Ambitious, bold, and hard-working 24/7, Silvia aka VIA™️ is a one-woman powerhouse in the world of interior design, art, fashion, poetry, music, marketing, branding, and special events.
She often combines several of those elements together in the work she does for her clients, who have included professional athletes, boutique hotels, former presidents, sports teams, musicians, and more.
VIA says her lack of fear is one of the most essential elements of her success. It brought her from an unconventional upbringing to the worlds she navigates today with ease. At the same time, she’s never been able to ask questions… and seek out help from mentors.
We talk about her whirlwind entrepreneurial journey, including…
- The biggest influences and experiences in her early life that shaped her career
- Why she doesn’t dwell on the past and what she focuses on instead
- How to combine a business mindset with artistic vision
- The business ventures she has in the works right now – and how she’ll get them off the ground
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
Jay Sparks: Hello, this is Jay Sparks your host of finding unique value, where I interview business leaders that have found unique value in their business or industry that others have not yet seen or explored. And today, I’m excited to be joined by Via, the owner of Una Via– a one-stop-shop for fashion, beauty, lifestyle and special events. She’s the founder of One Way Treatment Inc, a non-profit committed to preventing domestic violence and abuse of any form against women. And she’s also a talented artist, graphic designer, interior designer. And with so many talents, including running a business, I’m very interested to find out how BS sees the world and picks the opportunities that have the most value in her eyes. So with that, welcome to the welcome to the podcast Via, it’s great to be speaking with you today.
Sylvia aka VIA: Thank you so much. It’s an honor, I’m very humbled, and I appreciate it. Thank you.
Jay Sparks: Great, it’s great. Well, I didn’t do your background any justice at all Via. I know you do so many things. And you’ve had a very interesting life up until now because of you just kind of tell us what you think we need to know in terms of context like where you’ve been and what you’re up to right now.
The VIA Update
Sylvia aka VIA: Sure. So I do currently still operate Una Via, LLC, which is my branding, marketing, special events company, my One Way, my nonprofit against domestic violence, the 501c3 I have dissolved only because I didn’t want to make domestic violence my career. I raised five, six years, a lot of money, I helped a lot of woman in a lot of you know, young girls, but you know, everything has its right time in place. And in business, you know, there’s always a saying you don’t ever get too attached to your business. So my main focus from 2014. So currently is Viasworld.com. And viasworld.com is basically what I’m doing now in and having really good success in it. I’m a designer for three boutique hotels in Boston, one is 185 Stage Street called Harbourside Inn boutique hotel and luxury lounge. The other one is the Charles Mark Hotel on Boylston Street. And then the third one is Surfside Inn in Chatham. And currently, I am doing all the art for all three hotels, and also doing special events and branding and marketing for them.
Jay: Wow, that is incredible. I’m not even sure Where, where, where to start here. Because you have so many different things going on. But let me ask you this just you know, a general question. So many people want to be a business owner, right? Everybody wants to be the boss. But it very hard to do so most people don’t. But you made the jump. And you’ve been successful. So what were the things that that either kind of made you do that? Or what precipitated it? Was it was there an event? Or was it just you’ve always wanted to do this until you were a little girl and now just happened to be the right time for you to start doing these things?
Sylvia: You know, my suggestion is a great book by Adam Grant called The Original: How Nonconformist Can Change the World. Actually, I think Harvard Business, they asked the students to read it. I think, to be honest with you, I think entrepreneurs are born, I hate to say it, but you just have to have something in you. You just have to naturally be a leader, you just have to be willing to take risks at all times. I knew from the very beginning, I’m not from this country originally, I came here and I was about eight. And I didn’t know how to speak English or anything. And so I think the things that happened in my childhood from having to be in to adapt so quickly, and to, you know, be thrown into a new family and, you know, have to learn English language, I think those things automatically made me have an entrepreneur mind, because to be an entrepreneur, you have to learn to take risk or want to take risks. And you have to be okay with failure. And I think, you know, that’s why not everybody, not everybody’s meant to be the chief. I think to me, I think it’s more a personality trait.
