This month, I was chosen to serve as an honorary guest speaker for the Dynamic Women to Women session, thanks to Cassandra Diaz, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Business Administrative Training Specialist. I was especially honored because this monthly event was created to encourage and inspire women to open their own businesses across the city of El Paso.

I participated in a Q and A session, which I’m excited to share, below:

Q: Please give us a brief introduction about yourself.

A: Hello, my name is Gesuina Legaspy I was born and raised in El Paso. I started retail at the age of 18 and now at the age of 25 I have my very own business and I love our Sun City.

Q: How did the idea of Gal Fashion manifest, what was your A-Ha! Moment?

A: It’s so important for me that when someone walks into Gal, they leave feeling confident. My “A-Ha” moment was thinking, “wouldn’t it be amazing to do that for thousands of women?” My passion is not only fashion, but also building a community of women and encouraging women to make their own dreams a reality.

A lot of the times as women, we take care of everyone else but we don’t always take care of ourselves. I learned a short time ago, that in order to be a great mom or wife, you’ve got to take of yourself before you take care of others.

Q: Take us through a day in your life as a fashion entrepreneur.

A: One thing I do and focus on daily is training, since my job is to build up the people that run Gal so that our standards are consistent across the board. To ensure my team is always growing, motivated, excited and constantly learning is a key to our success. We have a major product knowledge training program and our stylist Jessenia Cruz is our Product Knowledge trainer. I spend a lot of time with my clients, and I also travel to markets in Dallas, LA, and New York to find the best product for El Paso. You can say I’m also a firefighter in my job since I put out “fires” all the time.

Q: Can you virtually walk us through Gal Fashion, What do we see? What should we expect?

A: Expect the unexpected! We pride ourselves on being very different from other department stores and specialty stores. From the moment you walk in, it smells great, it feels great, we try to create a welcoming a environment and we carry fantastic, eye-catching merchandise that will definitely make an impression on our guests.

Q: How are the brands picked to be in Gal Fashion, and how exclusive should we expect the brands in the boutique to be?

A: By the end of the month of April, we are launching our evening gown store/department and when we say ‘exclusive,’ we mean it. If you purchase a gown or dress at Gal, it no longer can be special ordered. It goes on a list that keeps track of exactly who bought it and where they are wearing it. El Paso is a small city and I never want anyone who shops at Gal to have to worry about someone wearing the same gown as someone else, or feeling less than one-of-a-kind.

Back to your first question, a lot goes into choosing the brands at Gal. I like to buy a lot of American made brands because I like to support America’s economy. I always think about what garment or brand is going to do for my customer, and I love lines that have a story behind them. I don’t just buy what I think is pretty but instead think about why certain items work for my customer; is it breathable, packable, quality, how does it make you feel? I especially like knowing who made the product. The stories behind the lines, the reason why they started and how they’re made.

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As I mentioned here before, we’ve decided to expand GAL Fashion and grow our square footage to create a new department of evening gowns. I signed the lease a couple of days before my trip to Market in NYC, so much of my time there was spent hunting for the best evening lines not currently available in El Paso. Why evening gowns? As my friend Mickey Rosemarin, owner of the successful Tootsies chain, advised me, everyone has a special occasion to attend!

I scoured the City and am very excited to bring to you the most exclusive evening and cocktail gowns that will not be able to be found anywhere else in town. After all, it’s my goal to make my customers feel confident, special and beautiful on the outside.

Aside from evening gowns, I discovered so many great lines and pieces in NYC this trip. I invite you to stop by GAL to see and hear about the latest, but for now, check out the top 5 lines that are coming to our store:

  1. Olvi’s- French lace gowns made in Amsterdam. These elegant luxury dresses will now be exclusively available in our store and are made of stretch lace that is all hand-sewn and one-of-a-kind perfect for all of your special occasion needs.

  2. Phone chains- I have broken so many phones accidentally dropping them because they are always in my hands. Digging around the bottom of your purse for your cell phone is just a waste of time. I found the cutest accessory that solves this problem, it’s your wallet and phone on a chain in a chic little crossbody style to protect your phone and wallet in a fashionable and functional way. They had the Valentino and Chanel inspired looks, so I couldn’t help but to buy them all. Under $125 retail and they make the greatest must have accessory!

  3. Candles from PARIS- David Mallet is considered the best hairdresser in Paris, and while originally from Australia, he has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the world. He recently launched his Le Salon candle line that he always has burning in his luxury salons in Paris. Salon en Hiver, the winter scent, and the Salon en tee, the summer candle, will both be available at GAL. I am very excited about having his prestigious line in my store for Pre-Fall!

  4. Inspired by Mr. and Mrs: The Italian brand introduced the perfect winter coat in 2009. It was a parka with a fur vest on the inside from different furs to choose from. The line was unisex and the concept was brilliant, years later all the other companies took a take on this style and we have it on order for fall, whether it’s faux or real mink, we ordered all of it so you can also get this amazing style for yourself.

