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Meet Trailblazer Gabrielle Moya

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabrielle Moya.

Gabrielle, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
For as long as I can remember, I have always had a vision of wanting to run my own business. I’d be constantly thinking of ways I could make that vision a reality.

In September of 2017, I sketched out a drawing of a crab with a surfboard. I remember coming home from work that day, showed my sketch to my parents and my dad said: “Woah, that would look cool on a t-shirt!” I didn’t think much of the sketch until he said those words. I then started thinking and researching “key facts on starting a business”. After I got some crucial steps taken care of, I figured out how I would use my business to make a positive impact on my community.

My family and I have always been passionate about the ocean. We regularly go out on the boat, head to the beach, and love traveling to different islands in the Caribbean. After thinking about what I would do to give back to my community, I thought “why not combine my entrepreneurial mindset with my passion for being near the water?” So, I reached out to the NOAA in the Florida Keys and found out more information on how I could get my business involved in beach/mangrove cleanups on a monthly basis.

Fast-forward two and a half years at 22 years old, myself and my team of supporters have participated in several beach cleanups with the NOAA. My perspective on ocean preservation has shifted tremendously by seeing how much trash and debris are collected at each cleanup event. So crazy that in one of the events, a group of 20 volunteers on kayaks picked up more than 1,740 POUNDS of debris from mangroves.

I am looking forward to the future as I continue growing my apparel business centered around the idea of keeping our oceans clean. From the day I started until now, I have released apparel ranging from tanks to tees, long-sleeves to sunshirts, and caps to sweatshirts.

I wouldn’t have been able to make this dream a reality if it wasn’t for the constant and full support of my parents (Elizabeth and Louis Moya), my brother (Louis Moya Jr.), and some of my closest friends I could definitely call family.

I can’t wait for what the future has in store for me and Blue Kahuna Surf.

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?
Definitely not an easy road due to how new the process was for me, but one with many situations to learn from. I never knew how much effort and time was needed to run a business until I put my mind to it. I was in a “learn as I go” mentality” and would be open to advise from other entrepreneurs and I think that is what helped me launch my business and get me to where I am now.

For any woman who wants to step out of her comfort zone and make her dreams a reality, I say go for it. But you have to give it all you got. Keep your mindset focused on your main goal and what you want to accomplish.

– Stay open to receiving advice.
– Learn from your mistakes.
– Stay up-to-date on social media trends.
– Introduce yourself to new people.
– Always remember to have fun.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
I believe that the people we are today is a result of the people we were in the past. My childhood and the way my parents raised me has a huge role in the person I am today. The constant advice, support, and motivation they gave me (and continue to give) shaped me into the confident woman I am proud to be.

I’ve always been a “go-getter” and I think that is the main reason why I was able to launch my very own business. That type of mentality is special and I realize how important it is to be focused on the main goal. There are times where you want to quit because you don’t think you’ll succeed or you might get a little frustrated because things aren’t working out, but my parents raised me to always see the success of my actions instead of focusing on the “what ifs.”

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