Jay: Okay, well, I mean, there’s a lot of people that, you know, for instance, coming thrown at me, you know, it may be in a similar situation, but they don’t come out with your ability to kind of see the future because part of what an entrepreneur does, is they have some sort of vision, right? And I bet you I have a very interesting vision of where you want to take all of this. So where did possibility come from? Right. Like, where did you remember when that started that you know, “Hey, I can, I can change the world to be, I can have you know, my artwork hanging on that wall? I can, I can have a say in what that hotel puts on their wall or put, you know, what drapes they put up” or however you contract your work. Where did that come from?
Sylvia: Okay, yeah, I think I’m honestly my adoptive father was a very, very unique individual to, to be able to adopt, you know, two children from Central America. And, you know, obviously, he’s white so he already thought outside the box. And I just remember coming to this country, when I learned how to speak English. I said to him, “I’d like to be the president.” And he said to me, “You can’t be the president because you weren’t born here.” And he goes, “but we can try to change the law.” And I go, “how do we do that?” And then he said, “we’ve got to go through all the neighbourhoods and we got to get you to know, a certain amount of signatures, and we could get a certain amount, then we’re going to mail it to the president and see if you can change the law.”
And I think things like that. And then obviously too, him throwing me in sports, and I wanted to play baseball and football. And he was like, “girl, you can do anything. And so, I think my adoptive father was really the one that told me, it doesn’t matter. If you’re a girl, it doesn’t matter about your skin colour, it doesn’t matter that you know, I’m dyslexic as well. So he was always like, it doesn’t matter about your learning disabilities. There’s nothing in this world that you can’t do. So I really have to say, big influence. And that was definitely my adoptive father. And he wasn’t an entrepreneur at all. He was a school teacher. But definitely. He motivated and influenced a lot of inner-city kids, and including myself. So definitely him.
Jay: Yeah, no, that’s incredible. It’s really, you know, amazing. And one, one person can make a big difference, right? That’s why we always try to be that that one person, right for others. So it’s great to you, your your, your adoptive father was able to kind of set you on that path, right? Yeah, you’re the path of the possibilities. Now, he wasn’t an entrepreneur, so he can only take you so far. Did you have other mentors that you had? Or did you have like virtual mentors, like, you know, like, Adam Grant that the author you mentioned, or other people like, how did you learn stuff? Because there’s no way you can you could have been born with that knowledge.
Sylvia: Right? Absolutely. So I went to school with sound state and then my did my internship for New England strategic development company. And my very first mentor, which is very well known in Boston, he’s a lobbyist. His name is Dr Tenant, Dr Alexander Tenant, also known as Sandy Tenant. And I oh, I tell everybody, this, I am the businesswoman I am today because of him. He has a PhD from Harvard. He was, he’s a republican, not that that matters.
But you know, I got to do amazing things with him. He from the very beginning, he would throw contracts in front of me in words that I didn’t understand or things I was at what he said, he was like, read it. And I’m like, what any that will talk about it the next day. Just to give you some background, and some of the things I’ve gotten to do. I raised funds, and I got to basically, the Minister of Turks and Caicos, it was because of us in the money that we raised, that he was able to become the president. I met Barack Obama, Barack Obama when he was running for senator in Chicago, called Sandy. But you know, he’s expanding, I know, you’re a Republican, but will you raise money for me?
And he pointed to me and said I’m going to have my account manager do it, you know because a lobbyist isn’t going to turn down as 10%-15% whatever, he gets those funds he raises, right. So, you know, I had, he opened up this social capital in this network from me, where, you know, here I am calling everybody from Harvard, who was this prestigious, you know, whoever, and at a very young age 23-24, this is what I was exposed to. And when I saw, you know, I was travelling on a private plane, this is before social media and all this stuff, too. So I was doing things that, you know, and in the meantime, I’m still living in the projects, and Lynn Housing Projects with my daughter, and I’m still on welfare because I’m doing an internship for him. But I’m not going to like pass up the opportunity to do to meet and do the things that I learned with my mentor, Sandy.
Jay: Wow, that’s an incredible story just in and of itself. So how did you get over the fear? Calling these people from Harvard? Okay, assume you’re contacting like Harvard alumni? Is that what you’re doing? And you weren’t asking them for money? For someone that maybe you would meet once? And maybe you believed in? Maybe you didn’t? But you know, that’s tough, and most people that, you know, maybe had much easier situation than you wouldn’t have been able to do that. So how were you able to? Because it sounds like that was really, you weren’t set up to fail, but sounds like that was it’d be very challenging for anybody. And it was even maybe more challenging for you? Or was it easy for you?