  5. Plus size- Special sizes have arrived at GAL, since we believe not everyone needs to be a small size to be fashionable. Beauty and style comes in all shapes and sizes and we have a plus size selection available in store from XL-4X.

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Hello friends! After an action-packed opening week at GAL, my mom and I just returned from a seven day trip to New York City, where we visited showrooms, shops and gathered inspiration for my boutique in El Paso.

I’ve written about her before, but my mom, also named Gesuina, is my partner in crime and favorite travel companion. I feel like I can pen a novel about this trip alone, so I’ll break up the trip into a couple of blog posts.

Where to begin? The thing I love most about fashion is that you can truly express yourself through clothing; everything from your style, your mood, to your personality can be revealed by the colors, fabrics and the way you wear your outfit. Because of this, I take pride in being a part of that creative and expressive process for my clients, and saw the same passion in the many designer showrooms we visited.

We had the pleasure of stopping by lines like Sonia Rekyil, Moschino and Versace. Showroom appointments are my favorite since the vendors use the appointment to sit down, introduce you to the designers, and offer previews of the collections on live models. We were shopping for Pre-Fall, which consists of June- September delivery so we are offered a sneak peek of what’s to come in the world of fashion and trends.

Each showroom visit can be long, but well worth the time because you get to really meet and develop business relationships with the people whose vision you are buying. One thing that I love about buying for GAL is learning the process and history behind the brands, every designer and collection has a story to tell. Each designer has his or her own perspective and inspiration, and each followed a dream and pursued it and accomplished something great. My personal favorites include Veronica Beard, Michelle Mason and Irene Nicholas. They inspire me to bring to El Paso not just their garments, but their stories. I love knowing the story behind the clothing I wear, and the personal connection to the designers make dressing in their designs even more meaningful.

When I shop, I try to be thoughtful about what will resonate with my clients in El Paso, what kind of items will be fun for shoppers to see, and how I can excite my customers by what we offer. My goal is to have my clients love what they buy because of the story behind the pieces. I look for upcoming and new, because there are so many fresh, talented new designers, and I always like to support the emerging and up and coming.

Next week I’ll dive into all the goods we ordered in NYC. Stay tuned!

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It’s been a week since GAL opened to the public, and the embrace of the community has me heartfelt and humbled. I never expected to get the warm response we did. This process has proven such a success and so worth the hard work, that my team and I have decided to expand our store! I can’t share too many details just yet, but we’ve acquired more space and are beginning phase two of this great adventure very soon.

I will share more details in next week’s blog, but for now, I want to reiterate my immense gratitude to all of you who supported GAL. Thank you to those who came and shopped and helped spread the word and excitement. My team and I feel very blessed and honored to be able to serve you and look forward to what’s to come.

Please continue check out our Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/galfashion), Instagram (GALFASHION) and Snapchat (Gal.Fashion) for updates and news.

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I loved reading all the great feedback online about the GAL stylists I introduced last week. I feel very fortunate to be able to start the store with a fantastic team, and thrilled to announce that GAL Fashion will be open for business on February 6, 2016!

Opening a business has been one of the hardest endeavors I have ever encountered in my life, but by far the most fulfilling. Along the way, I have learned so much and met so many great people. I sincerely believe God has placed so many people in my path in order to guide me through the purpose and plan for my life. From day one, I’ve be immersed in meetings, decisions and research, and have experienced nothing but growth along the way. The making of my dream business was not all rainbows and sunshine, it’s been a lot of hard work and responsibility, but I am extremely proud to have made it to opening day.

I’ve shared GAL’s mission statement and what sets us apart from other shops in El Paso, but I want to offer a more intimate look at what drives us, and how we will fulfill our mission locally and to the fashion community at large.

As a team, the GAL girls have been busy undergoing intense style training, from product knowledge to customer care and in-depth fashion bootcamp. This week, we launched our social media platforms led by stylist Morgan Maxwell. In fashion, retail is detail, and we’ve collaborated with a talented group of local young El Pasoans to bring our messaging to life. Morgan introduced me to 17 year old photographer, AB Gonzalez, who will be doing some photography for the store. He’s just 17 years old but brilliantly talented. I will be releasing teasers of the merchandise on Snapchat (Gal.Fashion), GALFASHION Instagram and https://www.facebook.com/galfashion/ very soon so please follow!

Another fabulous new team member is Sophia Lowenberg, an incredible 18 year old Coronado student with passion for fashion and drive! I am so excited to see so many young people in El Paso with talent and work ethic such as all the team from GAL Fashion. Full of self expression and positivity, they embrace new ideas and embody our vision.

In today’s world, tech savvy, creative young people are more resourceful than ever, and I am very excited about working with this generation of El Pasoans who are engaged in the community. Through plenty of brainstorming and trial and error, we’ve developed an extremely efficient and Eco-friendly retail system that utilizes technology in a fun and accessible way—plus we are rolling out a price matching feature that we will honor both locally and online.

Stay tuned for even more updates and news about GAL and our team, and please join us on Feb. 6 when we open to the public!

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