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Gabriela Garcia

Illinois | Founder & Editor of Modern Brown Girl, LLC

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and attended The University of Southern California with a degree in Comparative Literature. I worked as a talent agent with Pakula/King & Associates for film and television, and then moved home to Chicago to work in marketing for Najera Consulting Group. I launched ModernBrownGirl.com in 2015 as a voice for a new generation of Latinas after struggling to find outlets that conveyed the subtle nuances of being 100% American and 100% Latina.

What have been your struggles as a Latina?

My struggles have mostly been self-imposed. I suffer from what you might call “Chronic Impostor Syndrome”. I was fortunate to grow up with two post-graduate, professional parents who worked along side the most brilliant people in their fields. However, there was always a sense of not belonging, of not deserving a seat at the table. As a child and as an adult, I never felt like I was enough. My father once told me, “you can frame yourself or you can be framed.” I realized that I am the author of my own life and outside opinions and perceptions (especially regarding Latinas) will not define me.

What does Latina Made mean to you?

To have ‘made it’ means different things to different people. Everyone defines success differently. Whether you’re a maid or a CEO, I believe if you’re genuinely happy and feel fulfilled within, then you are Latina Made.

What made you who you are today?

The generations before me have made me who I am today. I am who I am (good and bad) because of their struggles and sacrifices. My mom was a migrant worker, my dad a field worker. My grandfather fought as a belly gunner in WWII. Everyone who came before me has a story that has shaped me into the person I am today. And I will carry their stories onto my two children.

What advice would you give to young Latinas in our community?

Perception is not reality. Social media is not reality. How someone else defines what Latinas should or should not be is not reality. Don’t let another person’s opinion or negative mindset hinder you from becoming who you are meant to be. Don’t wait for particular circumstances to happen, make them yourself. My husband always reminds me that patience, a strong work ethic and saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ (in appropriate situations) will get you far in life.

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