Sylvia: Yeah, I’m gonna try to be as humble as I can be on this, but I don’t have fear.
Jay: Okay, well, that’s great. Well, there you go. That’s, that’s the answer. So it’s just not those things aren’t going to work can ever be a challenge for you. So you’re wired, which is great.
Fear: Not What You Think It Is
Sylvia: I’m going to tell you why I think, you know when my biological mother gave me up, and I live in an orphanage, imagine I didn’t know anybody, then I and then my adoptive parents that come to Guatemala. And, and literally, the the woman who runs the orphanage, you know, had my hand, let go of it and handed me over, then I’m on a plane in America. So I think somehow my wiring, I couldn’t have fear, you know, everything was survival mode. So yeah. And in a sense, it’s good and bad, because I don’t ever have butterflies in my stomach. I never feel that feeling of fear. I don’t have it in my life.
Jay: So let me ask you this, because, you know, you still have the same biology as the rest of us Via is much a superwoman issue. You must have some something, but I think I don’t think you’re giving yourself enough credit. Because, you know, there must be some self-talk there. That because I know some very accomplished, for instance, public speakers who can move a crowd? Like I’ve never seen. Yep. Yeah, I know, from talking to them, that they get nervous every time they get ready to make a presentation, you would never see it look at them on the camera. They look, you know, polished in and totally in control. But no, before you were making these calls, or before you have a new situation or before you’re talking to a bit, you know, maybe a new potential very large client, what do you telling yourself before that? Are you talking about you thinking about what’s going to happen? And how you’re going to be successful? Are you thinking about what you’re going to say? Are you just very just calm and not thinking about anything, just kind of, you know, relaxed?
Sylvia: You know, once again, I’m going to go back to my adopted father, he always told me a closed mouth don’t get fed. So what’s the worst someone’s going to say is no. Right? And once you accept that, maybe they might say no, or maybe they may not be accepting of whatever you’re trying to speak to them or tell them, then that’s fine. So the better that is, in the back of your mind, you keep that? Okay? They may not like that. Or they may say no, then you don’t have any disappointment. It’s the best thing to walk in any situation with no expectations.
Jay: Yeah, yeah, well that you know, that that’s what all of the research is telling us now Via right, you know, be present might be in the moment. Because if you’re thinking about the past, you’re going to be depressed, anything, I think about what might happen, you’re going to have lots of anxiety. So if you’re kind of in the, at the moment and focused on what you’re saying, for instance, in your words, you’re going to, you’re most likely going to set yourself up for success, but you somehow figured that out without anybody having to tell you so it’s very, very, very impressive. Which, which leads me to another question, because among, you know, besides all this, we just talked about this very unique to you. You’re one of the few people I know, I know, a lot of very successful people, but you have the artist mindset, which is kind of very, you know, big picture and you also have the, you know, the business mindset, which tended to be much more structured and sequential, you have these two kinds of opposing thoughts in your head. At the same time, how did that? Have you always been like that, as you know, kind of became a teenager or, or is that something that you had to learn, you have to learn one more than the other, as you got older?
Sylvia: Once again, life makes you adapt. So, um, you know, before I could speak English before I could speak any language, I could always draw, so drawing was my first form of communication. So that’s just a gift that I was born with. And before energy, I’m really body language is a whole language within itself that I don’t think human beings really focused enough on, you have to follow your intuition, you have to follow people’s body language and their energy. And then the last thing that you asked how was I able to? I’m sorry, can you repeat that question? Again? How was able to merge them together?
Jay: Yeah, cuz you usually, you know, people, people, you know, we tend to have a preference, right? You tend to be someone who likes to think kind of, you know, the big picture ideas, or you like, you know, kind of get in the details, right? You, because of your business, success and your artistic success, you’re able to do both, I’m sure, lots of times at the same time-wise, you’re holding these two opposing ideas, you know, think, think big picture. And also think details. And most people kind of want to take, they tend to gravitate to one or the other. But you do both.
