“It goes to show that if you really believe in something go for it,” said Susanna Gonzalez.
Fashion Designer and owner of Hola Chola Brand, Susanna Gonzalez has proven to be a fearless self-starter entrepreneur. This past weekend I attended the Hola Chola pop-up shop inside the National Museum of Mexican Art located in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago. Susanna shared her story and how she became an independent artist.
Growing up in New York she felt sheltered at home because she was unable to explore. She felt drained at the everyday routine and rituals. Her family was accustomed and set in their ways but Susanna felt an urgency of wanting more.
“At 23 years old I made a bold decision to relocate to Los Angeles but, as time went by I felt like I was losing touch with my roots and religion back home. I forgot who I was because I was away from home so I decided to take a journey to Jalisco, Mexico,” she said.
During her time there she celebrated one of Mexico’s colorful and patriotic festivals in September known as their Independence Day, El Mes De La Patria (month of the homeland). She explained how her adventure in Mexico was a life changing experience because she felt the unity of the people and how it brought the Latino community together.
“They barely had anything but people were happy and I was drawn to the churches and religion,” she said.
Her time spent in Mexico inspired her from religion to the arts. One thing that stuck with Susanna was “La Reina.” She explained how ever since her journey she kept seeing La Reina appear and would pray.
“Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico, where she is known as La Reina de Mexico and is very much a cultural icon,” Mamiverse.com.
After her stay in Mexico Susanna decided to go back home to live in New York but while there she felt a sense of sadness.
“I felt uncomfortable knowing people in my hometown/background in Mexico were poor and had nothing,” she said.
She wanted to artistically bring to the life the culture and what she saw in Mexico but knew she would be held back from her full potential in New York because of her parents. She continued to pray to La Reina for guidance until one day she received a phone call for a job opportunity in Los Angeles and relocated once again. Although, she was working in L.A. she had an idea to work on her own brand and that’s when Hola Chola came to mind. Soon she found herself on her spare time working on her brand and was determined. As time went by she became passionate and diligent on the attire she made. Through the process of being away from home, working and starting her brand she was alone but never gave up.
“My family didn’t believe I could do it but here I am today and I just recently quit my job in November,” she said.
Her personality and smile gave an uplifting vibrant vibe. The ambiance in the room was electric and there was a variety of merchandise from hats, clothes to even suitcases. Inside the main gallery room there were nail technicians from Hush Nail Salon in Chicago, Hennessy V•S complimentary mixed drinks and a DJ on stage. The event had people from all backgrounds and each person’s style conveyed uniqueness from edgy, spunk, eccentric and overall creative. Being that it was her first time in Chicago she proved that no matter where she goes she can conquer any obstacle’s and draws an audience with her brand and style.
A special thanks to Cold Chillen Ent. for joining forces with Susanna Gonzalez to put the event together to Hush Nail Salon for coming out and doing some fabulous manicures to Hennessy V•S for the complimentary mixed drinks and to the DJ for playing some great music and engaging the crowd.