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How Josie Arroyo Built the Coolest Brand in Puerto Rico

CareerMaría Elena RodríguezComment

I bet you didn't even need to see the pictures or what brand I was talking about to guess today's Career Profile. Of course, we are talking about BIEN COOL. The brand that the OG digital marketer, Josie Arroyo built from the ground up on a whim, motivated by the idea of paying off her student loans. 

This entrepreneur knew from the get-go that the key to her success would be her Puertorrican authenticity, humor and of course, ambition! But I don't want to spoil any more details, here is Josie's interview:

What did you dream of becoming when you were growing up?

I wanted to do a lot of stuff! At a time I said a pediatrician, teacher or chemical engineer. I ended up going to college for physical therapy and ended up in advertising. I was never really clear of what I wanted to study. I actually chose advertising because it was the path that included the least amount of math. 

What was your first job before graduating college?

I worked in events promotions with brands like L'Oreal Kids and Pedigree, no alcohol promotions. I didn't want to wear mini skirts for my job. 

One of your first professional experiences was as a Sports intern at Telemundo. Can you tell us about that experience?

I got this internship through Florida International University's internship program. When I was studying my Masters in Investigative Journalism at FIU, I was very clear that I wanted to work in sports journalism. There's nothing that unites a country more than sports!

What did you learn as a sports news intern at telemundo?

I learned a lot about production and editing in digital platforms. 

After that You worked for almost three years in Yahoo. Can you tell us about that experience?

At Yahoo, I started out as a sports intern as well, then I was offered a full time job and I was transferred to Yahoo Mujer to run the LatinAmerican target. Then around 2008, Yahoo had a huge layoff and moved me to International News. That's how I ended up managing Yahoo en Español's homepage and became the youngest journalist managing this section. I loved international news! 

Back in the 2000's, Everything was changing in terms of journalism and how news were made. How was your experience being in the midst of all?

When I worked there, I didn't know anyone from Puerto Rico who worked at one of these big companies, like Yahoo, Facebook or Google. Everything was building up at that time. I remember people asking me where I worked and they were so impressed! 

I learned a lot about monetizing a website, even though I hate sales!

If you hate selling, how have you managed selling your brand, Bien Cool?

Because the nature of my brand is very relaxed. People are usually in a good mood for meetings. 

I have read that you started making greeting cards in order to pay off your student loans. Can you give us some more details?

Even though I had a good salary, I was always on the lookout for a second income. I really felt like paying $600 a month for student loans was crazy! Not many people know this, but when I came back to Puerto Rico I created a Groupon-like website called "Yupiti.com", but I left because I got a job at National University College and I hated selling. 

postales bien cool

One day I saw a meme on Pinterest that made me laugh, but I immediately translated it to Spanish in my head and it turned out even funnier! That's when I figured I could make it into a greeting card. I drove to Walgreens and tried to look for a greeting card similar to the one I had imagined in my head after that meme. I literally texted Mari Nieves, which was my co-worker at the time, to let her know that I had something planned and that I wanted her to design it. I told her "I want a really cool name, like my greeting cards!" So I literally searched if postalesbiencool.com was available and it was! That's how it all started. 

It has since evolved into "Bien Cool", because we are including more merchandise. 

Pic via  Indice

Pic via Indice

Did you ever imagine Bien Cool getting to this level?

Bien Cool is not even at a 1% of how I envision it. It is very different to see your brand from the inside out than from the outside. Sometimes you assume that everyone knows all the struggles that you have to go through and it's not like that.

Are you selling outside of Puerto Rico?

We are currently selling at the Museo del Barrio in New York and we are working on two new retailers in Atlanta. 

Bien Cool is really appealing to the Puertorrican market because of its local jokes. Do you plan on expanding to other parts of the world?

Our plan is to make this a multicultural brand. I believe that Boricuas and LatinAmericans in general are very poorly represented by brands. We tend to have an inferiority complex and think that anything that is well designed is from the States. We have a lot of talent and a lot of emerging artists in Puerto Rico and LatinAmerica who need to be discovered! We want to support artists all around LatinAmerica. 

Pic via  The Media Scoop

You kept working full time during your time at National university college. How did you know it was the time to quit and how did you prepare for the decision?

I realized it was time to leave when I was putting all my heart and soul to BienCool instead of my full time job. One of my good old friends is Arnaldo from Diary of Trips and he was one of my biggest supporters during this time. "You need to quit and see how it goes!", he used to tell me. There will always be an excuse and you will always need more money.

What is the difference between being a Full time employee and being the CEO of a brand you built?

Working for someone else, I experienced physical exhaustion at times. But working for myself, I have never had as much stress in my life than in these last two years! It's different because when it's your brand, it affects you in an emotional level. If you don't get moving, money doesn't come! It's a constant struggle. 

How was that first year after starting Bien Cool full time?

It was very different from now, because I was learning a lot about what I wanted to do as an entrepeneur. By that time I was still using my savings and I launched my store at Old San Juan, which we ended up closing. 

I learned that I don't enjoy running a physical store by myself. Everything that has to do with inventory, prices, visual merchandising, payrolls, etc. isn't for me. I definetely learned to identify the things that I don't enjoy about my business and I will eventually delegate them. 

How and when you jumped on the idea of selling brands that are not biencool, such as bando, in your website?

First of all, I love Bando! I'm selling this brand in my website as a strategy to test the market and see how people respond to lifestyle brands. 

You created a planner! How was that development process?

We worked it along side Muuaaa Design Studio, which is the same agency that helped me build my brand. We sat with them and started planning all our process and see what we could change from last year's to now. 

What's next for bien cool?

We are trying to expand the brand and looking for new investors opportunities.

What is one thing you've learned during this process of running your brand?

You need to be able to let go and let others help you! If I had two "me's" when I was starting out, all the dirty work would've been much easier! Right now I have an amazing employee that goes above and beyond always. I am so grateful for her.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start a creative venture on the side but is doubting themselves?

Go for it. There're a lot of things that you can't overthink. The mind is so powerful! Entrepreneurship is not for everyone and is definetely for people who want to do it. I don't blame anyone who prefers a salary over entrepreneurship. It is a cliché, but if it were easy, everyone would do it! You make it or break it. 

Last but not least, prepare financially for your venture. 

Pic via  Facebook

Pic via Facebook

If you could go back to your 25 year old self, what advice would you give yourself?

Read more. One of the things that I loved the most in Yahoo News was exposing myself to information that I would've never look for on my own. I really didn't enjoy reading when I was younger, I was more into pop-culture and mainstream media. But now that I am more of a news junkie, I realize how my mindset has shifted since I started reading more. 

