Meet our newest intern: Elena Martinez! She’s 21 years old, and just graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in marketing. She has a passion for philanthropic pursuits and empowering women. She has been volunteering with By Grace for nearly two years, but now that she’s an integral part of our team, we wanted you to know a bit more about her with a little Q&A.
Where did you grow up?
One day, my dream is to be...
A world traveler. I recently left the country for the first time! I went to Italy and never wanted to come back. I believe that the act of traveling opens your eyes to the world around you. It also provides perspective into the lives of others. I like the sense of adventure involved with traveling as well as the authentic food that you are able to experience and enjoy with each country you visit.
My favorite memory is...
When my older sister and I went to Disneyland. My sister lives out of state so we don’t see each other that often. It was fun spending quality time with her. Getting the chance to spend the whole day at Disneyland wasn’t too bad either!
My favorite food is...
Chipotle. I could eat Chipotle EVERYDAY.
A trip I will never forget is...
As a high school graduation gift, my parents and I went to Las Vegas to see Britney Spears in concert. I was able to see my favorite singer perform along with spend time with my parents. I actually teared up a little bit when she first hit the stage. The whole trip was so much fun and as a family we created long lasting memories.
If I could go anywhere in the world I would go to Bora Bora because...
I have always wanted to visit an island and experience an island culture. I love the beach and warm weather. Bora Bora seems like the ideal place for relaxation and opportunities for pure adventure. If one day I have the chance to visit Bora Bora, my dream is to stay in an over-water bungalow.
Where is one place in the world you wish you lived?
New York! I love the city vibe and the fast-paced lifestyle that New York offers. I adore the historic buildings in the heart of the city. I would also love to live in one of the fashion capitals of the world!
My favorite thing about myself is...
My strong work ethic. I am dedicated to any task that lies in front of me. I am very driven, motivated, and I always try to perform to my fullest potential.
An insecurity I overcame was...
Being comfortable in social situations. I was very shy growing up and this insecurity continued throughout high school. I really overcame this social self-doubt when I went away to college. I was able to find my voice and confidence. I overcame the fear of talking to others and was able to build lifelong friendships and meaningful relationships as a result.
The best compliment I ever received was...
That I have a pretty smile. I always like to smile and be happy! As the fun-loving character, Buddy, famously says in one of my favorite movies, Elf, “I just like to smile-smiling’s my favorite.”
I am passionate about...
Life! I believe we should all live life to its fullest because we only get one chance at it!
What is your proudest moment?
When I got accepted into a four-year university. It had always been a dream and a goal of mine. It was also proof that all of my hard work paid off.
Do you have a role model? If so, who? Why?
My mom. To me she defines strength and wisdom. She is selfless, understanding, courageous and fearless. She inspires me and motivates me every day. She is my best friend and I would be lost without her.
I’m partnering with By Grace because...
I love the message behind the foundation. I love the fact that the priority is to empower women in impoverished countries. These deserving and hardworking women are earning an education in this craft. Also, the clothes and fabric are so beautiful and unique. The clothing and different pieces within the By Grace collection gives customers a taste of the Indian and African culture.
Do you think it is possible for one person to make an impact? How so?
I think it is possible for one person to make an impact. On a small-scale basis, one person can change the lives of others through simple and small acts of kindness. In terms of a larger scale impact, it only takes one person to influence countless numbers of people to follow that one person’s beliefs and goals to make the world a better place. We have witnessed this numerous times throughout history with a variety of dominant leaders such as Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.
If you could change one thing about our society, what would it be?
I would like to see people be more open to those that are different from them. Although our society has come a long way regarding this issue, there still remains many who choose to be closed minded. These intolerant individuals regard those that do not share similar backgrounds as them as inferior and non-deserving. As a society, we cannot judge people. Rather we need to be accepting towards others in order to be a prosperous society for years to come.
What is the best way for women to support women?
Women simply need to encourage other women’s success. Women should feel inspired by powerful and triumphant women. Often, the media magnifies the stigma of women bringing other women down. Women need to ignore this and not feed into these negative media messages.
How would you describe your style?
Relaxed, simple, practical, and casual.
What are some of your favorite brands?
Levi’s, Kate Spade, H&M, Target, Hollister, Steve Madden, Urban Outfitters.
Give your best style tip on how to wear a By Grace original.
Simplicity is best! Let the By Grace pieces speak for themselves. Pair By Grace pieces with simple clothing and accessories to showcase the beauty of the prints.
There you have it! A brief intro to our girl Elena! You’ll be reading more from her soon!