In my last blog, I revealed the exciting news that we are hosting an Il Mercato pop-up on the east side of El Paso.

When we confirmed the deal, I immediately begin the preparations, which include one of my favorite parts of the business: the buying! And let me tell you, buying for this highly curated pop-up was quite the adventure!

It’s long been a dream of mine to open a store on the east side, but I never knew exactly where to go, and if my concept would be met with success. Although I’ve had multiple visits to The Fountains in the past seven years, for whatever reason, the spaces just never felt right. Another east side space opportunity was presented last year, but again, my intuition said to pass.

But like with everything in life, timing is key. This time, an opportunity arose, the stars aligned, and I was able to offer a resounding, full body YES! I was soon on my way to a Los Angeles market to stock up for the new store. What an exhilarating experience it was to buy for this brand-new space. I scooped up new brands and designers that we don’t carry at our flagship and, staying true to the Italian inspiration behind “Il Mercato,” I opted for affordable luxury: think romantic gauze, luxurious cotton, breezy linen, and casual (but not basic!) basics like denim, classic and graphic tees, and vibrant, one-of-a-kind novelty pieces. I gravitated toward fashion-forward sunnies, candy-colored hats, fabulous new fragrances… and the best part? Almost everything retails for under $200!

I patronized every showroom on each floor of the marketplace to really curate for the best pieces for this shopping experience. Being able to try all new things was so exciting! I felt very unrestrained – like I was some how free to try something totally new! I touched all of the fabrics, feeling for the best quality possible within a reasonable price-point, keeping in line with our GAL signature.

As for the store interior? The design concept is coming along as well! It is so much fun to create and cultivate this new dream. My hope is that the east side community will come and support, shop and enjoy, and see what GAL is all about. I invite everyone to allow yourselves to feel transported! If this goes well maybe we’ll stay a little longer… the mystery is part of the excitement.

One more note: We are still hiring! So if you want to be an expert stylist, send your resume along. And whether you live on the east, west, or anywhere in between, mark your calendar for April 7!


I have heard the expression, “When one door closes, God opens another door,” several times in my life, but these words have never rung as true for me as they do now.

It’s been a while since I made the time to sit down and write. Writing it my favorite creative outlet because the process allows me to share my experience… my hope is that you can relate to some of it and in turn, we all feel less alone.

For my team and me, 2023 started off with a bang! GAL celebrated our 7-year anniversary, and it’s hard to believe it’s been that long already. Several opportunities have come my way, from being offered a division of my own clothing line (a Bucket List goal!), to a couple major events and non-profit collaborations. While my team hummed along in early 2023, I was surprised with this curve ball: I lost two of my staff in the span of as many weeks; the unexpected exits happened abruptly and right before important events (hello, anniversary party and a market trip to NYC!).

To be honest – and at the risk of being really vulnerable – the sudden stressors coupled with all of the plates I was attempting to spin at once left me really rattled. For the first time in a long time, I was on the verge of a relapse. These seemingly minor setbacks left me feeling defeated and demoralized, questioning everything.

But through the work I have invested in my recovery over the past two years, I have come to believe that we always have choices. In this case, I had two options: To give up; or to accept my reality, learn from it, and grow. After about three weeks of soul-searching, I committed to the latter and leaned into my source, God. I reminded myself that I am not the director of my movie, rather, I’m living the role God has created for me, so I chose to let go and let God do His thing.

As I loosened my grip, the next opportunity came quickly: the chance to open a second GAL location on the Eastside! For 30 days, we will offer an Il Mercato pop-up experience, a curated marketplace offering hand-selected merchandise not usually available at GAL. The asthetic is rich, inspired by Gucci Gardens. Save the date for April 7th through April 30th, location to be announced here soon.

While the season started off with some epic highs and lows, things feel like their finally beginning to stablilize. I was able to attend NYC Market and find all new beautiful things for 2023. I also hired lots of fashion interns at GAL Fashion to help out with the new store.

