We had the good fortune of connecting with Valentina Gomez Bravo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Valentina, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I always had two career paths developing at the same time throughout my life. On one side, I was a passionate creative in the advertising industry. On the other hand, I was a professional dancer and choreographer. I always pursued both of my passions and loved every minute of it. I got to be 100% creative 24/7/365. I was so lucky! After being in the creative, advertising, and marketing industry for over a decade, I decided to go full-time into the dance world and dedicated everything to that. I left the global agency I was working at and started a business, and became a partner in a couple more companies, all within the performing arts world. Dance studios, a costume company, a sportswear line, dance photography, event productions, you name it; we did it. A few years into that, I suffered a tragic dance injury, and sadly, I had to retire from dancing professionally. Not dancing anymore opened the door to go back to my passion for creative work in advertising. Being an entrepreneur, I knew how hard it was for a startup company to access top-quality brand development and design work with a conservative budget and limited resources. There was no such thing in the market at that time; it was a market of extremes. Small businesses only had two options. You hire a big agency, which is usually out of budget for most small businesses, or you work with cheap crowdsourced-work and inexperienced freelancers who are just not good enough to turn a small business into a beautiful, profitable, and growing brand. I believe in creating opportunities instead of waiting for them, and that’s what I did. Since there wasn’t such a thing in the market for small businesses everywhere, I decided to create it. And that’s how Bunker +58 was born. We are on a mission to bring big-agency brand strategies, creativity, design, and growth to small businesses everywhere, while also creating change in the community. We are building the big brands of the future.Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Creativity and empathy are my superpowers. Using them to build things that matter is my ultimate goal in this life. I think this is why I’ve spent my career creating spaces meant for growth where there is a place for EVERYONE. Bunker +58 is a multicultural, bilingual agency made up of an incredibly talented and diverse group of unique humans that I love and are spread worldwide, bringing their unique perspectives to the work that we do. Our clients are even more diverse, which has given us the rare opportunity and privilege to work with many cultures, industries, and audiences. TexasEnEspañol.com is a space created to foster community, recognize and empower the fantastic Hispanic population in Texas, and I plan to keep expanding until we get to impact this community nation-wide. The Empathy League is my latest project, and it’s extra close to my heart. I believe empathy is one of the most powerful tools we have to make the world a better place and create a more connected, inclusive, and loving society. There is a significant shortage of empathy today, and I want to make more of it and spread it everywhere. That’s what The Empathy League is all about. As an immigrant having lived in multiple countries, I have grown to embrace change, adversity, and reinvention as a way of life. This has uniquely equipped me to be ready to tackle anything that comes my way. I’m a status quo challenger. I believe in constant evolution, and I have learned not to wait for opportunities but to create them. Everything and everyone can grow, and I feel that is a big part of my purpose in life, to make sure that everything I touch is better by the time I leave.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If we could take a trip around the world, we would, of course, go to Caracas, Venezuela, where I was born and raised. Then we would visit Mechernich, Germany, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I also lived and had incredible formative experiences. Of course, we would close up the tour in Houston, Texas, USA, where I live now. My favorite spots are museums, iconic landmarks, art installations, local restaurants, and shops that truly showcase the magic of one of the most diverse cities in the United States. I am confident we would have the best time.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people deserve recognition. From my school and high-school teachers to my college professors, bosses, colleagues, students, friends, and artists I’ve encountered throughout my career. Of course, my amazingly talented team members, vendors, providers, partners, and heart-forward clients. And last but not least, my very loving and supporting family. All of them have played a vital role in my growth as a woman, entrepreneur, and leader.