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Meet Kriselle Gabriel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kriselle Gabriel.

Kriselle, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I fell into entrepreneurship by accident–I started a lifestyle blog in college initially as a journalism portfolio, but after quickly realizing how one could make money off of it, it became the first of many side hustles for me. When it came to creating Empowered in Color, I created it from noticing throughout my life growing up in Carson/Long Beach and going to college in Orange County how different communities had different amounts of access to resources that help lead to success. I chose to make Empowered in Color a social enterprise because I believe that for-profit businesses *can* make a profit but still be deeply tied to a cause and be ethical in how it’s run. Over time as I’ve gotten more into social justice, I’ve integrated that more and more into my business because I believe that entrepreneurship can be a powerful tool for justice for marginalized communities if used correctly.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has not, but it has always been worth it! One of my biggest struggles: depression/undiagnosed ADHD. In 2019, I went through a pretty deep depression that prevented me from doing anything I loved. People couldn’t tell at a glance because I was still going to work at my day job and hanging out with friends (as an escape for me), but I couldn’t bring myself to work on the projects I was most passionate about. Thanks to therapy and medication among other things, I began feeling better but still struggled with the work I truly wanted to do and later learned I had ADHD. After receiving help on that, I was placed on medication and it has been absolutely life-changing for my business because I’m able to be the most consistent I’ve ever been and am able to continue the “grind” even when there’s nothing particularly exciting happening.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a social entrepreneur, content creator, and activist. I specialize in talking about entrepreneurship, diversity & inclusion, and social justice. I speak about how all those things are tied in together and how systemic barriers can prevent even some of the most hardworking people from becoming successful, which many entrepreneurs fail to acknowledge. I use that lens to help people not only work hard but navigate obstacles that may be in our way through connection, representation, and access to resources. I’m most proud of being able to have spoken at a Christian conference on racial reconciliation last year prior to the start of the pandemic and for my podcast having been nominated for our first award at the end of 2020 as well.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Use social media to network! Especially with the pandemic and not being able to attend in-person gatherings for over a year, I always tell people to network on social media! Most of my career and opportunities have been as a result of being connected to people via the internet. Facebook groups are an obvious one, but be intentional with connecting with people on Instagram and Twitter as well. If you aren’t comfortable with using your personal social media accounts for networking, create a separate account to use to create content relevant to your career or intended industry you’d like to be in a while connecting with people you can possibly collaborate with or be hired by in the future. So many people only use social media for personal uses which is fine but it’s such a missed opportunity not to use it to further your career. I would say you can make more meaningful connections on Instagram and Twitter over LinkedIn, despite its purpose being for professional networking.

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Image Credits:

Personal Photo credit: Podcast Movement Evolutions

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