Just as Spring has sprung, so have new beginnings and new adventures at GAL.

As we continue to grow and evolve, I am making the time to reflect and remind you, dear reader, that we are not alone. Whatever your challenges, don’t give up. I am so grateful to God for giving me the strentgth and courage to perservere and move forward with this amazing venture, and I thank you for your support along the way!


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 if you have any ideas for the next volume of Il Mercato. We can’t wait to do it all over again!


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!



There are a few things more exciting in a fashion enthusiast’s life than spending time in New York City in September, during Fashion Week and Fall fabulousness. So I was particularly thrilled to be able to spend 72 hours in the Big Apple earlier this month for Market – touching garments and feeling fabrics – after years of virtual “visits” during Covid.

When I choose items for a collection to sell at GAL Fashion, I consider many factors: What will my customer where this with? Who am I buying it for? How many pieces and in what sizes should I purchase? How will this work alongside other items I’ve purchased?

On the first day of Market, we visited Coterie, a fashion marketplace where hundreds of brands and designers from all over the world show their collections for three days. Later we hit the showrooms, which offer private one-on-ones with the brand and sometimes the designer. Sometimes showrooms will allow buyers to choose customized and preferences according to what will be the best fit for the individual store. This trip, we saw Cinq a Sept, Ramy Brook, Delfi and other brands that our clients love.

Among my favorite finds on the trip: B-low the Belt, designer inspired handbags and Amanda Uprichard, and an up-and-coming international brand from a hidden market that will launch exclusively at IL Mercato on October. 7th.

What’s IL Mercato, you ask? IL Mercato is a project that I’m thrilled to share will be a series of pop-up shops inspired by market travel and buys. The retail experience will feature one-of-a-kind brands not sold in department stores, online or event at GAL Fashion. IL Mercato is for the true fashionista who will discover treasure pieces in a real market setting! The pop-up will be replete with mini showrooms, brand reps, models, and even local bites in the lounge (market shopping can be exhausting!). IL Mercato will be appointment-only, affording shoppers quality time with the brands, seeing the clothing on the models, and the opportunity to ask questions and feel the items.

Generally, markets are extremely costly because you have to buy full collections, not just one or two pieces. But to me and my fellow fashion fanatics, it’s a worthwhile opportunity to discover things you will probably never find again.

Honestly, I am more excited about what I bought for IL Mercato during my visit than I am or Spring 2023! The items are so limited and precious, I am curious about the response to the appointments that will be set; I am eager for my customers’ perspectives and points of view on the international luxuries we found. Will they love them? Will they hate them? Will we sell out? Will they want more? The suspense is killing me…

Finally, back to NYC:

We went from place to place to find the best and we did. Here are a few trends to look forward to for Spring 2023:

  1. Emilio Pucci Print: The classic swirls
  2. Dolce and Gabbana Florals: Amalfi and Positano-inspired
  3. Prada 90s vibe with day dresses and all 90s
  4. Techno fabric, a huge trend in the 2000s
  5. Pastels: An Easter must have

The 90s and 2000s continue their dominant comeback, so dig out the looks from Prada, Pucci, Miu Miu if they’re still hanging in your closet and call it vintage! Headbands and hair clips, low rise jeans and tie-back halters… they’re all hitting, Baby, one more time.

Other notable moments from the Big Apple: Taking an elevator with Nick and Kevin Jonas; I was oblivious meanwhile my Gen-Z stylist, Pablo, freaked out silently. Later, a slice of delicious NY-style pizza rounded things out – the perfect way to end 72-hours of fashion.

As I reflect on this trip, I’m reminded how blessed I am to be able to do what I love for a living. I know I always this say this, but it’s true. During my morning prayers, I thank God daily for giving me the opportunity to work in an industry I absolutely love.

Thank you for joining me on my journey, and I hope to see you at IL Mercato!