Random Facts about Josie:

  • Vanilla or Chocolate: Chocolate
  • Coffee or Tea: Pff... Coffee!
  • Facebook or Instagram: Instagram
  • AM or PM: I used to be super PM, but now I love the AM and the peace it brings!
  • Book: Somaly Mam's The Road to Lost Innocence and Brian Weiss' Many Lives Many Masters
  • Favorite Destination: Culebra, Puerto Rico
  • Weird Habit: I have to write with blue pens
  • Bucket List: Having a sustainable business that helps me work from anywhere in the world. 
  • Pet Peeve: Loud chewers and farts!
  • Your best quality: I go with the flow. I can get along and have a good time with anyone.

GUEST POST | 12 Ways to Become a Successful Freelancer

Career, Guest PostsMari NievesComment
mari nieves pink studios

Oh, hello! My name is Marii Nieves and I am the Founder of Pink Studios - a full-service boutique digital marketing provider; specializing in digital media presence for small & medium-sized businesses; and you probably heard about me and my story, here.

A little over a year ago, Pink Studios stopped being a part-time gig to become a full-time-with-overtime monster - and I could not be happier about it. Regardless, I feel the obligation to admit that making the decision to quit my full-time job as a Digital Marketing Director at a multimillion dollar company was not easy. Not at all. You can read about it here.

The financial stability, the routine, the classic “what would people say?” and “what if I fail?”, were constant thoughts running through my brain.
Why are we wired this way though? Instead, why don’t we think “I am confident in myself”, “I can do this!”, “I will kick-ass!”, “I will prove them wrong.”

When you are making a decision like this, you are allowed 5 minutes to be sissy and curl up in a corner.
— Mari Nieves from Pink Studios
beyonce slaying

When you are making a decision like this, you are allowed 5 minutes to be sissy and curl up in a corner; after that you gotta pull up your big girl pants, be gangsta and say: “I’ll get this shit done!”

Being organized and establishing processes and routines made this journey a whole lot easier. Today, I am sharing with you my favorite tips to becoming a successful freelancer and get things done:

1. Establish some sort of online presence to present your services.

People spend the vast majority of their time online. Whatever your industry is, you need to make sure that if people are searching for people like you - they can find you. Whether it’s a website, Facebook Business Page, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. Be there.

2. Update your personal social networks, specially Linkedin.

Everyone you are connected with should be aware that you are now flying-solo and that they can reach you for special projects. ambinity has a GREAT article about it: 10 Ways to Maximize your LinkedIn Profile

3. Create a routine.

When you become a freelancer, you are most likely to work from home; distractions and convenience might come in your way. Just because you are working from home doesn’t mean you get to wake up at 10:30am, take 3 hour lunch breaks and squeeze in a Netflix marathon. Get up early, fix yourself a cup of coffee or tea, eat breakfast, dress up and get to work. At the beginning, you might find it annoying but trust me, it gets you in the right mindset.

4. Organization + a project/task management app are key!

In order to be successful at #4, you NEED to have a proper way to manage tasks. Something I have learned over this past year is that whether I successfully execute my morning routine or not; if I don’t have a set list of what I need to work on the next day - my morning is wasted! Ain’t nobody got time for that! So, before your day ends make a list of all the things you have pending;  that way the next day you’ll be ready to get stuff done instead of wasting time running in circles figuring out where things were left off the day prior.

But how do I make my to-do lists? Paper? App? Both? This is something I get asked constantly. Paper lists are great until you go to a meeting or to work somewhere else and you left your list at home.That sucks! You can use post-its if necessary for quick reminders; but… hey, we are not The Flintstones - use the technology resources available. There are great tools such as: Asana, Trello (my favorite) and Basecamp that can work wonders. Are you using any of these?

marii nieves pink studios

5. Setup a dedicated workspace.

I need to brag for a second - I LOVE, LOVE <3 my workspace! Now that I got that off my system I have to tell you something. Working remotely and having your office be a home-office is hard! To be able to focus all of my energy on work, I needed to set up a dedicated space where I could forget about all the distractions around, be inspired and really get to work.

A few essentials for me: Macbook Pro, external monitor, bluetooth keyboard and mouse, lamp, lavender candles, comfortable chair, speaker, couch - mostly for visits and when I want to change scenarios a little bit.  Make it work for you!

Shop Mari's Office Must Haves!

6. Get your numbers in place.

Hopefully you’ll start making money soon and once you have to fill your taxes, etc; you’d need to have everything in place. At the moment, I swear by Wave App. It allows me to send estimates, convert them to invoices, send payment reminders, track outstanding balances and expenses. It has worked wonders for me and those I have recommended it to. Try it out and let me know.

7. Use a contract or agreement for every project.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a small project or a large one - you want everything discussed and covered. This will save you a lot of time and headaches. There are different website that provide pre-made proposals, contracts and agreement that you can sign up for such as Proposify. Alternatively, you can also sit down with an attorney to make sure everything is covered.

8. Rate cards.

Depending on your industry, this may be viable or not. Set some time to define your pricing structure. Are you gonna charge per hour? Per project? Per service? Establish those from the beginning, that way, making proposals will be a breeze instead of a nightmare.

9. Limit distractions.

Distraction could be your worst enemy; from watching TV to laying down for a second (that turn out to be 2 hours) and our fatal attraction: social media. I am a firm believer that you need to work hard but breaks are 100% necessary. There are several apps that can help you with this. From Focus (download for iOS | download for Android) which focuses on the Pomodoro technique to Freedom, ColdTurkey (download for Mac | download for Android) and InMoment (download for iPhone) which allow you to track and/or block time spent on social networks or a list of websites you determine for a certain period to allow you to better focus on getting things done.

10. Ask for testimonials.

From past clients, to ex-bosses, supervisors, colleagues, etc… they probably have great things to say about you. The easiest way to compile all of these is to ask for Recommendations on LinkedIn. From there you can extract their testimonials and use on your website and promotional material. It is always encouraged that you let them know that you will be using their testimonials - I highly doubt they will say no, but it is a courtesy.

11. Don’t be afraid to say “no”.

Choose your clients carefully. You are allowed to say “no”. Is this new client from an industry you don’t feel 100% comfortable with? Does it not align with your business values and standards? Do you feel like the chemistry is not there? Are you fully booked but don’t want to say “no” because “it’s a new gig”? Don’t feel bad. That is absolutely okay.  This will happen and you need to be ready to tackle these type of situations. My recommendations, draft a nice email and propose a plan: either let them know that at the moment you are not able to work with them and, if possible, provide an alternative vendor to fulfill their needs.

