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Meet Cindy Flores of SoulReel Ventures in Hollywood and Ventura

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindy Flores.

Cindy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In 2013, I was a fresh commodities broker. I was happily adjusting to a new office, closer to my family, when I was diagnosed with a large ovarian cyst and I went in for a routine surgery to have it removed. I was supposed to be back at work, selling fruit around the world, in a few days and instead remained in the hospital, the first time, for over 30 days. The surgeon had knicked my intestine during the surgery and didn’t believe my level of pain until five days later when I was dying of sepsis. I left that hospital with a series of complications that six years later, I still endure on a daily basis. I was in a wheelchair for two solid years. That “routine” surgery changed the course of my life. I had always wanted to work in entertainment but followed life in other directions. The desire for Hollywood never left my heart. In 2016 still, essentially, in my wheelchair, cut in half, and in terrible pain, I read that a director was going to interview Danny Trejo in Oxnard. I mustered up the energy and went to see the on-stage interview. After the show, inspired, I made my way to thank and chat with the director and briefly shared my story. Although I was physically extremely limited, I knew I had great skills and with nothing to lose, nothing to do, and the desire to live I was motivated to offer my help. Little by little, I was given tasks as the director’s assistant and six months later, I was Producing that same show that I went to see that fateful night. Since then, I have worked with and become friends with many famous Latinos in entertainment. People like Esai Morales, Luis Guzman, and Cheech Marin. I’ve had the honor of sharing space with Alanna Ubauch and Kate Del Castillo, Val Kilmer, Stan Lee, and countless others. I’ve developed a career as a Freelance Producer and am on the staff of the Panamanian International Film Festival serving as Associate Producer. The legendary Fernando Allende has utilized me as his coordinator. I regularly freelance with PR agencies and own a small artisan boutique in the beautiful beach town of Ventura; BlackBird Trading Company (BBTC). BBTC is a small retail shop that highlights makers and crafters from all over SoCal. I also am developing a documentary film and other fun film projects. I am blessed to be alive and functioning as well as I do. I have a big story to share with the world and want to develop an enrichment program in which I grow a team to help motivate others through example and action. I want to inspire others to know that we all can achieve our goals no matter our circumstances.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The last few years have been extremely challenging. I suffer daily complications from a botched surgery. The biggest hardship is daily chronic pain. I also have endured a series of corrective surgeries and still have weekly doctor appointments that I must keep. Physically, I am limited on what I can do but mentally I know I am capable of so much more and the biggest challenge for me is respecting both my motivation and my physical limitations. In addition, when you have a chronic medical condition, you lose a lot of friends. My social circle and emotional support system are very small. I have had to rely on my Father and best friend for financial and emotional support throughout the last six years. I would not be able to pursue my dreams in Hollywood if it weren’t for the two of them. Not to mention opening a store in 2018! That endeavor was a huge leap of faith and continues to be physically and financially very demanding.

What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of? What sets you apart from others?
My life in Hollywood gives me the opportunity to use my imagination and utilize all the skills I’ve developed in life and in business. I take pride in performing a job well-done. Because I’m so responsible and strong at coordinating and producing-the greatest honor for me, with my freelance gigs, is that I get offered more opportunities for work! People seek me out and that is a great compliment. I have accounting skills, negotiating skills, strong interpersonal skills, I can handle high-stress situations with grace, patience, and humor, and am utterly a team player that expects fairness. I’m known for being intuitive, proactive, diligent, extra helpful, determined, and positive.

Having a brick and mortar business gives me space to truly highlight other creatives. I was once an artisan crafter, in another life, and I respect people who make things with their hands. I wanted to open a store that gives others an opportunity to shine. I believe my little store hangs on in this tough economy because my underlying goal is to serve others. Most customers who come in stay and chat for hours and nearly always leave with a hug.

What were you like growing up?
I was an active child, I was always playing outside and was super imaginative. I spent a lot of time daydreaming, writing plays and acting them out in school or with neighborhood kids. We moved around a lot and I always made friends easily. Although I attended several schools, I maintained honor roll and was a great speller! I’m typically the first to introduce myself and developed the skill to connect with anyone very quickly.

Contact Info:

  • Address: BlackBird Trading Company, 433 E. Main Street #16, Ventura, CA 93001
  • Phone: 805-833-9662
  • Email: cflo@soulreelventures.com and info@blackbirdtradingco.org
  • Instagram: @venturablackbird and @cincyncan

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