We had the good fortune of connecting with Ghisela Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ghisela, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Starting my own business was an exciting venture. Coming from a sedentary corporate America 9-5 job I was exhausted and noticed a toll on my mental and physical health. I was introduced to the fitness industry and immediately noticed big changes in my overall health. I fell in love with the new me. Feeling my best at all times and seeing the changes in my health gave me a drive to help other by introducing them to my newly found passion, fitness. This new found passion led me to train for my very first body building competition. I enrolled in school to learn everything I could about fitness, thinking I wanted to become a personal trainer. I quickly realized that was not for me. I finished school and used the knowledge for my own health. Although, the process of competing is worth every sacrifice, I found some aspects to be unaffordable. Specifically, when it came to the glamorous competition suit. Having gone through the preparation process several times, I know how important it is to be in the right suit. The right suit will highlight your hard work and help to present your physique with the assurance that you look your best. In shopping for my first suit the need for quality affordable suits became apparent. I decided I would attempt to make my suit and did. I will admit now it wasn’t the best, but it worked for me and I even received a couple compliments. Receiving those praises gave me inspiration to continue to perfect my suit patterns. I made my second suit and again received positive feedback and this time even inquiries from other competitors. It was at this point I recognized the opportunity at my door. I had found the way to share my passion with others.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am very passionate about my art. Every bikini I make comes to life when it is embellished. Every crystal is hand set by me in house, none of my work is outsourced. I am extremely proud to offer custom work. Not every size small is created equal this is why it so important to measure my clients myself or walk them through the measurements if they are out of the area or ordering online. The competition bikini business has grown exponential since I first established my business in 2011, I believe what sets Ghisela Luxury Bikinis apart is the one on one interaction I provide my clients. I like to provide my clients an amazing experience. They train so hard to participate in a fitness competition, designing their bikini should be a fun experience. I offer a one on one consultation, during this time we select fabric color, crystal colors and design. It’s all hands on for them I like to make it all about them the minute they arrive at my studio. I believe I am where I am professionally because of this specialized service I provide. I have been on the clients side and treat everyone with the same attention, love and respect I would like to receive. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with women of all walks of life that I admire and respect. Strong, beautiful women that keep me motivated and pushing forward with my dream. The feeling I get when I see the athletes on stage wearing my designs is humbling and extremely rewarding, it means a lot to me that they have given me the opportunity to create a one of a kind piece to showcase their hard work. I am truly blessed to have such a rewarding career. Seeing, satisfying and creating these beautiful bikinis for my clients comes easy to me because I can relate to challenges they are facing. I love what I do! The most challenging part of my business is the administration part. I like to consult and create not manage spreadsheets. I am a one person operation so having the time management skills to get it all done has proven difficult. I work great alone however I have learned that it is ok to ask for help. When you work for yourself its extremely important to be on a schedule, at times that schedule is 10-12 hours long. I have learned to make time for everything including myself; If I feel good I can produce better work. I have learned many lessons along the way the most important early lesson was the significance of quality materials. In order for my clients to feel their best they deserve the best materials on the market. I firmly believe in quality over quantity. I pour my heart into my work, I love what I do and love sharing my artwork with others. I provide competitors a one stop shop, from the bikini to the heels and all the show date accessories. My goal is that they leave my place with an enormous smile on their faces. I was blessed to have found my niche, the ability to work from home has been a luxury I don’t take lightly. It has always been a goal of mine to expand my studio. Thanks to all my clients trust and support I am in the process of expending my studio to be able to provide them with an even greater experience.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a hard one since San Diego has so much to offer. Being that this is my best friend I will assume we have the same interest. First day we would start with a daylong tour of Temecula Wine Country. Temecula is home to excellent wines and fantastic dinning places. I would make sure Lorimar Winery and Leoness Cellars are a must see. Second day would start with a morning hike more than likely Iron Mountain followed by happy hour at a local restaurant Savoie. I enjoy Iron Mountain because it is a perfect combination of a walk with some slight incline. Great for even the non-experienced hiker. Savoie for happy hour because of the live music. Third day we would relax at home more than likely going over old photos and memories while sipping on some wine. Fourth day we would explore Sunset Cliffs, La Jolla and Torrey Pines. Although I don’t surf or even swim the sounds and smells of the ocean brings me peace and tranquility. I’m sure we will all agree that the picturesque scenery is breathtaking. Fifth day we would take the Ferry to Coronado and enjoy a great lunch at Il Fornaio or Peohes depending on what we had a taste for. Time permitting we would take the paddleboards out and enjoy the sunset. Day 6 would be a trip to the World Famous San Diego Zoo. I have been a member for many years. So much to see and it is great exercise. We would follow the Zoo with pizza from one of my favorite pizza shops. Pizzeria Arrivederci. Seventh day maybe some souvenir shopping Downtown SD and Seaport Village. Maybe some tapas and wine at Café Sevilla.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Absolutely, it is important to recognize that you didn’t get to where you are alone. I would like to thank my mentor Michael Shanks for intruding me to fitness. Had he not encouraged me to train for a competition I would not have found my passion which in turn became my business and introduced me to wonderful clients whom many I now call friends. I would also like to thank my mother and grandmother for their patience, love and knowledge. I learned the craft of sewing through them. I recall when I was a little girl my grandmother insisted I unstitch anything I made that wasn’t perfect. She would say “you might be making something for someone one day, when that day comes you want to make it with love and perfection” the thought of this gets me emotional. It’s as if somehow knew creating would become my career. Lastly, I would like to thank my family and friends for their unconditional support. My husband for sharing in my vision and always encouraging me to do better. My daughter who is following in my footsteps, as well as my son for their constant artistic opinion. Without these individuals in my life, Ghisela Luxury Bikinis would not exist.
Models Nadia Blackburn, Rachel Fahlstrom Photographers: Miriam Figueroa, JTP Photograpy