12. Never stop learning.

Easy as that. Information is at our fingertips these days. Never stop learning. Find ways where you can increase your knowledge on certain topics and trends and even find time to learn new things. Doing so will allow you to stay up to date and be able to react within your industry when something is relevant.


BONUS: The occasional day off is totally fine!

People ask me: “how do you stay motivated every single day of the week” and my answer is: “sometimes I don’t”. Their reaction is priceless. The reality is, this is one of the perks of being your own boss. You set your time and if you don’t feel productive for a moment, it is okay to take the day off if necessary.

ambinity

On days like that I like to catch up on my Netflix queue, watch crappy reality shows (this right here is my guilty pleasure) from Real Housewives of Orange County, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, RHOA and RHONJ, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Botched, Naked and Afraid, Shark Tank and I also love to read a good book, listen to podcasts and try and just pay with Pakko Petardo and Lola Inés del Pilar.


 

Last but not least, make sure you make the most out of your time as a freelancer or entrepreneur. Get stuff done. This is your time. Don’t ever let your creativity die. Do you have additional tips or questions? Leave them in the comments section below.

If you want to reach out to me, I am always available via inbox or you can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. See you there.

mari nieves pink studios

Meet our Guest Blogger

I’m Marii, your Facebook-loving, goal-crushing, digital marketing-obsessed professional. I’m a Computer Engineering turned digital marketing-entrepreneur who believes in the power of helping others succeed in life or their businesses with the right tools by their side. Founder of Pink Studios and The Digital Strategy Lounge and mom of #PakkoyLola.
Wanna know me? Shoot me a message here or here.

GUEST POST| I Got Into Law School and Here's What You Should Know

Guest Posts, CareerAna María BaezComment
what to know before you get into law school

We are excited to announce that Ana María Baez is our first Guest Blogger for ambinity! We really hope you like it, so make sure you send her some love by sharing this posts or leaving her a message in the comments section.

It’s no secret that becoming a lawyer isn’t exactly a piece of cake. Pursuing a career in law requires the utmost commitment, responsibility, and perseverance. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I decided to study law; it happened very organically. As I was doing my undergrad in Communications and Political Science, I was struggling to decide what to do after college. I knew I wanted to continue to grad school, but it wasn’t until I took a class on law and the media in my junior year that made me realize how many of my interests aligned with becoming a lawyer!

As a current third-year law student, I won’t lie: law school can be intense. But despite the difficulties and the ups & downs, I have found it to be rewarding in the most unexpected ways. However you come to the decision, if you’re considering law school as a possible option for you, here are a few tips that were passed on to me, along with some of my own:


1. On selecting a school

Choosing where to study law depends on a various amount of factors. From the admission requirements to where it’s located, every detail counts. Take into consideration your lifestyle, financial needs, and areas of interest.  After all, if you’re accepted, this will be your home for the next few years! Spend time developing your own criteria. I would recommend to make a list of schools and research their websites, and if possible, visit the campus you’d like to attend or contact them for more information and clarity.

2. Speaking of admission requirements…

Navigating the law school application process can be tricky, but preparing in advance will ease the stress of the process. Many schools in the United States and Puerto Rico require a test called the Law School Admissions Test, or ‘LSAT’. The exam is divided into five 35-minute parts, testing reading comprehension and certain logic skills. While meeting the LSAT requirements is an important part of your application, take note of any other elements that may necessary towards your admissions, such as additional entrance exams, letters of recommendation or writing samples. Make sure you don’t miss your deadline!

3. Cracking the LSAT

Whether you study alone or with friends, preparing for the LSAT is one the most vital steps in the law school application process. If you’re a self-starter, there are many practice tests and review books are widely available. If you prefer studying in groups and need more guidance, companies like The Princeton Review dedicate themselves to providing tutoring sessions for a fee. In any case, it’s recommended you study at least six weeks before the date of the exam, which is administered a few times per year and has a maximum score of 180. To familiarize yourself more with the requirements for the LSAT, check out their official website for the Law School Admissions Council

Once you’re in…

ana maria baez her campus

Welcome to the madhouse! The first few weeks of law school will be a bit overwhelming: heavy course loads and long nights of reading lie ahead. However, those first few weeks are also a perfect time to explore and familiarize yourself with your school. From joining the law review to pro-bono activities, take note of any extracurricular that interests you. Another tip? Time to work on that résumé. Job fairs are usually held at one point during the semester, and if you want to score an internship early on, it’s best to have your résumé ready to go. Studying will take up a lot of your time, so make sure you’re organized from the beginning, and you won’t miss out on important opportunities.

 

#CareerMode: ON

Going to law school is practically a full-time job on its own, and doesn’t leave room for much else.  However, if you find yourself working while attending law school, time management can definitely become a challenge. In my case, I’ve found that it all boils down to how I organize my tasks. By setting weekly goals instead of daily ones, I found that I wasn’t under so much pressure if one thing didn’t go exactly as planned. I’d suggest that if you find that your course load is too heavy, consider taking a night class if possible in order to shift your schedule, and make more room during the day. In terms of your job, be clear with your supervisors as to how much time you will be dedicating to your studies and to your responsibilities at work. Honesty is the best policy, even with you.

Studying will take up a lot of your time, so make sure you’re organized from the beginning, and you won’t miss out on important opportunities.
— Ana María Baez on Law School
law school students



Find your balance

One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced so far is keeping a positive outlook in law school. One can become so immersed in the day-to-day stress of your studies, it’s easy to forget: you’re allowed to have a life. Many times you’ll have to say ‘no’ to going out or being with friends and loved ones. Even so, I’ve learned that it’s of vital importance to be realistic about the number of hours you study each week. Even though you’ll probably be studying more than you’ve had to ever in your life, locking yourself away with your books all day isn’t exactly a recipe for success. Be mindful of how you feel. Staying consistent throughout the semester will be helpful if you want to achieve higher grades. And while a high GPA is important, always remember to include time for people and things you love in your weekly schedule. Whether it’s playing a sport, making art, or simply meeting with a friend, find a happy outlet that will anchor you throughout this remarkable odyssey.

image1.jpeg

Meet Our Guest Blogger

Ana María Báez is a third-year law student and a graduate of communications and political science. She has done freelance content writing for Merodea’s lifestyle section and for HerCampus.com. She has a love for all things media and writing; and she has a passion for cooking and yoga.

Why You Should Stop Caring About What Other People Think

Lifestyle, Real Talk, wellnessMaría Elena RodríguezComment
ambinity girlboss puerto rico

We've all been there. Whether it's from someone who doesn't get us, someone who underestimates us or just someone who diminishes our accomplishments. Caring about what other people think is annoying and it can take the best of us. I hate to say it, but I have been a victim of this my whole life. I especially get triggered when someone doesn't get a glimpse of all the love and hard work I put into everything that I do.

