Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmen Vera.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Carmen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
The best word I can explain with how I got to where I am is simply: experimentation. I never knew what I wanted to do specifically. I am sure I am not alone in this. We have so much pressure on us as teenagers to decide our career for the next 30-40 years when we haven’t even turned 18 yet. What I did know was that I wanted to do something great and wonderful. I wanted to give back to the world in a positive way. For me, that was creating and performing.
Growing up, I always loved the creative process. It was exhilarating to see my creations from my mind go onto paper and then to something before me. I got so much satisfaction from it. I knew that crafting something and bringing it into existence was special. I had loved writing at a young age. I was able to compose and organize my thoughts through language arts. When I had written my first “book” in the 3rd grade, I knew I was hooked. It was a few pieces of paper that I had stapled together with two pieces of construction paper on the outside for the cover. It makes me smile looking back!
I was a huge music buff. I loved anything and everything about music. I had always been a part of a choir or musical performance group. From elementary school all the way up to being a senior in high school, I had participated in competitive show choir. I had taken private voice lessons and was taught music theory since a young age. This brought me so much joy.
I loved my drama classes too! I found happiness performing and expressing myself through the art of singing, dance, and theatre. I grew up very shy, so the combination of performing brought me out of my shell. I am thankful I put myself out there as an adult.
Designing was something I had always had an interest in and taken it up later as an adult. I have since created several graphic design clothing collections in which I take much pride in. I am completely self-taught.
As a kid, I pretended to have my own radio shows and I would record each episode on a cassette tape (I don’t want to date myself, ha, ha!). I would interview my friends who came over and were “celebrities”. We would pretend to have segments and go to commercial breaks—just like the real deal! I’ll never forget my Hello Kitty radio I would record on. I finally got my chance this year in the real world to be a part of radio. Through networking, I had the opportunity to be the host of my very own radio show.
My dad had always believed in helping others. I believe in giving back to the community, so I wanted to start a nonprofit organization.
Travel is also very important for the mind and grows you as a person. I wanted to travel, so I have incorporated it into my lifestyle.
In all, I had always been led by my passions and had never let that waver. I allowed my interests to lead the multiple paths in my career.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Anyone who tells you that it’s a smooth road is lying or has had their reality distorted by alcohol or substances (ha, ha). I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a success story that has been “easy”. I would say a lot of my struggles was the backlash from the different stages of my life. I was bullied so much through school and especially middle school. I think back at those times and get very sad, but at the same time it prepared me for the real world. I learned from a young age that life was not all rainbows and sunshine. I learned to deal with hate, jealously, and disappointment at such a young age. When I learned how to accept the negativity, I was able to form my own way in how to cope. Luckily, I had so many extracurricular activities and interests I was involved in to channel those emotions.
Now that I was exposed to the truth that not everyone will love what you do, it was much easier to digest. Though it wasn’t a pleasant experience, I was now equipped with the tool of: people will always have something to say, so do what you want. I did exactly that. It is one of the most powerful tools that I have. The bullying never really does go away, and it only gets heavier as an adult. But it doesn’t matter because I have had a lot of practice now (LOL). I had to learn how to control my emotions because I couldn’t let anyone make me lose focus.
I remember how those feelings felt when people were so mean to me, so I always make it a point to reach out to people—especially the young ones to provide a safe space for them. I’ve always believed that being nice was the best policy. You never know when someone needs it the most. The simplest smile can do so much for someone. I continue to lift others up as much as I can.
Instead of holding these feelings in, I run to my creativity or in which I had always called my “safe haven” where I could have a healthy way to cope instead of holding it in. The more I was hated on, the more and more I had pushed myself to become better—I had used that energy to propel me in writing, singing, performing, creating, etc. I got a pretty thick skin in the process. I believe that my enemies ended up being a pivotal role to helping me succeed and achieve my dreams.
Tell me I can’t, and I’ll do it twice, AND take selfies! 🙂
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My name is Carmen Vera and I am completely self-owned, self-taught, and self-managed. Everything I have has been built by my own hands, and of course, with a great manicure! To be honest, I think the list for what I DON’T do would be shorter (hee-hee!).
I am a published author of 5 works. My book titles are: British Men Destroyed My Life, The Letter S, Worthless Gold Coins, Before You, Grayspace, and in the works: Try Thai. This is a recipe book for authentic Thai recipes. In process is a podcast by Grayspace, and a YouTube cooking channel series for Try Thai.
I am designer of a few graphic design collections. I have Carmen Vera Clothing which is also known as my “Petty Wear”, Hoe Airlines, to feature my love for aviation, Carmen Vera Kids, for the young ones, and Rich Sweetie, in which I am partnered with Scott Gaines. I truly have so much fun with all of this! I can’t wait to see what’s next!
I am looking to expand myself as a musician and singer. I am currently writing an album. Details to be released in the next upcoming year.
I take pride in my radio show VEGAS ON BLAST with my cohost, Kiara Dupree. We are based in Las Vegas, NV and we dish out latest gossip and hot tea. Happy to say that we stream from a studio—no more Hello Kitty CD/cassette player required!
I believe it is always great to give back, so I’ve begun a nonprofit organization for the children of Thailand in honor of my late father’s memory. This nonprofit organization donates to children who are underprivileged. We help them by giving them things such as clothing, shoes, blankets, school supplies, etc. We also teach them the sport of baseball to provide them with a physical activity as an outlet. We accept donations and volunteers. Visit www.gofundme.com/baseballforthethaichildren for more information.
I absolutely love traveling and think its absolutely crucial to not stay in one place all the time. I make it a point to continuously travel and expand my knowledge on culture and people. All in all, I have always followed all my passions. I never had a set direction, except for really to move. Keep on, keepin’ on!
All of what I do can be found on my site: www.thecarmenvera.com.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My late father had always told me I was very talented and that I should use all of my gifts and share them with the world. I was able to get where I was because of the work ethic my father had instilled in me. If you’ve ever had a Thai pepper, it’s spicy–and that is my mother! She always told me to bring the flavor, and if they didn’t like it, then they couldn’t handle the spice! Having great parents contributed to a lot of who I became as an adult. I am thankful for both of them each day.
I think a big factor is surrounding yourself by positive people. Truly cutting out those that are negative will allow yourself to see a world that will only bring you a happy mindset.
The cliche “never giving up” is already half the battle. If you can’t find a path, you MacGyver one and make your own way. I had always prided myself on the ability to create a solution when there’s a problem. In a world that is always trying to bring you down, rise above! You’ll never underestimate what a sprinkle of self-confidence, a pair of heels, and great lipstick can do for you!
- Website: www.thecarmenvera.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @carmenvera
- Facebook: facebook.com/theofficialcarmenvera
- Twitter: @thecarmenvera
- Other: www.vegasonblast.com
Victoria Probert, and Griffin Traylor