Sylvia: Okay. And so again, I think being a single mother having my daughter right out of high school, and not being able to focus on my art, like I wanted to, and I had all these big dreams, but I couldn’t do these big dreams, because I’m a single mother. So I have to really kind of, you know, go back and say, Okay, I need to learn how to do this, that, and a third, or I need to learn how to make money. And once again, just what life has thrown at me has made me be able to adapt. And I think that’s the main thing for me. I don’t know about any other business or entrepreneur person, but you have to learn how to adapt to what life throws you, and how are you going to handle that?
Jay: No, I totally, I totally agree. It’s just did your, your mentor? Did he, you know, help you with some of these kinds of business things? Or did you have other people that you also got some advice on?
Sylvia: This is, you know, what, okay, I, this is where I was born from the beginning. So when I was about 15, once again, I don’t want to discredit my adoptive parents, they were great people, it just wasn’t a great fit. But they did they, they kicked me out. And I was homeless, and the streets raised me and with the streets comes drug dealers and different things, and you learn a lot on the streets.
And believe it or not, street economics is a lot like, who wants to economics products are buying, you know, I had to learn how to survive, because when you’re a young woman in the streets, in, you can either get, you know, as they call sex trafficking, which in the streets is called getting pimped, you know, things or, or you get raised by and was raised by, you know, drug dealers, and I’m not trying to, like, glorify that. But they taught me a lot about business.
I hate to say it, but they really did in their own way. And so I’ve taken all these life lessons with me. And I always learned, okay, you can’t sell anything without a demand for it. You can’t sell anything if you don’t have a product. And I’ve taken all of this knowledge and flip the hustle in the business currently because that’s what life is about product supply and demand and business.
Jay: Sure, so So you decided not to, you decide to have a legitimate business, essentially. So use what you learned, and turn it into a way that you can do it without having to be looking over your shoulder the whole time.
Sylvia: Watching that I learned a lot.
Jay: Yeah. So how did you start that cuz that’s always the toughest thing, right is once once we have some momentum, like it’s much easier now, to keep these different enterprises you have moving, is to start them, right because tons of inertia, there are tons of things that can stop you tons of problems that now if you had the same problem probably wouldn’t slow you down as much. But when you’re starting, it could actually stop you from from from continuing. So how did you get through that initial stage the point where you were trying to make some money that you could actually, you know, survive on? Or did it happen quickly?
Sylvia: Um, no, I did tell my mentor right away that I wanted to my own business I, I did, I was his account manager. So I did a lot of the special events, the fundraising, the brand, and the marketing. So I knew that I was like that entity. And then in 2000, I want to say six or seven, I, I was referred to a lawyer, his name is Brian Price out of Harvard. And he does an intellectual property he does, you know, LLC, he does. So all these things. So in my mentor knew that I was an artist.
So I was referred to him and it’s called Harvard Law. And I forgot I think they help you if you and at that time, I didn’t really have a lot of money. So all you have to do is pay for my filing fees. And I came to Brian Price’s office. And here I was kind of all these big-picture ideas, like you said, as artists, and was able to say, “Okay, take this back here. This is what we’re going to do here. This is what we’re going to do here.” So I really owe a lot to Brian Price at Harvard Law.
Jay: Oh, no, it’s incredible. I mean, we all know nobody is successful by themselves Via right you, all of us. We have groups of people that have helped us just need to be smart enough to listen, it sounds like you were smart enough to listen and to execute on what you were showing, which is, which is great.
So let me ask you this what mentioned two questions, but it’s actually the same question. So what mistakes do you see business people make when they’re trying to kind of get in the artists world and what mistakes you see artists making in the trying to start a business? Or maybe there are two different questions. I’m not sure. But seems that you do both? What mistakes do you see from both sides, and maybe some people can learn from?
Sylvia: I think just overall in business to get be an artist, people make mistakes would not you, first of all, don’t ever do business for the money, do it because you really love it. And it’s your passion. Because if you’re doing it for the money, you most likely won’t succeed. Because your motives and your intentions are wrong. I mean, obviously, the stock market and things like that are different. But if you’re really creating a business from your heart, it has to be something you really love and want to do. And that means also discipline, I would say you have to have discipline like I don’t have much of a dating life. I’m just so focused, you have to be disciplined. And also, you know, my, my adoptive parents couldn’t help me.