Admit it, we are always judging people. We judge people's past, life decisions and wardrobe choices. It's wrong, we know if, but we still do it. But once you get clear on your life path, you start seeing the world in a totally different light and you stop judging people as much. You start to realize that accomplishing your goals is not easy and that it requires a lot of getting out of your comfort zone and doing things that are not in line with society's norm. I myself, have seen this first hand. I practically put 50% and sometimes 75% of my life out there for people to read, like and share. It's terrifying! 

But this is how I learned to take a step back, look at the bigger picture and ask myself: Why do we need to look for validation for others when we are living out life's true purpose? Here is what I've found:

  • Misery loves company! People who hate their lives usually look for ways to make your life look as miserable as theirs.

  • There's so much beauty behind being underestimated. Work in silence and let success be the noise.

Work in silence. Let success be the noise.

Work in silence. Let success be the noise.

  • Nobody has your life experiences or point of views. Why should you follow someone else's path? You know exactly how to make your situations work for you. If you don't, keep looking. There is no basic template for life.

  • You are the only one in charge of your life. If I paid attention to what other people think or say of me, I would probably be living a totally different life. A miserable life that is.

  • There's beauty in proving people wrong. Follow Bruno Mars' lead and sing "Don't believe me just watch!"

Don't believe me just watch!

Don't believe me just watch!

  • Caring about what other people think of you is a waste of energy. Just imagine using all the energy you have wasted caring about what other people thought into your own projects?!

  • You are not what other people think of you. You are what you think of yourself and you better believe you are a QUEEN!

  • Surround yourself with people who care and support your goals. This is the best way to silence the negative talk!

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches. = Dita Von Teese

You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches. = Dita Von Teese

Now I want to know about you! How do you manage not caring about what other people think of you?

Until next time, 

María Elena

How to be More Productive

CareerMaría Elena RodríguezComment
ways to be more productive

It's almost the end of the year. Yes, check your calendar! So you're probably thinking about all the things you wanted to do for the new year and what you have actually accomplished. But this is certainly not the time to give up on your goals. This is the time to give all you've got to accomplish them. But in order to be successful, you need discipline and will power to be more productive and take advantage of the 24 hours in a day, while still getting some sleep.

So just in time for back to school, a time where kids and grown ups like to freshen up for the last half of the year, I decided to write my top tips to be more productive:

Find your "Prime Time"

Stop fighting with yourself to become a morning person. If you are a night person, embrace it! You should always find time to do the work you need to do. Just remember to prioritize your tasks and don't compromise your sleeping schedule for anything. 

Use the "Pomodoro Technique"

I found this technique on Pinterest a few months ago and it has been life changing! I like to see it as a game and the results are coming in (hello two #OfflineSaturdays!) Here's how to practice it:

  1. Make a to-do list.
  2. Identify your priorities.
  3. Select one priority task.
  4. Set a timer for 20 minutes and work on that task until the alarm comes off.
  5. Set a timer for 5 minutes and take a break to do whatever you want. 
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 three more times. 
  7. Once you finish the first time slot, take a long break (15-30 minutes). 
  8. Start all over again until you finish all your tasks. 

Tip: Use some noise cancelling headphones and listen to instrumental music. Here's what I've been listening for concentration lately. 

Exercise

Run, do yoga, Crossfit or even walk your dog, first thing in the morning. Whatever you do, try to move for at least 30 minutes a day and you'll see how you'll start being more productive. Exercise is self-care and if you care about yourself first thing in the morning, you'll have the right mindset to do what you need to do to reach your goals. 

Also, if you need a creativity boost, workout outside!

Plan your weeks

I have been obsessed with agendas since school days, and I have been going back and forth with several systems to find what the planner community likes to call #PlannerPeace. I found that the weekly/ hourly format is the best one for me since I can see the full spectrum and feel more in control of my tasks.

Adding a to-do list section to your agenda is also a good trick to keep your tasks in check. That way if you didn't get something done during that week, you can reschedule it for the next one. Helps you keep your priorities in check too.

Here are some agendas you can buy for some serious inspo:

Find a hobby

Find something that you enjoying doing more than job and your work days will go by faster. You should always feel excited about something and having a hobby will help you have something to look forward to everyday. 

Set goals with a due date

I learned this the hard way: Goals without due dates are just dreams. Once you have a goal in mind, set a due date and write it down in your calendar so you can visualize it as a priority. Just like birthdays, anniversaries and work presentations, this will let your mind know that what you have planned is important. And depending on how important this goal is for you, you can even create a time table with all the action plans you need to tackle in order to achieve it. 

Sounds complicated, but once you have that roadmap, all you have to do is schedule your tasks for each week until you reach your goal. All it takes is a little sacrifice and determination. 

Start Before you're ready

This is something that I learned from my favorite Youtube Star/ Life Coach, Alex Beadon, which I interviewed a while back. If you keep telling yourself that you need to be ready in order to start something you will never do. So if you have something in mind, just go for it. Do something today that will make that goal a little closer to you tomorrow. And I'm not talking about research, I'm talking about tangible actions like buying that domain name or contacting your first supplier. In Nike's words: Just do it!

Excuses are the antonym of productivity. 

Pin this image!

Pin this image!


The bottom line is: Set your priorities and get moving! 

Until next time, 

María Elena

10 Ways to Maximize your LinkedIn Profile

CareerMaría Elena RodríguezComment
ways to maximize your linkedin profile

If you still don't have a LinkedIn account and you have any dreams of building a career, what are you waiting for?! This is the 21st Century and if you want to have any chance of succeeding, you need to be not only reachable, but searchable.

I started using LinkedIn back in 2011 right before graduating college and it has been the best place to connect with colleagues and find job opportunities both locally and internationally. So I thought this would be a great chance to give you what I've learned during these almost 7 years using this social network for professionals: 

1. Add co-workers, college friends and professors

Add anyone who has been in your career path. From college friends and professors to co-workers, all these people should be part of your LinkedIn network. They will eventually help you find jobs and expand your network. 

No need to add any friends from other fields, that's what Facebook is for. Also, don't add colleagues you don't know, unless you have made any approaches through email or in person. Trust me, it's kind of creepy. 

2. Use bullet points to describe your job positions

Remember, this is a digital resumé, and just in case you haven't noticed, people have a very short attention span on the Internet. Make your tasks as easy to read as possible. Bonus points if you start each task with an action verb!

