Knowing How To Build A Business That Will Last Decades

With Top Mexican Artist Gilda Garza
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The following is a conversation between Larry and Gilda Garza from episode #125 of the MDM podcast.

LW: I am with one of the stars of Instagram—people just know and love her brand. 

She owns a gallery, Reine Gallery, which is queen in French. She chose that name because some of her frequent subjects are kings and queens.

Gilda, it’s unbelievable what you’ve been able to do so far! We often don’t know how our background and our training influences us because it is our foundation. In your case, those years were not wasted that you spent becoming an accountant because you learned how to instinctively keep things organized.

Thats a huge help in any business especially in art because there is so much involved. This has allowed you to not only start your career in art but do the things that will turn it into a long term business, right from the start.

For example, you instinctively keep up with details and keep things structured. This gave you an incredible advantage when you decided to pursue your real passion which is painting. Its one thing to create art, its another thing to keep up with your various creations so that you can exhibit and market them.

By putting the structure in place, you allow yourself to make it marketable because you always know what inventory you have and all the details about each piece. You have an inventory and as you start to do exhibits and move your art to various galleries around the world you are able to keep up where everything is.

You not only have are, you have a business model in place where year after year, it can grow and compound. Anytime a client or gallery owner asks you about a particular piece of art, you know how to locate it and make it available.

Another great decision you made was not only to make art but build a brand. You wanted to build a brand, a very particular brand, a brand associated with luxury.

That has influenced all of your decisions.

When did you get the idea that this could be a permanent thing?

GG: Since I started my first exhibition I knew I had a passion for art.

I saw how people like to invest in Andy Warhol and they bought his first paintings for $2,000 and now that’s a great investment. Now those people have millions of dollars hanging on their walls because they have increased in value.

If you look at how the artists work and how they build their brand and in the collaboration they’re doing . . . you’re not just buying a piece of furniture that you’re going to sell for $200, you’re buying a piece of art.

That’s an investment.

I always wanted my art to be an investment. I don’t want to ship much, make it cheaper or nothing.

I have my goal. I read about all these big artists like Jeff Koons, he’s selling his art very expensive and he’s alive. He didn’t die to make it happen.

You can't accomplish anything if you go through life afraid. Click To Tweet

Why not me?

LW: Right.

You got that idea after the first show. Are you doing anything in particular? You’re just trying to get as big as possible and get as many contacts?

GG: They’re opportunities. If I have an opportunity, I never miss it.

I fight for my dreams and I have a focus on my life. Whatever is going to make my brand bigger and better. I’m there.

LW: Yes!

People will look at it and say there’s gotta be some formula. She followed some game plan formula, but it’s basically you building yourself by doing the right things, treating people right.

Building friendships.

You’ve got to build relationships and friendships with people in situations that are going to be around.

GG: Yes. They’re good things.

I prefer to be walking by myself. I don’t like sitting with people that is going to break me down like bad energies.

If you’re with the right people and you start a business, I’m going to do my best to help them.

If you hear our conversation, it’s about building us and our next project.

You should say something like “I’m going to connect you with this person”.

That’s the kind of energy that I like. I’m not about gossip and talking about other people. No. I’m business one hundred percent.

LW: Yes!

You have a purpose to what you’re doing there. The other thing is to keep your eyes open and look for whatever opportunities come across.

Sometimes the smallest thing can turn into something big.

How did you find that and get into Vegas?

GG: I was in, I make these events in Mexico City, but they just give me the venue.

I will make nothing, but I throw a big party and then I make another event in Art Basel.

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Over there I have a friend that works for Caesar Palace. And there’s a gallery in Vegas that they invite me to make an event in Las Vegas.

And I was like “Oh great!”.  I should make the after party at Caesar Palace. So all my friends and I say to him “I’m going to be making an event in the gallery. All my friends are going to be there.  Can we get a table in the nightclub?”

The next three days we were at the Caesar Palace and The Bellagio.

The males here, they like that I’m a woman and I’m Mexican.

That’s how I got into this at Caesar’s palace.

LW: Timing, timing. How far down the road do you look?

You know corporations, like five and 10-year plans and everything. Most businesses when they start, they said, that’s a joke.

I’m just trying to get to the end of the month, you know?

How do you look at planning and how do you look at how you can get the most out of the next year?

Do you look at a year? How can I get the most out of today?

GG: I never expected Ceasar Palace inviting me to have an event, but I make the best video promotions.

I invite all my friends. Everybody was gorgeous.

They were so happy with me after that they invite me the next year and the next year.

LW: Unbelievable.

Well, you’re such an encouragement and such a bright star.

I know that you’re going to be making events, making headway, making a name for yourself for years to come and it’s going to be fun to see it happen.

Now I know what’s happening behind the scenes because you have to have solid foundation.

Everyone has critics. How do you deal with critics?

GG: I don’t know.

When I make an event, people talk about that and I’m just focusing on my business and my art and I tried to do the best.

I want people to talk about that the next day and the next day, and to say to everybody how great it was.

I want to make an experience.

LW: You just gave the perfect answer to that.

You didn’t know that I was going to ask you that, but you just gave the perfect answer because  you have people that are afraid of failure.

I’m afraid this will happen. I’m afraid that it’ll go wrong.

The people who accomplish things like Gilda, regardless, what arena of life is why it’s so great to hear it from the art world.

You can’t accomplish anything if you go through life afraid, you got to be on the attack, you’ve got to be more, you got to be more excited about what you’re going to do and how much fun it’s going to be.

There’s no excuse not to do something great if it’s in your heart to do it.

GG: Know your strengths and follow your dreams. Don’t wait for somebody to knock on the door. You wake up and fight for your dreams.

LW: Yes, fantastic! I’m so proud of you, so excited about what you’re doing and I’m going to really enjoy your progress moving forward. 

Leave your comment below with your takeaway from Mexican Artist Gilda Garza’s insights on knowing how to build a business that will last decades.

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