So you have to learn how to really ask for help. You have to research you have to read a lot. So focus, discipline, and never give up because that’s the main thing is so many people like, man I thought being an entrepreneur is going to be cool. And I didn’t realize I got to work on Sunday to I can’t watch the game.
And there is an artist, I think, I know that if you’re an artist, and you don’t have been business savvy, I think it’s important that you reach out to lawyers, or to everybody has to know a lawyer, whether even if it’s a criminal, or whatever, that criminal lawyer may know an intellectual property lawyer or you know, entertainment lawyer, whatever. So you have to ask questions all the time. I’m definitely not the like, smartest person in the world. But I, I ask and ask and ask until I find my answer.
Jay: So how do you know what to ask? What are the things that because of some of these things, like when you’re looking at that contract, right? When you first read it, like you don’t even know where to start? Right? Because you know, writing, reading legalese is really, really challenging even for someone who, who is studying law, right? So what types of things do you try to? Do you try to focus on when you’re, when you’re looking for how are you looking for, like a, like an expert in a certain area? Are you looking for a certain type of person that makes you feel comfortable? Or both? Or what what what, how do you kind of what’s, what’s your process? I’m trying to figure out because I think that, that you’re, you just think this is what you need to do. But I think there’s a lot of lot going on inside your head, that hasn’t you’re not conscious of it will be very valuable to other people who it’s not as obvious too. So I’m just trying to pull some of that out. So I’m not I don’t have I’m not looking for a certain answer. I’m just trying to see exactly what your thought processes because I know, there are many, many people that will listen to this, they’re in your situation or have been in your situation, and I’m sure they could really get some value from what you know what Via did, right? Because you figured it out, you crack the code, which is really, really impressive.
Sylvia: Oh, thank you. I think you’re very kind. But thank you. So I need to learn well, and I’m glad that you said that. Because this is the key answer, I think that you’re trying to get out of me is to know that you don’t know everything. That’s the number one thing. Never ever think you know, everything. And because you don’t know everything in life, go to the experts that do know things and humble yourself. It’s okay to ask for help. Once again, you never going to be successful by yourself. So I know in knowing your weaknesses, and when you know your weaknesses, then you know who to ask for help for. For instance, if I have to do press releases, or you know, my spelling is horrible. And I’m dyslexic, I am never going to write anything I’m going to have you know, okay, I will, I will voice record it. I’ll say this is what I want. But I know that is my biggest weakness and downfall actually, in business is my grammar, my spelling, and I’m dyslexic and is this. That’s, that’s it, it’s too much for me. And I know that so I get an expert to do it.
Jay: Yep. And they’re plenty out there that would love to do it for you right into who would be fun for them to take what you say, and you know, and craft it, and then don’t give it back to you and make sure that it’s, you know, it’s what you meant.
Sylvia: Because that’s what they love to do. And that and then, you know, you get to and then you make a new relationship and you build a relationship, and then you build them up. And that’s another thing is to build them up in their expertise. Because then they feel good. They were willing to help you. And I mean, they were able to help you and help you bring your vision to life on paper.
Jay: Yeah, no, that’s, that’s great. That’s a great, great way to delegate, right? Because that’s probably one of the main issues I see with small business owners is they don’t delegate because you think that Via has got to do everything. So Via’s got to know everything and do everything. And all that does is make Via very, very tired, right. But if you can find other people to do certain things that you don’t either want to do or don’t like to do, then that frees you up to really do the things you love, which sounds like just based on what you do is all is the creative part you love coming up with a new ideas and getting them started, then you can have a whole team of people that can kind of, you know, kind of complete everything for you. Because doesn’t sound like you get as much satisfaction out of that. Is that is that accurate?
Sylvia: Yeah, that’s exactly accurate. Like for instance, with my fashion, I have three different seamstresses that I work with, and you know, I, I design it, I cut out the patterns, and then I bring it to them and then boom, I’m not sewing it, but I’m still creating it, you know, and then, for instance, my art my design, yes, I’m painting the stuff. But if I have to get the prints made, like I don’t have an in house printer, I send it out to a printing company, you know, or, for instance, one of the things that I’m working on right now the clients are Harbourside Inn and he wants really Bostonian history. So he wants them in by 46 by 46. So I know that I had to bring in somebody. So I brought in another graphic designer who was also an architect. And I said, Hey, this is what I want. But it’s knowing that I can’t fully do that I have created the concept. But now I need help for you to make this art be so it’s printed big, and it’s not pixelated. And I know that I don’t have backgrounds in Illustrator or Adobe, you know, I mean, things like that. So I know that I have to ask for help. And I’m okay with that.