3. Make your headline fun and witty

You know that place at the top of your page just bellow your name? That's called a Headline on LinkedIn. Change your default headline to something fun and witty so it catches people's eye. For example, if you are a Content Manager at XYZ Agency, change your headline to "Content Generator and Social Media Superstar" or something among that line. You get the idea!

Also, how much fun you have with your headline will also depend on how your industry works. The communications field is usually a lot more laid back than corporate finances to give you an example. Keep that in mind. 

4. Don't forget your summary

This is where people will get to know you a little better and decide if they have some sort of interest in your resumé. Make a brief of your career, your interests and what you like to do in your free time. Make sure you include these, and you're good to go:

- Who you are?

- What you do?

- How you do it?

- What you like to do in your free time?

- Random fun fact about you - Again, how much fun you have with this fact will depend on your industry. 

5. If you have a small business, blog or work as a freelancer, add it to your Experience Section

It doesn't matter if it has to do with the job you're looking for. Knowing you can handle more than one job is a responsibility trait and knowing you have an entrepreneurial spirit is always a plus. Don't be afraid to have a title like "CEO", " Editor-In-Chief" or "Founder". Embrace it!  

6. Create a LinkedIn Page for your business or blog.

It's free! That way people can follow your business for updates and job positions. Plus, potential employers and/or clients can learn whatever your business is about without having to leave LinkedIn.

I have been doing this with ambinity for a few months now and it's been working like a charm! Follow me here

7. Add your LinkedIn Profile to your resumé

Here's where you should add your LinkedIn Profile:

- Printed Resume

- Online Resume

- Portfolio Website

Hint: Buy your name's domain and link it to your LinkedIn profile if you want to look extra fancy. 

8. Ask for recommendations

Leaving a job on good terms? Ask your manager to give you a recommendation. Worked freelance with someone and they loved your work? Ask them to give you a recommendation. 

*Etiquette Rule: Don't forget to offer a recommendation back. 

9. Add online courses and certifications

Head over to the Accomplishments section on your profile and add all the online courses and certifications you have taken during the years. If you have none, this is your time to start taking them. Here are some websites that might help you:

- Lynda

- Udemy

- Google Analytics Academy (free!) 

- Code Academy (free!)

10. Make Status Updates

If there is one place in this world where it is socially acceptable to brag, is LinkedIn. Let people know all of your career updates and interesting business links relevant to your field. 


Liked these tips? I have many more that I have learned through the years. Let me know if you're interested so I can put it in schedule. ;)

Oh, and don't forget to follow ambinity on Linkedin here

Until next time, 

María Elena

 

 

 

 

Intern Diaries | Samaris Pagán's Journey at Merodea

CareerMaría Elena RodríguezComment
Picture by  Rocío Lugo

Picture by Rocío Lugo

I first met Samaris Pagán at a makeup brand launching party. Not at the bar or in the dance floor, but at the makeup display, admiring everything shiny and new. We quickly started talking about makeup and our fascination for Tati Westbrook. So once I learned she used to be an intern at Merodea, I knew I had to interview her for the Intern Diaries Series. Because let's be real here, If I were in college right now, I would've died for an internship at Merodea, so the fact that she's already writing for the website and is one of the publication's faces (similar to Lucie Fink for R29!) before graduating college, amazes me. 

So get ready to get some serious advice from this girl! 

What are you studying in college and why?

I currently study General Communications with a minor in Journalism at Universidad del Sagrado Corazón in San Juan. I've always loved writing but I felt like I could definitely learn a lot from other areas so that's why I decided on a General Communications Bachelors. I've taken all types of classes from marketing, advertising and public relations to radio. It wasn’t until I took an Introduction to Journalism class that I knew this was the path that I needed to take.

I'll finally be done by December this year. I am so beyond ready to put on that cap and gown and scream freedom.

samaris pagan - merodea at libros ac


How did you learn about the internship at Merodea?

It's actually a really random story. I had met Andrea Devoto, Merodea's Social Media Manager, at an event before, but then I literally never saw her again. Fast forward to a Journalism class we took together, we got to talking on all things fashion, Glossier and tacos. She mentioned that Merodea was looking for interns and next thing you know, I was getting interviewed the next week. So it’s all thanks to Andrea for giving me the heads up and in a way, motivating me to go for it.

Before Merodea, I was an intern assistant to both Beatriz Rodriguez and Margarita Alvarez. I helped them with all kinds of miscellaneous tasks for around 4-5 months and it was an amazing experience. They are such strong and creative women who, to this day, still inspire me. 



How did you imagine your first day at Merodea?


Honestly, I had no idea what to expect. I've followed Merodea almost since the beginning and I’ve always admired everything they do. The thought of going on coffee runs everyday never had crossed my mind but I did imagine doing really simple tasks. I feel like with internships, you can’t expect to do anything major or groundbreaking. It’s a slow process where little by little, you start showing your potential in some areas and where you shine best. 

It’s a slow process where little by little, you start showing your potential in some areas and where you shine best. 
— Samaris Pagán
Samaris with fellow M-Intern, Laura Molina.

Samaris with fellow M-Intern, Laura Molina.


How did your first day go by? 

My first day was very scary but it was all from my part. I always tend to psyche myself out and think of the worst scenarios possible. But overall, it was a super chill first day. Everyone from the Team was so nice and they made me feel very comfortable. I did some pretty easy things (exactly what I had expected) like looking for potential social media images, generating captions for them, potential posts ideas for the website, etc.

What type of tasks were you assigned at the beginning?

I pretty much did the same duties I mentioned before. I didn't do any writing at first. I usually helped Andrea with social media duties. After that, I felt a lot more comfortable and I was able to express my interest in writing. The Team was open to the idea, so I was given creative freedom and it helped me develop a lot more confidence in my work.

I remember my first article, which was 5 things to do in Guánica and I was beyond ecstatic because it performed really well on social media. I got good feedback and even a cookie from Double Cake so I was over the moon.



What was your biggest challenge as an intern?

It definitely came down to one thing: English is my first language so it became a bit of a challenge writing certain things because I would literally translate them. It’s something I struggle with every single day. So when I would send my posts for revision, I would see all of the mistakes I was making, but I didn’t take this the wrong way. On the contrary, thanks to this, I have improved so much. I took advice from Andrea and started reading a lot from Vogue Mexico and España, which helped me even more with my writing. Apart from that, the only big challenge was preparing myself mentally for the end of my internship. [Insert violin sounds here]

From left to right: Andrea Devoto, Kisai Ponce and Samaris Pagán. Source: Facebook.

From left to right: Andrea Devoto, Kisai Ponce and Samaris Pagán. Source: Facebook.

What was your favorite part of the Internship at merodea? 

