable look, so I became a hair and makeup artist and worked London and Paris fashion weeks and my work was published in Grazia, Dazed and Confused, Another Magazine, Please! and more. I soon moved to the US for love and continued my career at Full Sail University as an instructor of Makeup for Motion Pictures and then started to work for WWE. I became union and worked on Deal or No Deal, Hollywood Game Night, The Profit, The Right Stuff, The Little Couple, Drop the Mic, and Total Divas. Plus commercial work for Nikes, Disney, Wells Fargo, Doritos, Amazon and more. In this moment I am moving in the direction of content creative, product development and e-commerce, while I have a company who caters to wedding services as well. As you may have gathered, this will be an all inclusive development as I think that what society speaks society needs. So stay tuned! I would categorize myself as a romantic go getter, where there is a balance of work achievements and affection. For me it has been easier to make a turn when I had nothing to lose than now that I already have something built and want to expand. But I am excited for the future.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Definitely Soho Beach House in Miami. Faena, The Miami Beach Edition, the W and Mondrian are also staples that need to be shown. Blame it on the experience, the beach and the architecture. I do love the design district. A place like Lagniappe with live music and wine and its incredible garden is also on my top list for a friend visiting. For my most unchained artistic friends I would make a pit stop at Gramps in Wynwood. There are some pretty incredible bike paths worth trying as well but nothing beats a boat trip. Food is a hard one as there are some amazing moms and pops places all across: Buon Pane Italiano, Ironside Kitchen Pizza, Buena Vista Deli, the list would be never-ending, I will add, thankfully.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shout out goes to my mother, who taught me about resilience and values in life. To my father for that sense of freedom he passed on to me. To my brother for reminding me that we need to help each other. To any human that I crossed path with and wasn’t afraid of sharing their perspective, from a coworker that is exploring new horizons, to a singer like la Rosalia who isn’t afraid to talk about feelings and passion, from someone in the street to fervid minds like Phil Pallen who I recommend checking out. To Guy Raz, who created such an inspiring and motivating sequence of podcasts called “How I Built This”, and all his guests for sharing their experience, to Foundr who provides hands-on, up-to-date classes. Shout out to who shares words of encouragement and support, instill curiosity in us and build dreams. Shout out to an all inclusive society where everybody is acclaimed for their accomplishments and supported. The list could easily continue.