First and foremost all brands carried in The Gwapa Gal Shop are female founded. This means that each and every time you purchase there is a woman somewhere in the world who hears that "cha-ching" and does a happy dance. Just the thought of that makes me smile.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, in 2020, women's annual earnings were 82.3% of men's, and the gap is even wider for many women of color. That means for every $1 a man makes there is a woman working just as hard (if not harder) and only banking .82 cents. But being hyper sensitive to this issue isn't enough. So when a sister friend is brave enough to take action and create a company that reflects female founded values and products, it is our duty to acknowledge her efforts & support her ambition.
It's time we take some of the money and power men have cultivated by creating brands for women and put it back into the pockets of women creating brands for women. There is a certain magic and momentum we tap into when we make the conscious decision to spend our hard earned money so that it supports other women. If we won't ACT and do our part to make female founded business successful - who will?
One of my absolute favorite things about The Gwapa Gal Shop is that every single item sold within this section of the site is Artist made. This is important for a few reasons. The first being that celebrating creative expression has always been a core value of mine. I love seeing how other females experience the world through their art and being able to purchase and own a little piece of that. The second reason this is important to me is that again, we're taking the money out of the pockets of big businesses and putting it back into the pockets of the actual movers and makers using their own hands to create beautiful products we love most.
The idea here is that we're shifting our focus away from purchasing items that are trendy, cheap (a.k.a fast-fashion) and being produced oversees in large factories and instead we're taking back control. We're doing our research on how items are being made, where materials are being sourced from as well as learning the story of their makers. We're purchasing with purpose and by doing so we're spending more to own products that hold value and meaning and tell a story vs. aimlessly making a purchase that has caused environmental destruction, human distress & most horribly that we will just as soon discard and not think twice about.
Although I know how difficult it can be to make EVERY life decision and purchase this way I wanted to make sure that The Gwapa Gal Shop makes it easy for you. We're taking the guess work out by ONLY featuring artist made goods ideated, designed and created by the very women in this creative community.
When I first decided I wanted to create my own business and brand instead of working for a larger design house - the biggest challenge for me was getting other businesses to take me seriously and carry my line. Being a smaller start up business and party of one entrepreneur I know how difficult it is to wear multiple hats and gain the traction needed to break through the noise of bigger brands who already have an established presence in the market.
Breaking down my business model and being transparent about how I run The Gwapa Gal Shop is SUPER important to me. Not only because of how proud I am of the Gwapa Gal drop ship business model we're using (will explain shortly) but also because I would love to inspire other women running an online or irl boutique to do things the same or even in a similar way. But before I continue and break it down for you, it's only fair that as a true Artist I pay credit where credit is due. I was first inspired to set up The Gwapa Gal Shop this way after reaching out to fellow entrepreneur and designer, Dani Dazey of Dazey LA in hopes she would carry my line of hand marble party dangles, and to my luck and surprise - she said yes! A lot of what I've created here has been following in her footsteps and not only am I humbled to be featured in her shop but also thrilled to be able to pay it forward by continuing the movement to empower artists & baby businesses just like she is.
The way our model works is as follows. I typically spend hours each week scouring Instagram searching for female creatives. There are no rules or limitations around the female owned, artist made brands I reach out to. Meaning they don't have to have a line sheet or website or minimum stock number to be featured on The Gwapa Gal Shop - just the passion for creating beautiful products and the desire to connect and share them and their work with the Hola Gwapa community. Next, we work together to select the items we'd like featured in The Gwapa Gal Shop. Designers send me these items as gratis, along with their bio, headshot, product description and pricing. Once I receive these gorgeous goods I go into high gear - producing an all day photoshoot, revamping the site, assembling our monthly newsletter and email campaigns (if you're not signed up, you need to be) as well as creating additional content for social and additional marketing efforts. Every-time a purchase is made - I forward the order the to appropriate Gwapa Gal, who then packages and ships the item before doing her obligatory happy dance. At the end of each month, our Gwapa Gals shoot me an invoice and are PAID 60-70% OF ALL SALES!
The reason I love this process so much is that the lift on the Gwapa Gal is so small and their payout is HUGE compared to the standard wholesale models of 40-50%. I cannot tell you how excited I get to pay out my Gwapa Gals each month - knowing that with the work i've done to promote them and the combined support of the Hola Gwapa community we are literally all working together in harmony to help these baby business keep growing and thrive!
When I get that email letting me know a new designer has joined the shop I literally get butterflies in my stomach knowing I get to share them with the Hola Gwapa community. It's honestly one of my favorite parts of launching new Gwapa Gals each month is getting to promote, feature and highlight these up and coming designers. I love knowing that by becoming a Gwapa Gal Artists are getting the opportunity and exposure to almost 10K female creatives from all over the world. I love knowing that this community is all like minded and that we all value alot of the same things. Knowing that The Gwapa Gal Shop can serve as a hub or digital desitination for discovering new designers brings me so much joy knowing that if you're following along on the Hola Gwapa journey you could be only one click away from discovering your new favorite brand. AND my all time favorite moment is wearing an item from The Gwapa Gal Shop out and about and getting a compliment by a female stranger. It's like this unspoken moment that creates a chain of positivity in the universe and reminds me we are not alone, and to keep gonig becuase there are women out there who see you, and understand you and who love your work. It's not only a reminder but a spark of inspiration that continues to spread the more we purchase, wear and share about The Gwapa Gal Shop and the beautiful women and goods carried within it.
The three main foundational pillars of the Hola Gwapa community have always been to CONNECT, CELEBRATE and SUPPORT female creatives and entrepreneurs. I knew that I would never be as successful in achieving this goal if I couldn't first build major community around this mission. There is definitely more than one way to connect, celebrate and support one another here including celebrating the artists and products you love most by sharing them with your own community, reaching out to make true connections and spread love by letting our Gwapa Gals know how their work and/ or personal story has inspired you and last but not least show support by purchasing the items they have worked so hard to create for you. And only once you've completed all three can you consider yourself initiated into the Gwapa Gang!
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