I love how creative the women I work with are. I swear if you could sit one day in one of our brainstorming sessions, you would be amazed. That definitely had to be my favorite part of being an M-intern. Seeing how these women would make up concepts and later make them come to life and even being behind the whole process and scene of it all was truly rewarding.

 

Merodea could be considered a startup/ small business. How do you compare your internship to the experience of some of your peers that perhaps were doing internships at big and stablished corporations?

The grand majority of my friends would do internships at pharmaceuticals or engineering companies. So it's safe to say that they would do very different tasks than I would do. That doesn't mean that what I do doesn't matter or that it's less important. It still adds some kind of value to someone, somewhere. But at the same time, people have this incorrect perception that the job I’m in is super fabulous because I get to go to events, assist photo shoots and receive goodies. You can’t even imagine how wrong that is. Sure, it’s super fun to be able to do all of that but at the same time, it’s hard work. There are so many details that you have to keep in mind that even forgetting one can change anything. So regardless if you’re doing an internship in fashion or engineering, or if the company is small or big, you’re doing important and valuable work. 

Regardless if you’re doing an internship in fashion or engineering, or if the company is small or big, you’re doing important and valuable work
— Samaris Pagán



How were you offered the job as a writer?

I had started interning around April and by September/October, I was offered the writer position which in my case was altered for beauty and lifestyle. I was extremely surprised and humbled when Melissa, our CEO, sat me down and offered it to me. I couldn't believe it. One of my favorite local publications wants to hire lil' old me? I had various “pinch me I’m dreaming moments”. I am eternally grateful for the opportunities that have been brought to me. 



Not only did you become a Merodea writer after your internship, you ended up being one of the faces of publication. tell me a little about your experience representing Merodea in social media?

Again, it has been insanely humbling to represent in any way or form the face of Merodea. I don't want to sound snob-ish but it's an awesome feeling. Simply because like I said before, I feel like doing these things: creating content, doing live first impressions, I’m helping someone with a problem whether it's which face mask in the market is better or if the latest beauty trend is worth your time and money.

 

Was it something that came in natural or was it a process of adaptation?

I'll admit: it didn't come super natural. If you’ve ever met me, you’ll know that I’m the most millennial person you’ll ever meet and I may seem pretty confident at first but I do have my shy moments, especially when cameras are around. This is where my insecurities get the best of me. But I find them very normal and in no way or form should they be hidden. We all have insecurities and we choose when and how we want to work on them but I think the best way to confront them is to stop avoiding them and attack them immediately. Exposing myself to these little things, whether it’s leading Merodea’s Instagram stories or being on the cover photo of one of my posts, has helped me be more open and confident to whatever comes my way. 

samaris pagan merodea


Do you have any organization tips or tricks to keep your academic and work life at check?

As I mentioned before, I am the most millennial person you’ll ever met. I say words like slay and lit and Glossier and Milk Makeup are my mains when it comes to beauty. But when it comes to organization wise, I’m so old school, it’s hilarious. I got my trusty old daily planner from Anthropologie to keep me as organized as possible. Besides Merodea, I work in retail and I go to school so this planner has definitely saved my life because my weeks never look empty. So whether it’s a digital calendar or a physical planner, get one please. They will be your mom when she’s not always around.



What advice would you give other students who are looking for a paying job after finishing an internship?

I would tell them that they need to be open to anything. The word “no” can’t be an answer when you’re interning. The possibilities within internships are endless so denying them would be a shame. I also learned from Melissa that if you see something that is wrong or can be fixed, do something about it. Whining and moaning will get you nowhere. Do your work and if any bumps in the road come your way, find the way to deal with them. 


What have you learned from the Merodea Team?

Persistence is key. You can’t just give up because things get hard. If that were the case, we would all be lost. Also collaboration over competition is very important. As a team consisting of all women, it’s essential for us to always remember to be inclusive because we know, at the end of the day; the job gets done with much ease when we work together. 

Part of the Merodea Team at the #MerodeaSummerCabana this past June. // Picture by Adriana Corbet

Part of the Merodea Team at the #MerodeaSummerCabana this past June. // Picture by Adriana Corbet

As a team consisting of all women, it’s essential for us to always remember to be inclusive because we know, at the end of the day; the job gets done with much ease when we work together. 
— Samaris Pagán


Based on your current work experience and skills, what advice would you give yourself back in your first day of college? 

You’re going to be fine. Stop stressing so much. Breathe, little one. Those are some of the things I would say to 17-year-old Samaris right now. To me, starting college was, in a way, the end of all things regarding my childhood. I avoided adulting as much as possible but I’m glad I got over my silly fears and faced them. Sometimes, I still avoid adulting but taking on so many responsibilities, in my work place and university duties, had done a great deal for me, professionally and personally. 

Random facts about Samaris:

Dog or cat: Dogs
Coffee or tea: Coffee
Lipstick or liquid lipstick: Liquid lipstick (Kylie and Kat Von D)
Snapchat Stories or Instagram Stories: Instagram for aesthetics, Snapchat for silliness
Favorite local brand: LUCA, Necromancy Cosmetica, Sally Torres Vega, Luiny
Favorite blog: Into The Gloss, The Anna Edit, Man Repeller, Atelier Dore
Person you admire: Leandra Medine & Daenerys Targaryen, unapologetic women who don’t give a shiz.
Favorite local shops: Moni & Coli, Love is You and Me and Collective Request.
Favorite makeup brand: Hard question because I’m always rotating but at the moment, Glossier and Burberry Beauty. 
Favorite branding: Glossier forever. Emily Weiss can do no wrong. 
Heels or flats: Flats
Favorite scent: I’m very into woody and smoky scents. 
Must have fashion accessory: Rings


BONUS! Want to be an Intern at Merodea? Send your resumé to info@merodea.com. Good luck! 

From Intern to Full Time at Aaron Stewart Home

CareerMaría Elena RodríguezComment
aurimar ortiz aaron stewart home headquarters

Ever since I started this Intern Diaries series, I've been on a mission to find hard working interns who have an inspiring story to tell about their experiences. So far, you've all loved Paola from Letras con Tacones' experience working at Elle Magazine in New York City and Kiara Hernández experience going from intern to full time at L'Oreal Puerto Rico's PR firm. They're all amazing experiences of how hard work and determination early on, can be a great getaway to accomplish your career goals. 

So when Fernando Rodríguez told me about Aurimar's journey at Aaron Stewart Home, I knew I had to feature her in this series. She interned at ASH for about a month, then went on to work part time and ended up being a full time employee. 

