What’s your backstory?
I was born and raised in a small town in Washington State, where there was never much opportunity. A lot of people finish High School and then go on to work arduous jobs, and seeing my parents experience this first hand, I knew I had to do something big with my life. I had to create something special to make sure my family doesn’t have to lift a finger ever again. It was just a matter of finding the right path for myself.
At the young age of 15, I discovered my passion for fashion and business, and since then I was determined to make my goals and aspirations my reality. At that point in my young life I began to design various pieces of clothing for different clothing brands. I also began brainstorming, developing business plans and a variety of different ideas for my own fashion company.
Around this time was when my best friend and business partner created the idea of XKM, the high-end luxury company. We spent hours brainstorming ideas and designing different articles of clothing. XKM quickly became everything we thought about and constantly worked on for years.
After graduating High School and being accepted into the University of Washington, I embarked on a new journey in Seattle, WA. I quickly adapted to the city life and was focused on my studies for a business degree. While taking actual business courses in school, I was even more intrigued and so I would go out and do my own research on the fashion industry. I was extremely curious when it came to fashion and business, I asked myself “How did they make it?” “What was their first move?” and “How does that translate to our modern society and where the fashion industry stands today?”. Due to these questions, I would spend hours reading and learning about fashion brands whom are already successful.
Once the school year was over, I used the knowledge and expertise I had gained from working with people and studying clothing brands to develop a website and bring my products to life.
Although there have been hardships and confusion throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I’ve always been about making things happen, whether I am alone or not. I have always been extremely determined on accomplishing my goals and that will never change.
At only 19 years of age, I have Co-founded not only my very own company, but my lifelong dream. That is my first accomplishment of many.
I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?
Family. That drives me. When I am unmotivated or discouraged and have to take that step back and think to myself, I remind myself why I do what I do and what my ultimate goal is. That being to take care of my family and be able to repay everything that they have done for me.
In addition, what drives me is the sense of satisfaction and success. To be able to lay down at night and say that I have given 110% of myself to my work lets me sleep at night. This is because I know that by giving 110% day in and day out, I will reach my goals and make my dreams into my reality.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? What lesson did you learn from them?
There have been a number of people who have helped me along the way. First being my family. They’re the ones who have always been there to help me with whatever it was, whether it was with school or just a personal matter. Them giving me what I needed growing up is the very reason why they are my motivation.
Along with my family, my close friends have also helped me prosper. First being my best friend and Co-Founder Josue Arteaga. We grew up together for the majority of our life he has facilitated the process of establishing our company through his expertise and vision when it comes to business. My close friends have also been there to help me with whatever it may be, I’ve always been the type to keep my circle small so the people that I have kept around have been a huge help.
Not to mention the team we have built. Along with the great culture we have in our workplace, we always push each other and keep each other accountable which goes a long way in this game.
How do you push through your worst times?
When it comes to dealing with tough time I have found what works best for me. What I do is take a step back and ask myself: “Why did I start doing all of this in the first place?” This is because it is so easy to get distracted and discouraged by such little issues which ultimately mean nothing in comparison to the bigger picture. I can’t let one grain of sand ruin my entire desert.
Something extremely important that I have also learned recently is to be more patient. Things don’t happen overnight, that is something I quickly had to understand and constantly keep in mind.
All in all, I have had my moments of discouragement and self-doubt but mentally I’m strong enough to push through these moments and refocus on what is really important. It’s just a matter of finding what motivates you and always keeping that in the back of your mind.