Entrepreneur, Vocalist, Content Creator, Wife + Mom
Here's the full story...
An 80s baby and 90s kid born just outside of NYC in Stamford, CT, I'd like think I had a pretty standard childhood. Being very musically-inclined, I took to singing early and spent many years fine-tuning the "triple threat" thing while formally working my way into the music industry. After highschool, I got a BM in Music Business & Management, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from the prestigious Berklee College of Music, where I attended with a scholarship for voice. Mere days before graduation, I received at opportunity to work at Columbia Records / Sony Music Entertainment in NYC, where I began my career on the business side of the industry, while also pursuing my own musical endeavors outside the office. While it quickly became apparent that the corporate world was not somewhere I'd be able to grow and thrive, I started putting together the pieces of what would end up being my first business venture.
At just 22 years old, I opened a music school and artist development company in my hometown, and began hiring staff and taking clients. The business grew quickly and from there we expanded to offer recording studios and professional marketing and consulting services to independent musicians from all around the world. With a deep passion for sharing the healing power of music, I founded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2014 and went on to bring music education services to underprivileged children in my community through strategic partnerships with neighboring organizations like the Boys & Girls Club and YMCA.
I brought in over a million dollars in revenue and purchased my first home by 26 years old. I can still remember to this day how many people told me that starting my own business and taking the "road less traveled" was a bad idea. I am glad I didn't listen, because those choices completely changed the trajectory of my life.
In 2020, I had just finished renovating a new studio space and invested a ton of money into the next phase of my business. The thought of marriage and family seemed irrelevant, as my business was my baby. I was determined to be a "female P. Diddy" of sorts, as I often told to my friends. How could that possibly leave time for anything else? But things change and people do too, and thank God for that. My then-boyfriend of 12 years and I decided that our future should be open to more than just work, and I reluctantly accepted the idea of small humans potentially being in my future. We got engaged at this time and began the early phases of wedding planning.
And just when I thought I saw where my future was headed, COVID-19 hit and the government shut down my business. Everything I had worked for was halted. Customers were being refunded, and my brand new office was suddenly packed up in boxes, as the building was limiting access for an unknown period of time following local guidance and ordinances. I, like many other small business owners, lost almost everything during this time. But as a company, you pivot, or you die; and I wasn't ready to die. I added a slew of new remote services, I took online classes to fill positions for staff that didn't return, and I applied to any financial aid available to help get by. I wore many hats at this time, and I made it work. You learn a lot about yourself when you're in the darkness like that. I truly believe it's what helped me see the light and gain the insight I needed to get where I was going, and never look back.
Not wanting to be held up by things out of our control, my then-fiancé and I went ahead and bought a house that spring, and had a small wedding surrounded by close family and friends in October of 2020. Almost exactly one year later, we welcomed our first daughter into the world. (Via a spectacularly traumatic birth experience... but that's for another story.) After facing the unrealistic expectation that I'd be able to head straight back to work just ten days postpartum, the coming months would be a lesson in the things that truly matter most in life. I absolutely loved having a family, and cared more about being involved and all the details around raising children well than I ever imagined I could. Six months later, we were pregnant again, and I knew shifting my focus to have a life more present for my home was the best thing for everyone. If the pandemic taught us nothing else, it is that people can adapt and things really don't need to happen in person as much as we once may have thought. I made the decision to formally shut down my in-person business operations in fall of 2022, and had my second daughter at the end of that year. This is when I realized things had changed forever, and for the better.
I was amazed at how it was possible to create a life balance that involved caring for my children 100% of the time, while also running my companies fully remotely. Suddenly, the names of the days didn't really matter. I was out of the grind. I was free. I truly feel that in the months to come I "exited the Matrix" for good. I, quite literally, do whatever I want, whenever I want now. And then I thought to myself, why do people not know about this option? Everyone is creative. Everyone has talent and something valuable to offer the world. Everyone can raise their family. Everyone can enjoy a life specifically curated around doing the things they love. And there began my journey to share the things that I've learned to help others break out and find their happiness too.
So here we are! If you've made it this far into my story, I sincerely thank you for taking an interest and for spending your valuable time here with me. I hope my work brings you inspiration, education, resources, and some laughter too! The journey is what you make of it.
Taking the road less traveled often brings you to the most beautiful destinations.
Some other fun facts about me:
⇒ I am Cuban and Italian. My mom was born in Cuba and escaped as a baby, and my dad was born in the Bronx, NYC, with roots in Southern Italy and Sicily.
⇒ I met my husband at a random party in Boston three weeks into starting college (and had no idea we were from the exact same hometown in Connecticut and never met each other!). We've been together 15 years now.
⇒ I have two daughters that are just 14 months apart. (Intentionally, for those who are wondering!) Milania was born in October of 2021, and Audriana was born in December of 2022.
⇒ I have been a professional member of the Recording Academy since I was 18 years old and have attended the Grammy Awards and Latin Grammys many times. I'm a longtime member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). I am also an active member of the Berklee Alumni Association, having hosted many events through my business, and traveling for speaking engagements and as a panelist discussing various music industry topics.
⇒ I have a gluten allergy that randomly appeared in my late 20s. It's been challenging to work around, but I realized most foods I enjoy can be made gluten-free anyway!
⇒ I hate small talk! Real talk or no talk is always my preference.
⇒ I did well in school, but hated it. (Besides my music business classes in college and the social aspects!) I plan to homeschool my kids and give them a more valuable educational experience than I had in public school.
⇒ I am always in the middle of a good book and don't watch too much TV, but do enjoy the guilty pleasure that is the Real Housewives and some other Bravo shows from time to time.
⇒ I've developed a real green thumb the last few years, and have over 50 happy plants in my home now. The more jungle-like, the better!
⇒ I have enjoyed writing my entire life, and worked my way up to Editor-in-Chief for my school newspaper in college. I have worked as a published author for major music business publications ever since.
⇒ I'm a big 2A advocate and have had my pistol permit since my early 20s. I also love to go skeet-shooting for sport with my pump action shotgun! It's an absolute blast. (Pun very much intended.)
⇒ I don't drink much, but when I do, you can catch me enjoying a good mojito or margarita.
⇒ I am terrified of needles and would never go near any cosmetic surgery. (Here's to trying to age gracefully!)
⇒ I played volleyball growing up and enjoyed participating in adult recreational leagues up until I tore my ACL in a ski accident a few years ago. (I hope to get back to it once the babies are a little older though!)
⇒ I am a big UFC fan and have trained in mixed martial arts on and off since I was 14 years old.
⇒ My favorite movie is Jurassic Park, and I'm a sucker for anything dino-related.
⇒ I listen and enjoy most genres of music, but my favorite will always be 90s and 2000s hiphop. Catch me at any party with that playing, and I will go lyric-for-lyric with the best of 'em!