But to give you a little preview of the interview, she didn't only did a complete 360 career change from working as a restaurant manager to working as a licensed Interior Designer at Aaron Stewart Home, but she has done her entire career journey while taking care of her little girl Sofia, as a single mom! And did I mention she passed her license test in the first try?! 

I'm so happy I get to share Aurimar's inspiring story today, March 8, International Women's Day. I hope you enjoy and learn about this interview as much as I did!

BONUS: If you're interested in applying for an internship at ASH, stick through the end of this post for instructions. 

ME: What was your career goal as a kid?

AO: Honestly, I always wanted to be an astronaut, which has absolutely nothing to do with design!

ME: So how did you end up studying Interior Design?

AO: My interest for design started while doing my undergrad in humanities at the University of Puerto Rico. I had some friends that were studying Interior Design at the UPR, Carolina Campus, so I decided to go ahead and give it a try. I really didn’t even look for information, it was more of an impulse decision. I changed concentrations and once I was there, I knew this was really what I wanted to do for the rest of my life!

ME: What made you switch majors from Humanities to Interior Design?

AO: I liked the history part of Humanities, but I was way more inspired by everything that had to do with culture and fine arts.

ME: Did you always have your bedroom decorated like a magazine?

AO: Yes! Definitely. I loved organizing my drawers and color coordinating in rainbow patterns. I always tried to find the design aspect behind organization. I also loved doing collages, and I drew a lot as a kid.

In Puerto Rico you are taught interior design drawing by hand first. So that was perfect for me. I love drawing!

Aurimar and her little girl, Sofia.

Aurimar and her little girl, Sofia.

ME: You had your little girl during college, as a 21 years old. What was your biggest challenge?

AO: The biggest challenge was finding the energy and the time to finish my degree. Also, there’s a lot of cruel people that are quick to judge you and assign you the “failure” label once you become a single mom at a young age. But I learned no one can define me. I am the only person who can decide what I’m capable of accomplishing at my own terms. No one can decide that for me.

ME: How did you balance school and taking care of your kid at the same time?

AO: I had to make a mind set shift before anything else. School became my second priority and my baby my first priority. I was able to make it because I was very organized with my time and I had a very clear goal in mind.

When I thought I couldn’t keep going, I would get back in focus by meditating on my goal and visualizing myself accomplishing it. What really helped me balance it all was my mental state and attitude towards it.

ME: What did you end up getting a degree in?

AO: I ended up completing an Associate’s Degree in Interior Design at the San Juan School of Interior Design at E.D.P. University. Since I already had my associate's degree and already had a lot of Humanities credits, I was able to apply for the Interior Design License exam right way. I’m really proud to say I passed it in the first try because I worked really hard for it! 

I’m currently finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Design at the San Juan School of Interior Design. I will finish in May 2018, because even though I only have 6 classes left, I want to take it easy. I already have a full time job and the license! Nevertheless, I really want to have a Master’s degree in Project Management or Sustainable Design some day!  

ME: What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

AO: I worked in customer service for seven years and oh boy! I learned life is tough. But seriously, I learned a lot about patience during those years. One of the most important things I learned was how to cope with different personalities at the same time.

When you are serving a customer, you could simultaneously be dealing with someone who is super nice, but you could also be dealing with someone who is not having a great day. You have to learn to cope with both of them at the same time. I use those lessons everyday, not only in my career, but in my personal life.

ME: What was your first real job in design?

AO: I literally went from being a manager at a restaurant to being an intern at Aaron Stewart Home. It was such a complete change from what I was used to!

Once I graduated, Margaret Diaz, the president of the Colegio de Decoradores y Diseñadores de Puerto Rico (CODDI) called me because she had recommended me for an internship position at ASH.

ME: How was your first day as an intern at Aaron Stewart Home?

AO: It was very fast paced and it was a lot of information to take in. I would write everything down no matter how insignificant it seemed, so I could go back and revisit my notes if I needed them.

I went from receiving 2 emails a day to receiving a hundred in one day. It was definitely a lot of pressure! But the ASH Team was really supportive of me. Their policy is always: if you have a question, ask! They are always willing to teach you. They don’t expect you to know everything, they just want to know you're interested. I’d rather ask 10 questions about what my boss wants done than do it wrong and waste everyone’s time.

I’d rather ask 10 questions about what my boss wants done than do it wrong and waste everyone’s time.
— Aurimar Ortiz

ME: What did you imagine that your first day as an intern at ASH was going to be and how was it different?

AO: I thought it was going to be really easy, pretty and colorful! But what goes on behind the scenes is a lot of hard work, sweat, stress and pressure. It’s all about the details. Like for example, you look at something like wallpaper and you think it’s simple. But no! It takes hours to complete that. First, you match and pick out a wallpaper. After that, you have to find out if it’s available, order it, and if it’s not, sometimes you may have to wait three months for it. Then, you have to pick it up, find someone to install it, but if they install it wrong, you need to go ahead and order it again! There’s a whole behind the scenes that happens inside designing a space.

ME: What was your biggest challenge during your internship at ASH?

AO: I would say staying on top of everything. There were a lot of things going on at the same time, while I was learning how to organize my calendar, schedule and thoughts, literally!

ME: Did you ever imagine yourself working at ASH?

For an entire year I visualized myself working for a big designer in Puerto Rico.
— Aurimar Ortiz

AO: For an entire year I visualized myself working for a big designer in Puerto Rico, so when it happened I was like BAM! Law of attraction! This is what I was looking for and it actually happened.

Aurimar's Inspiration Board at the Aaron Stewart Home's Headquarters.&nbsp;

Aurimar's Inspiration Board at the Aaron Stewart Home's Headquarters. 

ME: How was your internship experience while having your little girl?

AO: Wow!  While my little girl was in preschool, I was working at the restaurant as a manager some days and then working at ASH the other days. I would go out to look for her in school at 2PM to drop her at my mom’s and come back to my internship until 6PM. It was not an easy schedule! But thankfully all of that has changed.

You need to have determination to do this. A lot of people would give up! Without the help of my friends and family, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. I owe them that and so much more!

ME: How did you learn to organize yourself?

AO: I have binders with sections subdivided by to-do lists, with files that I need on hand for each day and divided by project. I also have my daily planner that I take with me everywhere like it’s my cellphone. I also use my phone’s calendar to let the team know about my schedule.

It’s important to know that you’re not perfect and that at some point you’re going to get disorganized. But you have to set out a day of the week to take care of it, go back and put whatever you messed up, back to the way it was!

aaron stewart home headquarters
aaron stewart home headquarters
aaron stewart home headquarters

ME: What would you recommend other students that would like an internship in the interior design field and how can they excel at it?