Jay: Wow. No, that’s, that’s great. That’s great. I’m glad that’s what’s working. You just switching topics a little bit, because one thing I forgot to ask you earlier, is it I kind of understand how the fashion interior design go together with this sort of similar, but you also are a painter. And so you have to have a concept and you also have to have the ability to paint it sounds like you had that since you were a little girl from what you said earlier. But what was the kind of the reason that you did modern-day Mona Lisa, I saw that on your website is a very interesting piece. If you could just describe what it is to someone who hasn’t looked at your website yet? And then kind of go over that. I think that’s really interesting.
Sylvia: Oh, wow, yeah, MDML that everybody loves Modern Day Mona Lisa. Everybody loves that. And that’s like, so somebody bought that, which I’m, like, so honoured. It’s in Philadelphia, they bought it for $5,000. And it was a look honestly cried my concept behind MDML. So also to I usually paint women, because I feel like you know, women, we are walking art. And I always want to empower women. And I always call women queens too, because, you know, society, whatever wants to call us different things. So whatever.
Anyway, and I’m very like I said, I come from a very blended background from being mine. And at the end adopted to, you know, white parents, my daughter is half Liberian. And then I grew up in Lynn where it’s so multicultural as well. So I’m MDML out, I painted has every single nationality of woman. And so she has one blue eye, one green eye, then she has like the Indian Hindu are over her eyes. And then I painted her and made her bald because I didn’t want to have different hair. So it was just a presentation of all women together. Because one thing I don’t like either is once again, beauty is always been painted of like Caucasian woman and being a woman of colour I think it’s important that we shed light to the beauty of all women. And I don’t really like to paint. I like meaning like nationality. I don’t want to paint just a white woman, everyone is just black women. I don’t want to paint Hispanic women, you know, so they’re wanting to know that. I painted and put all the women in the world and one thing.
Jay: Yeah, it was interesting the way you did it, because when I first looked at it just looked like a very interesting like impressionistic piece until I read the description. I said, oh, wow, now I understand why these colours are there, and why the different shapes are there and whatnot. So you really did a great job. It wasn’t. It wasn’t obvious at all, which I think is important, right? You want it to be subtle. And, you know, maybe that’s why people gravitate toward it so so much. Well, yeah, no I and that’s a great, great embodiment of all the different things that you do, right? Because you need a certain process in place, but you also need artistic ability, and you need to implement it. So this is kind of it’s almost like an embodiment of everything that you are to get that particular print done. So I’m glad it was glass being received well.
Sylvia: Thank you very much.
Jay: Now you’re still selling prints of that. Is that is that? What does that What does on your website, since the original was purchased?
Sylvia: I’m only selling prints. Yeah, because the originals already purchased. So you can buy Prince of it. And I have so much more art that I’m going to be putting up that I have this presence, the whole global standards of beauty arts, all those women are going to be put up on my fashion, my new fashion is going to be put up. So I just honestly because of this hotel project, and not just and then my fashion show and my feet very show like I just I’m only one human being, you know? Yeah. I haven’t had time to upload everything. But it’s only going to happen within the next month or two.
Jay: Great, great. So that leads me to do you know, one of my last questions? And if you’re doing many different things, so I Are you going to continue to grow each of these different areas, in which case, you’re going to need to start to build a team for yourself, right? Because you’re like you said, you’re one woman you can’t do you certainly can’t do it all. And we won’t be able to do it all well? Or do you are you going to start to focus on just a couple of things, and maybe either not spend so much time on the other things or sell them or give them to you know, have someone else kind of run with them? What are your plans going forward?
Sylvia: Absolutely. I’m building the team. So for instance, for the hotel, commercial property or you know, resident stuff any art interior. I do have a team I have two graphic designers I work with one is an architect and graphic designer, and the other one is a graphic designer. So this is great. And then I have a printing company I work hand in hand with so many of the concepts and ideas that I have. I’m like boom like we can. That’s a team I have, then, for my fashion. I mean, when my paintings will always be for me because I can’t tell somebody to paint something to me. That’s weird, right? So the paintings I will always do.
