BASED IN: NEW YORK
I am the founder of JelloMonsters, a creative design lab in New York City focused on storytelling through motion graphics, design and technology.
I think of myself as a storyteller, entrepreneur, creative producer, motion designer, animator, and speaker.
At JelloMonsters we create video driven experiences online and offline for live events worldwide, including video content for corporate events, large-scale video scenic environments for theatrical shows and opening videos for press conferences. We also produce motion graphics content for web series and online videos.
With over 14 years of experience across the creative field, I have worked for top brand names in the entertainment, health, financial and technology industries. Some of these brands include: MTV, Rolling Stone Magazine, Marvel Comics, Jameson, MasterCard, Samsung and AOL.
My work has been recognized in magazines, newspapers and books around the world. In 2010 I was selected by the CURVY Design Book as one of the top 100 women designers in the world.
I love creative collaboration and bringing ideas to life. My ultimate goal is to create work that is not only smart and beautiful, but also work that creates social impact.
I balance my home life between my Manhattan apartment and my native home in the Dominican Republic. When I am not designing, I’m planning my next adventure with my family and friends.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur? Do you come from a family of entrepreneurs? Did it help or did that set you back?
My mother told me the story of how she and my dad opened up their first business right out of college. It failed. They focused on renting a space and getting everything ready, but forgot the most important thing. They needed to have clients. So that dream quickly ended for them. They both tried many times to start something on their own, but with two kids and very limited resources they went back to working for other people. My mom ended up working for the same company for many years.
When I decided to quit my job and start my own company, I had this need, this desire, this calling to be an entrepreneur. I am grateful that my mom was the first one to support me and encourage me to go for it. Still, my parent’s story was stuck in my mind. The idea of failure when you have no clients was a big fear, so I made sure I had a few clients before I jumped in. I am glad I had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
Do you think you want to start other businesses in the future or do you want to keep growing this one as long as possible?
I love the idea of collaboration. Working on multiple projects with different people at the same time is something that I am really passionate about.
I think I will definitely be starting other businesses in the future. Jellomonsters is my design and animation outlet, but I have other passions that have little to do with design. For a long time I thought I needed to fit myself into this description of the “designer,” and stay in this box only. But I’ve discovered that we humans have more depth than we imagine. There is so much more that we can give, if we allow ourselves to integrate many aspects of ourselves into our work
At the moment I am working on two main passion projects, which are very important for me. These projects are social ventures, so I am learning more about how that “industry” works and what it takes to run a successful non-profit business.
Is it important to set goals or is it better to just “go with the flow”? What is your strategy?
Knowing the direction I want to go is important for me. I need a compass, so I can make better decisions. Having clear goals, and the “why” behind them, gives me that vital sense of direction.
But, at the same time, I think equally important to having a plan is being able to let go, surrender, be flexible and adapt. I believe the plan should be put in place to guide you, not to restrict you. Magic happens when we are open to possibility.
What are some ways we can inspire other women and young girls to start their own businesses and build them to last?
I believe empowering girls is the key to changing the world. So doing things like mentoring and supporting communities that help girls believe in themselves and help them grow as individuals is something we can do right now.
I think everyone has a song inside of them, something that makes him or her special. My passion is to create things that help people connect with their own inner song and encourage them to bring that out into the world.
I believe finding that gift inside of us is really important. I am especially interested in education, design and empowering young women. I think about those things all the time.
We all have so much knowledge inside of us and at least one area where we are experts. Therefore, I believe we have a responsibility to share our gifts.
One of the projects I am working on is a mentorship program for girls in my country, the Dominican Republic. The main goal of this program is to empower girls in high school that are demonstrating an inclination for design. Our aim is to help give them the tools and develop the skills they need to become professional motion designers and animators.
What is one (or more) piece of advice you can offer our readers and other entrepreneurs that are reading your interview? What is the most important to keep in mind?
Trust in your own process and your own intuition. We all have our own rhythm and a guiding force within each of us. The world can be distracting with so many messages of what we "should" be doing. Learning to listen to our inner voice can help us stay on our path. For me, that guidance comes in the form of a whisper or a feeling. With time I have learned that the more I listen, the easier it gets to recognize it and trust it.
We can look for inspiration in the work of others, but always going back to that part of you that “knows” is very important. We can learn a lot by looking at what and how other people are doing things. But make sure that you use the success stories of others to inspire you instead of letting yourself feel small or diminished. We can use these inspiring stories to remind us that success is possible for us too. That inspiration can be fuel to continue to pursue your particular dream, using your resources the best way you can, instead of letting it become something negative. There is enough abundance to go around for all of us. Let’s learn to share our gifts and help each other thrive. We need to develop our own vision, stay dedicated, be flexible and ask for support when we need it.