I recently made a mother-daughter trip to Mexico City. I came back to El Paso fully inspired by all the food, ambiance, and music. It was all truly just top-notch. As soon as I got back to the store, I immediately told Ambar Chavez, my right hand at GAL Fashion, how eager and excited I felt after this trip. I just felt the need to do something great and innovative in El Paso that would transmit the huge lively experience I had just lived. Her response to my excitement was just what I was looking for; “Why don’t you create a fashion market here? Clients always want to travel with you to the Market. Let’s just make one here”… And So, the Il Mercato experience was born.

I shared the news with my grandmother. She was the one who suggested naming this new experience ‘Il Mercato,’ taking pride in our Italian roots, our name, and our culture.

Once I had the name laid out, I immediately reached out to Adriana, my visual artist. Not only am I obsessed with her creative work, but she’s great at transforming my visions into reality. It’s always fun collaborating with Adriana to make my creative ideas come to life, and this time was no different. I showed her several pictures of my recent trips to ‘The White Show,’ one of the largest market shows in the world that takes place in Italy, as well as pictures of my inspiration and recent trip to Mexico City. Before we knew it, we were bouncing ideas back and forth and the project started taking life.

Our marketing for Il Mercato was very low-key and discrete. We did very little to get the word out. It was just part of the exclusivity of the event. We wanted to make sure you all were the ones who reached out to make an appointment. This event was intended to be one of a kind from the beginning, and we wanted to make sure that those who attended the event were as exclusive and fabulous - our GAL followers, blog readers, and lovely loyal clients. The whole thing was .. IYKYK.

I met with the stylists to empower them to pick and choose the names of the showrooms that would shape Il Mercato. We talked about what each showroom would carry and which brands would be showcased.

Nich and Co: This was Vivenne’s vision. This showroom carried some of the most original and expensive brands from Italy and Ukraine. Every piece was high-end, custom, and of course, one-of-a-kind.

Backstage by Victoria: Unique and high-end jewelry and accessories. This showroom featured a recently launched jewelry brand from India along with another luxury jewelry brand.

Intemporelle Fashion: A showroom that featured high-end ready-to-wear. Think casual meets fur. Here you would find cashmere and comfortable cotton.

Element’s Showroom: The place for all things leather, coats, and dusters from all over the world.

All pieces in the showrooms were strategically hand-selected to bring a curated mix of one-of-a-kind treasures to Il Mercato. I can assure you, some of these pieces will never be seen again. Not even on social media. That is just how exclusive everything was.

Within the first week, we were fully booked! Our clients were ready to get the unique and true market experience with food, cocktails, gifts, and models at Il Mercato. When the big day finally arrived, our clients were able to have one on ones with the showroom reps and get an exclusive look at all the pieces in the showrooms. In the end, they took home what they loved.
We had a greeter ready to meet our guests, explain to them the rules for the day and greet them with a cocktail. We had our creative film crew capture every second, and our photographer captivate every moment. Our favorite DJ brought a special beat and kept the ambiance and magic alive throughout the event. Every appointment with the showroom reps was full of magic and the event was just something worth remembering. We can’t wait to live it all over again.

That’s a wrap. The first volume of the Il Mercato pop-up was over. It was absolute bliss. A jungle of elegance where happiness and adrenaline filled the air. By all means, the most successful and amazing event GAL Fashion has hosted to this day.

A special shout out and thank you to my dream team, as well as to those who made an appointment and had the experience to share this first volume with us.

Where shall we pop-up next? Email gesuina@galfashion.com if you have any ideas for the next volume of Il Mercato. We can’t wait to do it all over again!

- Logo purple

Friends, I am sincerely excited and humbled to share that by the grace of God, today I celebrate two years of sobriety!

Two years may not seem like a long time, but more than that, I’m celebrating the journey. As you know, I’ve been extremely open about my sobriety since I am not sure I would still be on this Earth today had I not started my road to recovery when I did. This journey has been the most beautiful and gratifying gift, affording me so much necessary change and growth in just a short time. Reflecting on this anniversary, I am reminded of a Bible verse in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed with the world but be transformed with the renewing of your mind that you may do good and what is acceptable by the perfect will of God.”

In my first year of recovery, I focused on doing anything and everything I could do to stay sober. Year two, I had the freedom to discover myself. For the first time, I saw myself clearly, without the crutch or cloudiness of alcohol. I became my own friend. I am learning to accept and even enjoy carrying out the will of God. This is an ongoing pursuit, but so much more fruitful than trying to do it all on my own. This profound joy is a direct result of sobriety, a feeling I don’t ever want to lose or take for granted.

Today, my finances are in order, my relationships are healthy, my business is in a good place, I am debt-free (!), and I have a strong rapport with my family. I am still a constant work in progress, but I am realizing that the more layers I peel back, and the more I discover about myself, the freer I am able to live.

I’ve discovered that sobriety is about choices. In the throws of my disease, I was unable to make choices. I was a slave to my disease, unaware of the gravity and depth of destruction I faced. I was in emotional, physical, and mental pain, obsessed with the one thing at the root of it all.

Today – after much work, I am choosing to live freely. I feel happiness, fulfillment, and richness through peace and serenity that I didn’t know existed for me. Every day, I make the choice to continue the work; there has been temptation, and times I wanted to give up, but I know that if I did, I would be giving up on myself. I know where the drink will take me. I play the tape that I lived to nauseating effect; I know that is not a place I EVER want to visit again. So when I feel my thoughts and action veering into a dangerous place, I now know that I can pause, surrender, pray, and turn my will over to God.

I have also come to know the importance of normalizing recovery and sharing the gift of sobriety. If you or anyone you know suffers from addiction, I invite you to reach out to me or to another support source. I have been told that my openness has encouraged some to make the change, so if you are struggling, let this be your sign to reach out.

Thank you always for your support in my journey and God bless you!

- Logo purple