Gabriela Guaracao, founder and CEO of Americae, is always on the go. Whether it’s checking in on production, going to fittings, directing photoshoots, meeting with the team, or designing the next collection, she is constantly working and brainstorming. Here, she shares the basics of her everyday and how she pursues #realityisextraordinary.
I usually wake up around 6. I always force myself out to meditate for 10-20 minutes. I always find my days and weeks are better if I start my work day with a time to center myself with focused breathing. So often we forget to breathe correctly, especially when we are busy! Sometimes I'll use an app and other times I'll just use my phone timer. Then, I read through the New York Times, Business of Fashion, Women's Wear Daily, Wall Street Journal, check my emails, and check social media.
I discovered weightlifting last year and it's been a transformation. And not the 3 pound dumbbells girls have been socialized to lift, but the real heavy stuff. I love feeling stronger. And it truly has been a workout that is, in many ways, a metaphor for life. If you are patient and consistent, you will see such results in your physique, strength, endurance, and mind. I can now do a series of 20+ pushups with proper form. It's so empowering. If I'm not lifting weights, you can catch me at Soul Cycle or boxing at Rumble or Title. Or if it's a weekend, I like sprinting or talking long walks alongside the river.
I take vitamins and supplements at different times during the day. I started working with a functional medicine doctor last year after having some health issues. I used to carry around an obscenely large pill box for a couple months but have since cut down to the basics. I take Betaine HCl, vitamin D, magnesium, digestive enzymes and a good probiotic. I'm about to switch to BINTO supplements, a health company founded by a fellow female entrepreneur and friend, to simplify my supplement regimen a bit more. Sometimes I add in Vitamin C and oregano or peppermint oils. I drink celery juice, simply because it's good hydration and the salt minerals it naturally has are unparalleled. I know it's a fad right now––but I don't look at it as that. It really is an elixir for a healthy life. If I'm traveling, I'll usually start my day with hot water and half a lemon. Although, I have been known to ask for celery juice at hotels. Once, the waiter thought he would be funny and brought me a carafe of celery juice. A comedian!
I try to have a protein forward breakfast as it's more satiating for me. Also, my bloodwork says I'm a faster oxidizer, so a protein meal to start my day is preferred. Coffee is my kryptonite. I'm not supposed to have it, so I limit it to 1-2 a week. Matcha lattes or teas are a fixture around me. You'll regularly catch me with tea bags in my purse.
ON HOW SHE ORGANIZES HER WORKING HOURS
I’m usually working between 8 and 7. I try to divide up my days depending on how much effort I have to put into what I wear or how I look. Some days are internal days where I do meetings with my team and one-on-ones and things like that. And then I have days that are more external-facing, where I’m having outside meetings or formal lunches. I try to group activities together, so that the days don’t become super chaotic. Today we're going over final fabrics for our next capsule and we need to make sure the prints are going to measure up to the fabrics. Otherwise, we'll have to drop them.
Most days, lunches are on the go or while I'm working. I know, I know...the balance and quality of life during this meal for me is usually lacking. Today I'm having lunch with my employee and operations guru, who also happens to be my husband. So it's wonderful catch-up time as it is work time.
ON GETTING THINGS DONE
Working with people who just get things done without excuses, that's nirvana. Right now, all the work we do is super hands-on. Nobody cares about your excuses, or why things couldn't be done, just do what you said. There's nothing more grating than a flake.
ONE WHERE SHE FINDS INSPIRATION
TRAVEL. The world. Really, I find all of it so inspirational–– from the languages to the architecture and everything in between. Even living in Philadelphia, taking a walk through South Philadelphia and inhaling all of its ethnic and cultural influences is so inspirational. My favorite cities in the world usually have influences from a variety of cultures, in addition to killer views, so it's not a surprise that Bogotá and Barcelona are on the top of my list. We do a lot of work on collating inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram, and mood boards. Additionally, one of my favorite things to do is look around while I'm walking or sitting outside. I am just curious and I have a good sense of observation.
ON WORK/LIFE BALANCE
The work I’m doing is creative and technical, all the time, so it feels impossible to slow down. You keep thinking, how can we innovate or display this in a refreshing, new way. Or how are we going to effectively convey our inspiration in this? That's a small sample of the creative part. The technical is sourcing, metrics, fittings, KPI's, team management, and figuring out how it all fits into the business or the week. It's a 24/7 thing, whether I'm at a desk or in a car. That's the hard part. My therapist essentially yells at me for that. So it's a work-in-progress to stop always being "on." But I have learned that it's a necessary thing to work on [being "off"] if you want to be an entrepreneur for the long-haul.
Usually, my husband and I try to cook together. Or if we're feeling lazy, we go out for a bite. He loves to cook, but we just don't always have the time or energy to make the extensive meals he would prefer to create. This is coming from a girl who used to purchase her spices at a drugstore and now has 50+ spices from specialty spice shops in her cupboard thanks to her foodie spouse. And finally, if we're lucky to have remembered to make enough last time we cooked, we have leftovers.
I get in to bed by 9:30 or 10. Or try to. I have books at my bedside that I like to read. That, and a tea, and hopefully I'm asleep shortly after. On the weekends, catching up on my go-to shows on Hulu, Showtime, Bravo, or HBO is a favorite way to unwind. It’s one of the few ways my brain gets a break. Setting aside time to unwind has been a big theme for me this last year. In launching a business I discovered (or rather, finally realized) that I can very easily set off my fight or flight system and it's not a good thing for me or anything I work on. At night, these horrendously ugly orange glasses that block out blue light are a fixture on my face! Sometimes I'll remember to do a few breathing exercises. Otherwise, CBD and Valerian oil hang out on my nightstand.
HER ADVICE FOR YOUNG PEOPLE LOOKING TO START A NEW CAREER OR LAUNCH A BUSINESS
Look for opportunities around you. Ambition is not a four-letter word. Defend your ideas, but be flexible. It will be tiring. People will doubt you. It will hurt. Your plans and path will change early and often. Success seldom comes in exactly the form you imagine it will. Calvin Coolidge said it best. Persistence matters. Determination matters. Grit matters. Last but not least, be bold enough to take your risks with joy.
Follow Gabriela at @gabrielamericae for more day in the life activity and AMERICAE at @theamericae for behind-the-scenes.