Mother, Activist, Entrepreneur and champion for women in her community, She's Dope.
We sat down with this Queen to find out how she seemingly does it all, with the smile and ease we all we wish we had in those frantic moments. We needed to find out how she seemingly keeps it all together and still finds time to keep herself motivated.
Interview by : Jacquie Yo
Femwinism: Tell us how SheDOPE came to fruition?
GH: I was in the music scene and at the time I was promoting and managing artist and along the way I had the opportunity to work with one of my child hood friends on his clothing line Nation of Hard Wear and had the opportunity to book events such as Paid dues and got to go to magic in Las Vegas, I started noticing not to many clothing lines were owned by women and the concepts of these clothing lines are man driven and geared to males not saying that there are no women owning and rocking clothing lines but there are only a few. I started to think of all the dope women we have grown up to admire and look up to and the strength and power they have all shown us from women from different backgrounds women of color women that are artist, musicians, poets, activist just to name a few and then to think of all my struggles and how I have build my own strength with in how DOPE we all are..... That word itself DOPE stud out. I just sat down one day and gathered all my thoughts and visions and the word just came ShesDOPE.
Femwinism: The name of your brand is reminiscent on hip hop culture how did you develop the name?
GH: Well we all know someone had already had DOPE we all have seen the word and a clothing line, but for me I wanted to center that word towards women young and older and since for me I live and breath hip hop and the culture that comes along I wanted to continue with what I knew with what I grew up with I wanted to continue to embrace the culture and the DOPE women in hip hop, I wanted it to be more then just another brand in hip hop.
Femwinism: Being a strong women in the Sacramento music scene, tell us how your clothing has reflected on a "dope" empowered mentality for the females in our city?
GH: My clothing line has reflected in such a huge positive movement of any thing is possible and that the support of one another to empower each other through any step in life each one of us as women bring to the table. The importance of a sister hood because of the fact that we already live in a world driven by men and even more so in the music world we already have to build our self's just to be recognized but when you have women behind you supporting you helping you and mostly believing in you is empowerment. The reflection of each women around us is a strong presence and when women see the positive influences around you they start reflecting on the women around them from there the building of empowerment keeps building.
Femwinism: How did you come to design clothes?
GH: At the age of 7 I had started drawing it had became a way I had started expressing myself. One of my moms really good friends growing up was a seamstress and my mom was very crafty and creative, between them both I would sit for hours and watch them make outfits for other people and I was always impressed of how they would put there designs together how they would come up with their color ways for each outfit spending hours in the craft store looking at patterns going through textures of different clothes and learning how to look at the detail of buttons was mind cultivating for me. Every year my mom would enter me and my younger brother in halloween costume contest and every year we would win first place, One year my mom made me a genie costume I remember feeling as if I was in a move I couldn't believe how much love and time my mom had put into that costume the detail the fabric she used looked as if she had paid a lot for it. My mom made me feel like a million bucks and from that day every time I drew a design I drew full details from the color of the outfit to the designs in it to the lipstick on my girl to even the shoes. The older I got I started watching my grandma and how detailed her crocheting was and when she crocheted a sweater she would always add real fur my grandmother dressed really fancy and I remember her stating to me the things a classy women always carried with her in her purse and that was a simple little purse should always have a mirror and a lipstick the color of the lipstick will always define you and your clothing because when someone greats you the first thing they look at is your lips, that always stuck to me.
Femwinism: Passion is one thing I have learned that leads strong women down their paths, what were some of your passions as a young girl, teenager, mother and now CEO?
GH: As a young girl some of my passions were seeing the women in my family and what drove them to leading them in there lives how they carried them self's and how determined they were to be successful in there own life's. I come from a music background family so music was always a part of my life and the music library I was introduced to was a wide range of different genres of music and I think with music you grow a passion of appreciation, the mind of an artist is very passionate. Growing up in a Hispanic house hold you grow passion from a very young age the culture the traditions I feel that your passions flourish. As a teenager my passion really started growing even more when I started exploring each element of hip hop from break dancing, graffiti, the different hip hop groups such as wu-tang, finding the passion in poetry writing my passion of exploring me allowing my mind to be free and finding self expression. As a mother for me now is sharing those passions with my kids teaching them things that I found a passion in, teaching them how to find and explore to find there own passions music is still a big passion. And now as a CEO my passion now is building that foundation of women empowerment and incorporating the passions that have been a big influence for me through out my life and more so being a big influence for our YOUTH and sharing the passions that I have incorporated in my life now like healthy eating healthy living working out and keeping my passions going.
Femwinism: What is the most important message that you send with your brand?
GH: ShesDOPE is the evolution of a woman that can turn her adversity into a DOPE legacy!
Femwinism: How has your brand and positive lifestyle living rubbed off or rather affected the women around you?
GH: Between my brand and my positive life style it has had a huge in pact on many of the women around me but not just around me but also women that are around those that are around me from helping women build motivation to get in shape to gaining the confidence they lacked in finding there own purpose in life to even starting there own business, by being open with my struggles and the things I have chosen to change has allowed women to see that they are not alone and that there are women who care to see all women shine and reach above and beyond way past any limits in life but the biggest for me is being a voice for women that don't have a voice.
Femwinism: In celebrating women, we strive to share an important message that spreads throughout the many ages of our viewers/readers, what is one piece of advice you could share to our readers?
GH: Life can be a roller coaster ride and through this ride remember that there is only one person that can judge you remember that there is only one you remember that through your faith any thing is possible no matter what age no matter what it is you are passionate about go for it for only you can get in your own way of what you want out of life. You are the author of your book for each chapter you write its up to you how you want to end your book
Femwinism: What can we look forward to with ShesDOPE in 2018?
GH: This year I hope to expand my brand to be more then just a clothing line I would like build into different categories like stepping into the fitness world and becoming an ambassador for maybe another brand to bring more awareness to health, mentoring to our youth going to speak at schools put a verity of events/shows tap back into the music world, advocating for immigrant women as well as women of domestic violence. BUILD BUILD BUILD with other amazing women and join forces to cultivate and build together and most importantly giving back to the community that raised me. What ever door of opportunity comes my way and is meant to be I will go for.
Femwinism: In one word, what does FemWINism mean to you?
Don't forget to follow Gabriela and her incredible journey on her instagram @queengtou and share her hashtag #shesdope.