I was recently interviewed by Sandrini Gonzalez, co-founder of SoyFashionista.com. Soy Fashionista is a web community for Latinas where they celebrate our culture, accomplishments, and inform Latinas (and non-Latinas alike) about numerous topics ranging from living green to cooking, hot fashion trends and entertainment. Soy was launched early this year, and in this short time, it has reached thousands of readers and caught the attention of national magazines and Spanish-media television broadcasting companies such as Univision, where future collaborations are already in the works!
Needless to say, I was honored to be contacted by the founder herself, who conducted the interview in hopes that my story will continue to inspire other Latinas to follow their dreams.
I cut and pasted the interview below for your convenience, but when you have a chance, please visit SoyFashionista.com:
Name: Dioscelina Perez
Profession: Custom Invitations & Stationery Designer
What inspired you to become a stationery designer?
I have always had a passion for paper, color and textures. I discovered early in life that I had a need for creative expression, so I would carry paper and pencil wherever I went. Eventually my constant need to challenge myself creatively, lead me to a career in graphic design. I worked in a corporate setting for 10 years before I discovered my true calling. As I worked on my own wedding invitations in the fall of 2002, I realized there were other brides in search of something more reflective of their personality and style when it came to their wedding stationery and that I had the tools, knowledge and desire to help them.
What gets you out of bed, to do what you love?
It’s a given that I am driven by my passion for paper and design, but knowing that my clients are counting on me to create a glimpse and keepsake of the happiest day of their lives is a great motivator. I know that each person who hires me wants something different, something exclusive that is not mass produced, a piece that reflects who they are and sets the tone for their event. Every project is an adventure in itself and I love adventure.
“What do you enjoy most about the type of work you do?”
I love that I am able to work with clients world-wide. Distance is not a problem, thanks to technology! My work requires a lot of creative problem solving, so it keeps things interesting. I truly enjoy the design process, but I also find that working with my hands is very therapeutic. I get to rest my mind a bit as I joyously handcraft each individual invitation. I also love that I have been able to stay home and raise my daughter through her toddler years, while providing a professional service to clients world-wide.
What bumps in the road did you over come to be where you’re at now?
I jumped the first hurdle when I quit my full-time job, with seniority and benefits, to follow my dream. It was a tough choice, but I’m glad I made it! The second hurdle came when our nation went into a state of recession. I soon realized, however, that this was an opportunity to expand my talents. As a result, I added creative stationery solutions to my collection for all budget ranges.
Words of advice for any Latina to follow her dream.
Never miss an opportunity for growth. Make lemonade when life gives you lemons. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and people who motivate and inspire you. I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for my husband. He does not have a creative bone in him, but he’s my biggest cheerleader. Last, but not least, have faith and believe in yourself. Know that if you’re persistent and well intentioned, good things will come your way.