AO: I think that you have to face your fears, specially if it’s your first internship or real job. Even though you might not even know what’s going on, there’s going to be a lot of insecurity, but you have to look past that and do it! Be fearless of what you want.

Also, you have to be willing to do what you have to do! Stop putting excuses.

ME: What are your tips towards finding a dream internship?

AO: I used to think that this internship came to me by luck, but the truth is I was a really hard working student and I was referred by a professor because of that.

aaron stewart home

In any moment you could make a connection with someone who could help you. That’s why it’s so important to keep good relationships with as many people as you can. You never know when you’re going to see them again!

ME: Describe a normal day as an intern at ASH?

AO: Everyday was different. But one example could be arriving at the office, having a status meeting at 9AM and then it was time to go out and find sources for faucets, furniture, and delivering store merchandise to our clients. It was all behind the scenes the design process. I was helping everyone in the team!

ME: What is the difference now that you’re a full time employee?

AO: Now I have responsibilities that are set and I have projects that I’m in charge of. The only thing that hasn’t changed is that I keep assisting anyone that needs my help around the day.

ME: What was your biggest lesson once you finished your internship?

AO: Once they made me full time I had to leave the job I was working at. It was super scary since I was very comfortable where I was, and I had a lot of experience there. But it was 20 thousand times worth it. So my biggest lesson was learning to step out of my comfort zone.

fernando rodriguez aaron stewart

ME: What was your favorite part of your internship experience?

AO: The team work dynamic and the open door policy. If you felt uncomfortable about something, there was no problem in saying it. We are a support system!

ME: What advice would you give a student who is going to start an internship at ASH?

AO: Don’t take anything personal, work hard and watch your attitude. Attitude is everything!

ME: Have you ever been a victim of mommy shaming for being a working mom? If that’s so, how did you manage it?

AO: Of course! Not everyone is capable of respecting you when they have different ambitions than yours. A lot of people don’t get it and that’s why I don’t take it personally. Everybody has their own path and goals to accomplish.

The only opinion that really matters to me is my daughter’s. That’s why we constantly talk about this topic, and I explain to her the importance of fighting for your dreams. But most importantly, I make sure that our time together is quality time, without interruptions.

I make sure to let her know that her opinions and her emotions matter to me and that’s how we come across agreements together. That’s all that matters to me. If others don’t understand it, that’s completely out of my control, so I don’t even take it into consideration.

ME: Puerto Rico is going through a tough economic recession, so there’s a lot of people advising others not to waste time in artistic careers. What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a creative career but is overwhelmed by all the negativity?

AO: If you focus on what’s going on around you instead of what you want, you’re going to be going back and forth trying to please everyone your whole life. If you have a passion that you know you want to do, go for it even if the odds are against you! If you feel in your heart that’s what’s going to make you happy and you’re willing to work for it, life will give you all the tools you need to make it work.

If you listen to everyone’s opinion you will never do anything!

ME: Many women think that after having kids, their dreams are put aside, but clearly this hasn’t been your case. What advice will you give other single moms?

audimar ortiz aaron stewart home

AO: What better example could you give your kids than following your dreams, working hard, never giving up, not been mediocre, not settling and to keep fighting to make a personal change? Those are life’s biggest lessons. Here is my advice:

  • Make a support system of family members, friends and even support groups where you can find help and good advice.
  • Read. Educate yourself by looking for information about educating your child and about not only being a parent, but a happy human being.
  • Look for your passion and practice it. Do what makes you happy and let your kid see you being happy.
  • Look for people who motivate you and are good examples for you and your kids.
  • Last but not least, stop feeling guilty because you’re taking time for your own personal development. Kids learn to be happy and independent by watching you. The best lesson you can give your kids is to show them how to be a perseverant person and to live life with enthusiasm and purpose.

Interested in being an intern at Aaron Stewart Home? Keep reading.

  • Are you a visionary? 
  • Do you have the skill of looking beyond your assigned tasks?
  • Are you willing to give your all?
  • Can you multitask projects?
  • Want to be a part of a fast paced environment?
  • Can you see yourself being part of the future of Aaron Stewart Home?

      If you replied yes to all of the questions above, send your resume to info@aaronstewarthome.com. Good luck! 


    Hope this interview inspired you to keep following your current dreams! There are definetely no excuses. 

    If you enjoyed this post, I would suggest you check out my Career section. Also, you may enjoy Fernando Rodíguez's ASH office tour I did a few weeks ago. 

    Until next time, 
    María Elena

    Office Decor Ideas by Fernando Rodríguez

    Decor, LifestyleMaría Elena RodríguezComment
    fernando rodriguez aaron stewart home

    Remember back when I interviewed Fernando Rodríguez, the co-founder of the lifestyle store Aaron Stewart Home? I still can't believe that was almost two years ago. Just in case you're new to my blog, he was the first person I interviewed for my career profile series. I talked a little about the nerve wracking experience of pitching my idea to Fernando in this Instagram post, if you're interested. 

    After that experience I am proud to say we have stayed in touch to the point that we did another blog post on how to style your nightstand.

    Right now we are working on an awesome interview with one of his teammates so make sure you're subscribed to ambinity's newsletter so you don't miss it! And that's how I ended up at Fernando's office at the ASH headquarters in Miramar for the first time.  It's literally the most beautiful office decor I've ever seen outside of magazines and I just knew I had to film a video for you guys. 

    So without further ado, here's my very first video filmed and edited by myself in the hopes you will find some office decor ideas. I am very proud of this video, not only because I got out of my comfort zone once again, but because this was by FAR the hardest thing I've done for this blog since I launched it. I can honestly say I have a new profound admiration for all video producers out there. You guys make magic happen! 

    Ready to re-decorate your office, huh? Here's a recap of Fernando's Favorite things at his office, just in case you're daydreaming about recreating his style in your own space:

    • Nespresso Coffee Machine - It's actually on sale right now!

    • Scented Candles - Fernando is currently working on a new candle scent with the ASH team. But for now, you can find really good ones here and here

    • Vintage Mid Century Modern Chest - Since this is one of a kind, you can find a similar one here
    • Acrylic frame with a hand-written letter from the Editor of GQ Magazine - Similar frame here.
    • Silver frame with Fernando and his husband, Aaron Stewart - Another similar frame here
    • Inspiration Board - Similar board here.
    • Picture with Bill Conningham
    • A copy of an article in New York Magazine in which Fernando Appeared.

    Click away!

    Thank you so much for stopping by once again! If you enjoyed this type of content please don't forget to comment bellow and like, share and subscribe to my Youtube Channel. It will also be awesome if you filled out this survey if you haven't already. Helps me provide you with better content. 

    Until next time, 

    María Elena