By Bobby Mardis
Valerie Valentina is not unlike most entrepreneurs who have a mission of working for themselves and doing what they love. Valerie is an amazing clothing designer who happens to have a day job at the San Francisco Muni as a supervisor, however, the real work starts when she gets home. Valerie finds herself spending every free moment designing fashions, purchasing fabric and sewing product and completing her own quality control. As a “one-man-band” she finds that work is never done, but on the other hand, she loves what she does and finds it easy to continue the daily grind.
After a collection of designs have been created and manufactured, she knows that the real work is constantly in front of her. Marketing and sales is yet another bridge that every entrepreneur has to cross. Valentina finds herself loading up her truck on days off from her primary job at the Muni and heads for fashion marketplaces like the “Magic” event held in Las Vegas where other designers converge to sell their goods to larger outlets. She finds herself selling product all over the country including her specialty items that she takes to San Diego’s Comic-Con where she has sold a line of embroidered clothing for children, pets and superhero fans. Her designs have even bled over to jewelry and women accessories. Valentina has found success in placing a line of clothing in Macy’s and Nordstroms Rack, and all while working part time at her passion of creating both women and men’s clothing.
Valerie Valentina has burst into another market of creating embroidered jackets for large groups, clubs and organizations. Her creativity coupled with persistence, drive and tenacity has elevated her brand to the level of being noticed by Floyd Mayweather who now wears one of her custom jackets specifically made for him. Other people of note include Charlie Wilson Angela Bassett and Eddie Murphy. Her new goal is to acquire more celebrity endorsements for her clothing by making the custom designs for them to wear on their film, television and sporting events.
Although most of her free time from San Francisco Muni hours is spent creating and calculating new ways of penetrating markets and expanding her “side business,” she continues working two jobs as most entrepreneurs find a necessity. Valentina contends that, “Hard work and the grace of God have placed me in the position of leaving my full time job and making my part time passion profitable.” She says some other elements to build upon are collateral, good credit history, money in the bank and an experienced mentor.
Valentina suggests that you avoid getting comfortable on your day job and keep grinding until you realize your true passion. She says that, “Your primary job is only a financial stepping stone and gives you some financial security to pursue what you love.”