Look & feel like the JEFA that you are!
A /jefa/ is a Spanish term that is defined as “the chief” or ” the boss”.
“Persona que tiene autoridad o poder sobre un grupo para dirigir su trabajo o sus actividades.”
For the creators of the lifestyle brand, Posh Palma Styles, it is a free-spirited soul who embodies pure romanticism and feels great in her own skin. And we love the message that Gelsandra & Valerie are delivering to their Latina brand! We were able to be inspired by the sisters-in-law & business partners by their brand & we wanted our Belles to get a little bit of their essence as well. We were able to talk with co-owner Gelsandra Guzman, about the business, culture, & the empowerment of JEFAS:
1. What made you want to start your lifestyle brand? What made you want to get into business together?
We are about impact! Every day we strive to bring the best of each one of us. We thought how we could use our voices, platforms, creativity, and translate it into a lifestyle, so it becomes part of our everyday lives and, of course, doing something we enjoy, and that comes from the heart. Valerie and I are families LOL. I married her older brother, which makes her my sissy-in-law, the BEST one!!! My expertise and education are in Fashion Merchandising. With Valerie’s knowledge and passion for all things Digital and Marketing, we one day sat over some wine virtually, swapped ideas and were convinced this would be magical- and so Posh Palma Styles was born.
2. What inspired you to create the clothes? What are they based on? Color schemes, theme, culture, etc.
At Posh Palma Styles, we represent and highlight other female-owned brands, designers, and artisans. Valerie and I are not designers YET. We say yet because we have our inspirations shortly, which will lead us to create our line. With this said, we are buyers in the market. We represent a vibe, a community for the imperfectly perfect JEFAS. We are from the Dominican Republic, a beautiful island in the Caribbean, full of life and energy. We strive to get the best product for our ladies, representing this vibe that stands strong and connects back to our roots, heritage, and culture. Posh Palma Styles is CULTURE.
3. Did you both think you would own a business? Talk about your upbringing.
Funny you ask this question, Valerie and I come from totally different upbringings, yet we carry that “entrepreneurial spirit” in our veins from birth. We come from very hard-working families, always set out to hustle and make sure there was still shelter and food for the family. Valerie was born in Rhode Island, and due to several obstacles, was raised in the Dominican Republic by her grandparents and aunt. Growing up away from her birth mother and witnessing many of the barriers that women faced within our society, she made it part of her mission to uplift and empower women. Eventually, Valerie returned to the U.S. to pursue higher education and graduated in May 2019 with her B.A. in International Relations and Marketing. After graduation, she was offered a Fulbright Scholarship to serve as a Binational Fellow in Mexico City. She was working on her MBA while working for a startup called VIWALA within the marketing department. She is now our co-founder, soon to be launching her marketing agency Raices Media, she’s a bright and shining STAR! I, on the other hand, was born and raised in Rhode Island by my daddy. He’s my rock, my hero, my daily motivation to keep going. I live through his eyes, his sleepless nights, his ambition, determination, and perseverance grew all on me. Living with him, it made me realize our time on this planet counts, whatever we choose to do must be what we love so we can go at it with no stopping, and that’s precisely what I did. I graduated in 2010 from FIT (Fashion Institue of Technology) with my B.A. in Fashion Merchandising. I worked in corporate America for ten years in merchandising, styling, buying, and marketing, and this year, I bet on ME with no Plan B. Here, we are two girls with hunger, passion, and LOVE for what we do!!
4. On the site, there are Spanish and English words and phrases used. How important is it to you to represent two cultures?
LOL- we struggle every day with keeping it one language, so we have accepted our Spanglish language. It is the utmost priority that we represent our culture and heritage every day to our audience, and we are proud to serve the Dominican Republic. It’s beautiful to see how the Latinas in this country are taking ownership of their culture, standing up for our beliefs, having that voice, and empowering one another!
5. What type of woman is a part of your brand and wears your clothes? What kind of woman represents the brand?
Our girl is universal. She is culture, and she is diverse, she is feminine, she is beautiful, she strives to show up and hold her head high in confidence and represent truly who she IS.
We named our girl, Lolita, she’s effortless, she’s feminine, she’s tropical, she enjoys laying by the beach sipping her mojito and listening to her playlist. We hope to have at least one piece of her in each one of the U.S.
6. What do you have in store for your audience? What can we look forward to in the future?
YAY, so many FUN things we are working on for all the JEFAS out there!!! Two secrets we will spillllll for the audience at Brenley Magazine, we are creating a platform called “SPOKEN JEFAS.” This is a space designated to uplift the voices of Jefas, walk you through the reality of the hustle, expose with real transparency your inner soul, and strive to empower women collectively. Monthly we will highlight one JEFA. We want our girls to resonate with each personality, to feel they are part of our community, and most importantly, they are beautiful just the way they are. Second, we are working on a program where Posh Palma Styles represents women-led brands, designers, and artisans in our space while supporting fair trade if applicable and giving each Jefa the visibility deserved for their craftsmanship and creative work. There are more, but we hope you subscribe and stay updated with us, we love you!!!
7. What is something that you want the public to know about your business?
We are here to create CHANGE- to disrupt the norms of any industry, to have this space where women FEEL, where there’s no judgment, where we celebrate every WIN, where we support, we empower, we uplift with LOVE.
8. What is something that you have learned while starting your own business?
We believe everyone should stand clear and robust of their “WHY” when you start your own business. What is it that you love, what motivates you? Why would you wake up every day and do the same thing? This journey is severe, it’s insensible at times, it is long, it’s exhausting, it’s non-stop, it doesn’t have a schedule, this is why we must genuinely love what we do. During those not so pretty days, we remember our WHY, and that alone will uplift us and keep us going. Anything you do from the heart turns into beauty, remember that.
9. On your website, you say that you want women to express themselves through “Fashion, Community, Love, Cultura, Women Empowerment, and Lifestyle.” What does that look like to you with your business? How can you help women achieve this?
One of our favorite quotes by Blake Lively- “Confidence is the most beautiful thing a woman can wear.”
We at Posh Palma Styles are creating a lifestyle brand, a community, space where women feel happy and vibe with us. The fact that we sell clothes is a plus. It’s an outlet for our girl to feel good in her skin, it’s a bit psychological (although this is not our field) we know. It’s proven that when a woman wakes up, does her hair and makeup, and dresses up in what makes her happy, her mood is instantly impacted. The woman is ready to conquer her goals, make things happen, and create, which we want our JEFAS to know. We are in this together, we accept and love you at all times with no judgment. We also want to praise you, to make you feel like the queen you are, to help you put that crown on daily, even on those days its a bit tilted and might fall off, we got your back, that’s a community, that’s the accountability that’s Posh Palma Styles.