We had the good fortune of connecting with Gin Tasulis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gin, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I started my first business (La Buena Vida Studio – a small custom jewelry business) my thought process behind it was wanting more flexibility and the opportunity to be home with my son and focus on my continued education. Two years, and many fairs, markets, and craft shows later, I knew I could put my creativity and organization skills into taking my business into a new direction. Additionally, I was about to start my first semester of graduate school and knew I needed something even more flexible and time manageable. That is when I dove straight into La Buena Vida Market. I literally made an Instagram page with just a logo one night and told myself, “well, now you have to make it happen…it’s instagram official!” My focus was to take my experiences as a vendor, shopper, and business owner and mold them into something everyone could enjoy and benefit from. I knew I could develop something that was not only enjoyable to the attendees of an event, but to everyone involved, including my amazing vendors. With the support of friends and family, La Buena Vida Night Market kicked off in the summer of 2019. A fun-filled night market full of quality local vendors, amazing food and drinks (thanks to our wonderful venue, Bagby Beer Co.), and funky tunes was created. I focused on creating a quality experience for every vendor, for our venue, and for every shopper/guest. I also wanted to include a philanthropic purpose to each and every market, so each event features a different charity raffle recipient. Every vendor donates an item to be raffled off and 100% of the proceeds from the raffle go directly to the recipient. Bagby Beer Co. also matches whatever we are able to raise which has been amazing! We have had a wide range of recipients including individuals who are fighting cancer to a local non-profit dog rescue. The entire experience in starting this business has been such a challenge (way more work than I ever imagined), but completely worth it. I have had so much fun with it all and can’t wait for things to start back up (hello world pandemic aahhhh!).
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
First off, I’m a Gemini….meaning I cannot make a decision or stick to one idea to save my life, however, over the years I have found ways that this quality can benefit me. For over 15 years I bartended while attempting to figure out college and what I wanted to be when I “grow up.” Not until I was 37 years old did it all just hit me at once: I “retired” from bartending, put my creativity to work in starting my own small business, and committed to finish my degree with the end goal of one day becoming a Psychology professor. Holy crap! I just made a life decision….many life decisions…and BIG life decisions at that. In the past three years, it has been a whirlwind of school, businesses, mommyhood, more school, more businesses, and more mommyhood. I can proudly say that in that time I have earned my BA in psychology, started two small businesses, am currently in a graduate program (1 more year yay!), and have had the privilege of being a mommy and step-mommy to the most amazing kiddos. The road has definitely not been easy, and the road ahead still has its challenges (hello world pandemic again ahhhh!), but what I have been able to build and achieve will see me through it all. There is always light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes harder to see than others, but it’s there. Oh, and if you’re wondering about the whole psych professor goal thing, I will start applying for positions early next year. I think I will always have multiple “careers” going on, whether it is teaching college, running a small business, or being a mommy. Remember….Gemini…..that whole “can’t stick to one thing” thing! I got this though!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love supporting local businesses. Not only are they usually the best spots in town, they are also a representative of what is unique to each area of town. My go-to favorite spots are in Coastal Oceanside. The whole area is extremely walkable (hello The Strand!) and they offer such an amazing lineup of great local food and drink establishments. Some of my favorite spots include Bagby Beer Co. (local beer!), Johnnie Mananas (an old school staple for Mexican), 333 Pacific (martini happy hour anyone?), and chilling in the beer garden at Stone. Checking out the pier (longest wood pier on the west coast) and the beach is also a must. Renting scooters or bikes is fun and you could cruise on down to South O or even Carlsbad Village. I really could go on and on about the area and how much I love it there.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I truly know that I wouldn’t be successful in life without the immense support of my lovey, Brent Proctor. His drive, support, love, and confidence in my abilities has helped me get to where I am today. All of this while not only supporting our family, but sticking by my side through the start of several small businesses, finishing up my degree, and entering graduate school…..he has and will always be there and that I am grateful for.