And then as far as my fashion, I do have an assistant that I hired to kind of and you know, what the most amazing, she’s just not my assistant. She’s one of my longtime friends that we lived in the projects together with the housing projects, and you know, I wanted to cry she told me I inspire her because she went back to school, and she’s at Salem State taking the business. So she says she can be a better businesswoman for me and I’m actually inspired because I want her to run my money over men brand, which is it’s called MOM money over men. And it’s a fashion but it’s not fashion. It’s also going to be product and service where we bring women entrepreneurs together, and I showcase and shed light to different women entrepreneurs, and they talk about how they started their business pretty much kind of like what we’re doing. And women, can we have dinners and they can talk about their business and they learn from it.
Jay: No, that’s fantastic. I think there’s lots of advantages to having you know, all women or all men, right? Because we communicate so differently, that it really is important, I’m glad you have a way for that to happen in the business world. Because unfortunately, Via it’s very rare that I talk to someone like yourself, right, most of the business owners I’m talking to are male, you know, middle-aged. So we need to change that. And, and we don’t have a lot of mechanisms in place right now. So hopefully this will
Sylvia: Well we do need to change that. And I’m glad that you said that because that’s another thing. You know, for instance, that’s one of the reasons why America, let’s say this country is so look, it’s thriving, because when you realize that women work and women get educated, that’s how you know, it’s uplifting economically, as a community, as you know, globally. So that’s one of the biggest problems in my own country in Guatemala is women are still treated to like barefoot and pregnant and have babies, they’re not educated. And therefore there’s no type of economic growth or business growth because they’re not seeing the value of women working. And I think though, you know, if you look at business owners, if you look at a lot of companies now fortune put they are putting women in place, because in position of power and CEOs and vice presidents because the world is changing, and especially with social media, women with their blogs, or their influences, like they’re having a voice, and you know, women buy all the products men really don’t buy stuff.
Jay: Well now, like for instance in the auto industry, women are responsible for over 50% of the automotive purchases, right? So either buying cars themselves, or there’s a man in their life, that they have a tremendous influence over. Right. So you know, if you’re not focused on women, then you’re not going to do as well as you can. And I think that’s going to bleed over into, you know, many other areas, too, because it’s been up, you know, like supply and demand, right?
We kept that supply down for a very long time. And now, you know, there aren’t as many obstacles which are great, you know, I have a young daughter too, and I want her to, you know, to be able to do things you’re doing if she decides. So, but we need to make it easy. So she can think about how she wants to do it, as opposed to, you know, who does she have to, you know, what can she get the knowledge to? Right? To, to learn.
Well, that’s great. Well, I really, I really enjoyed this conversation Via this, this took many different turns that I wasn’t expecting at all. So you definitely, definitely caught me off guard here. And in a very good way, if someone is inspired by this, or they want to be part of this new team, either with respect to your events, or the three hotels or the five brands or the other things we haven’t discussed, you’re also doing, what’s the best way for people to get in touch with you and reach out and say hello.
Sylvia: Yeah, sure. So the best way is, firstname.lastname@example.org. So that’s VIA the at symbol, and then it’s VIASworld.com to send me an email, email, any type of let’s say, something that we need some type of synergy that we can form, or if you just like to say, Hello, whatever, I’m pretty good at responding. And then, so that would be the best way.
And then also, I have my social media, it’s @SylviaVia or @vias.world and just send me an inbox. I think my Facebook is maxed out, so you can’t, like friend me anymore. But yeah, I’m, you know, I’m pretty accessible, and especially on social media has been really great for me. And then, you know, email is always good as well. And then, you know, I have to be very conscious too, I’m a woman and I’m somewhat of an attractive woman. So I do need to have boundaries, of course. So you know, if this, if the situation is business wise, is good for me, then yes, I will continue and exchange phone numbers and things like that.
Jay: Great, great. Well, that’s fantastic. And it’s very generous of you too, to offer that and I hope you know the right people take you up on it.
Sylvia: I love growing and meeting new people. Absolutely.
Jay: Fantastic. Fantastic. Well, for everyone else, thank you for listening to finding unique value. We look forward to hearing about our next guest soon. And thank you bye for now.