Today we’d like to introduce you to Elizabeth Marie Ayala.
Elizabeth Marie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was a little girl, I loved dressing up, throwing solo fashion shows, playing with barbies, and making what I thought were revolutionary one of a kind pieces with my grandmother for all of my models (barbies) to wear. I stayed up way too late watching 13 Going on 30, and six years old me was so ambitious as to climb on top of countertops to reach the cabinet that housed wine glasses so that I could pour milk in it with a strawberry hanging on the brim of the glass. I thought I was drinking a piña colada like Jenna Rink at the POISE magazine party.
I share a glimpse of this story with you because although it may seem minuscule it shaped me as a woman and who I wanted to become. Jenna Rink was and is my hero. She embodied who I wanted to be when I grew up; a big time magazine editor with killer style, a fabulous apartment owner in the big apple, and a woman who was dancing to Thriller with the love of her life. She was fashion! What I didn’t know at the age of six that I have learned as I grew into a woman is that fashion is a way of life. It’s not just the clothes that you wear on your back, or the designer bag hanging in your closet. It’s how you treat others, the way you take care of yourself, and the decisions you make.
My way of life led me to be a relatively quiet girl in high school. I hid behind a camera and wanted to tell the story of others. I became the editor of yearbook, started a school magazine, and eventually developed a pop-up prom dress drive my senior year. The idea of being a part of another individual’s way of life seemed so magical to me. In some way shape or form, I could be with someone on the most important days of their lives. How special is that? Because of this thinking, I decided to make the trek to San Francisco and attend FIDM to study fashion design. All I can say is that I am so grateful for the experience to have studied alongside some of the kindest and most talented designers. Even more than that, I was guided by the most incredible mentors who were eager to make us the best we could be each and every day.
Post graduation was a mix of emotions. I felt victorious yet empty. The next big transition in my life was present. What next, and who was I in this new phase? In a time where I felt so alone, I traveled back to my younger self and began to build the way of life I saw for my future self; thus the birth of DYNAMO GAL, an online lifestyle & fashion magazine. Big time magazine editor here I come!
Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t think anyone has a “smooth road.” Something that I want to do a series on down the road for DYNAMO GAL is toxicity within a family dynamic. My family like many others in the world is nowhere near perfect. There’s been a lot of hurt, name blaming, and accusations. For a while there was this fire burning all life in my family, and now…well now there’s soot all around. I struggled with the idea that I didn’t belong anywhere because if I couldn’t trust my family who could I trust? Part of being vulnerable is allowing someone to see all of you without walls up to hide the hurt, the ugly, and the anger. It’s hard to be vulnerable with no trust. One day I just decided that I was all I needed. I can be a warrior, armed with strength, but I can also be soft, filled with grace. Working on my inner self and working through my pain in order to have a platform where I can be transparent is all I have ever wanted. For a long time, I made the mistake of believing everyone else. Today, I choose to trust and believe myself.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Dynamo Gal – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
DYNAMO GAL is an online fashion and lifestyle magazine. As the founder, owner, and editor of the online magazine, I manage all accounts. Part of this responsibility includes responding to all DM’s on Instagram and comments on the magazine website. I utilize analytic data to create relevant grid & story content for my targeted audience, women in their 20s. On the creative side of things, I storyboard and create the monthly editorial narrative on a monthly basis, and execute the vision accordingly. I personally shoot and edit all photos, pre-plan editorial content, and write all articles for the magazine’s categorical content. Another major part of what I do is establishing connections. Before the pandemic hit, DYNAMO GAL was set to be a part of press for LA fashion week. Although that opportunity is no longer relevant, I was however able to make connections. I’m excited for the future! Who knows, maybe one day I’ll be covering Paris fashion week.
DYNAMO GAL is about a way of life. Sharing little pieces of mine and women who inspire me in order to connect a greater collective.
I am most proud about the fact that I feel like I am able to be my most authentic self with the DYNAMO GAL community. As human beings, all we have is our story and the memories within them. I used to be terrified when I would think about something terrible that I wore five years ago, or that thing that I said to a guy I liked. Having an online magazine has helped me be a lot kinder to myself, knowing that none of us out here in the great big world are alone. We all have our own faults, but the biggest self-identifying question in my opinion is not, “are you going to let your faults define you?” but “are you a greater sum than your parts?” With that said, in the spirit of DYNAMO GAL, have fun! Wear that thing that might not be so “hot” in two years, talk to that guy you like, and go vegan! All we have is this moment. Start today to become the person you want to be tomorrow.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I grew up on a street called Winthrop, and the cross section was Las Tunas. When I think about that home and my time living there one word comes to mind: busy. My current city has a lot more of a small town feel to it without having to leave the big city. What I love most that is most prevalent due to the pandemic is the community aspect. Neighbors are leaving buckets of fruit on their driveways for those in need, some are handing out masks, and local restaurants are setting up shop in their dining rooms, selling essential goods. I also love that I am so close to the mountains…I feel a little bit like Julie Andrews in the beginning of The Sound of Music when she’s dancing around singing “the hills are alive with the sound of music!”
The thing I least like about my city? Hm…probably that it’s a little bit out of the way from my friends.
- Website: https://dynamogal.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dynamo.gal/
Image credit: Elizabeth Marie Ayala, March Cover Photo Credit: Katerina Esquivel