We had the good fortune of connecting with Valentina Flores Prado and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Valentina, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
Yes! An art teacher once said to me: “Don’t run for success, run for talent and success will run behind you.” And ever since I’ve always had it in mind every time I’m working. I find it very meaningful because before finally deciding on what I wanted to do with my life, I thought I had my whole life planned out. Since the first grade I thought it made a lot of sense to become a plastic surgeon, since many of my family members work in the medical field. But, just after getting accepted into med school, I took some time to deeply analyze and ask myself what was the right path for me, and soon realized my own happiness was not taken upon consideration and that I was only focusing on how being a surgeon would make me very “successful” financially. But now, having a different perspective on how I view life, the only thing I see as “successful” is being happy. Being a designer and a confectionist honestly has payed off and I believe that it is just a matter of believing in yourself and believing in what you’re good at.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Besides being a one woman show, I put a lot of effort and dedication to each individual project from start to finish and believe that you can see real effort portrayed in my work. You will find a lot of love being put into anything I make, whether it is a cake or a particular design for a company. But being a graphic designer and a confectionist at the same time is not easy, there would be times where I would have a million things to do and be short on time, but with practice and good organization, I found the way to manage my time.

There have been quite a few other challenges in the way, such as people making comments in regards to not having the chance to thrive, but, the biggest challenge of all was actually not letting these comments get to me. Instead of ignoring them as I should’ve, I would doubt myself and I would even get scared with the idea of not being as successful as I’d like to be, so I would think of getting back into med school and leaving everything that I had started but thankfully, I knew better and realized that you should always follow what YOU want and not get carried away by what others think or say about you. Because nobody knows you better than yourself and only you will know what’s best for you in terms of happiness.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Most of my friends are from out of town, so I guess you could say I’m an expert at showing them the best places San Diego and Tijuana have to offer when they visit. Most of them are into outdoor activities, so hiking is a must. One of my absolute favorite trails is Three Sisters Falls. It is a long and tiring one but trust me, it is all worth it when you get to the waterfall. It’s truly an amazing experience you can’t miss if you’re into nature and outdoor activities. Another place we’d head down to is Coronado Island where we would walk around town, visit the shops, take a swim at the beach, and simply relax. By the end of that day, we’d end up watching a movie at South Bay Drive In, which is just outside of Coronado. There is something about watching a movie the old fashioned way that makes it a lot more fun. When it comes to taking a bite and drinks, my friends and I prefer dining across the border since Tijuana, without a doubt, has some of the best food ever and has some pretty cool places to hang out while enjoying some drinks. One example is La Mezcalera, the place where you can find some of the best mezcal (my personal favorite) Tijuana has to offer. Another place I’d go visit with my friends is the San Diego County Fair. It’s only open June through July, but it is absolutely one of my favorite places to visit with friends. The rides are really fun and you get to experience some really crazy carnival foods. So if your friends are planning to visit during the summer going to the San Diego County Fair is a must.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My biggest inspiration are my clients. Therefore, I believe that they deserve recognition since they are the ones that keep me going. All of the sleepless nights working until 6 am are all worth it when it comes to delivery. I just love seeing their reactions. I’ve had clients who scream and shout with happiness and I’ve even had one who cried and said its too beautiful to eat. It’s moments like these that make me the happiest and proudest of myself.

Instagram: Sugarbee.tj & valentina.flrsp
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