#AOBOSSBABE FEATURING DANIÉ GOMEZ-ORTIGOZA
Danié is a businesswoman, artist, mother & wife living in Miami. You may know her by her signature scarf braid. Follow her blog Journey of a Braid and you are guaranteed to be inspired every day.
First, tell us the origin of your beautiful braid…
The braid is my feminist manifesto, and it’s a reflection of my culture: it weaves together all the different journeys that have made me who I am. It started when I put together a delegation of the top 50 women leaders in Mexico, presided by Salma Hayek, for the Women’s Forum for Economy and Society in Deauville. That’s when I discovered the feminist in me, and where the Floridian Frida braid was born. My then boss, JC Agid, gave me an Hermes scarf as a thank you gift, that I mixed with the braid I was already doing. Everyday, as I tie the final knot, I think of a woman who I can help that day in some way to make her rise. It has changed my life.
You got your start in marketing, how did you transition from your job to blogging full time?
For many years I was the digital voice of many brands, among them Volkswagen Canada. After working as a Correspondent for Glamour Mexico and Latin America, I realized I also had a voice, and my journey and struggles could help others feel less lonely, and I decided to garner that power and use it to talk about the things I care for: building community, empowering women, Latin American design, and the journey of simply being a woman in this strange world. It was scary to take the initial jump, but so very worth it.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to make blogging their full time job?
Make sure you have a message and a purpose. Don’t stay in the surface. The human in you is what makes your journey worth following. Do good, and make sure you have other sources of income, otherwise you’ll sell yourself low. I do marketing, consulting and write for different media on the side. I’m also creating a brand of scarves. If I didn’t, I would have to do a lot of sponsored content that doesn’t fit my brand, and that would ruin my message.
Being a mother, how do you separate work duties from family time?
Some days I’m a very good mother, others I’m a very good journalist/influencer. Sometimes I’m a good wife, and I always do everything I can to be a good friend. Even though it’s impossible to find balance, I’ve just learned to forgive myself for the things that 24hours a day doesn’t allow me to do. Weekends I’m off. I rarely go out; it’s just the four of us.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Lots of running. I wake up around 6:30 am and prepare a power smoothie and breakfast for the family. I get my boys dressed and ready for school while I get ready as well. I drive them them at 8:30, finish getting ready and start meetings around 9:30. I dedicate two days a week to meetings, and the rest to planning content, working on my scarf brand, and creating concepts for photoshoots. I pick up my boys at 4pm and take them to whatever special class they have, prep dinner, prep them for bed and often go out on work events after I put them to bed. I try to be in bed by midnight.
Where do you hope to see Journey of a Braid take you?
There are three things I want: 1- I can’t wait to have my scarf brand ready: if I’m successful, it will give me the courage to start creating fair-trade products, hand in hand with artisans in Mexico and materializing my universe. 2- I want to continue creating visual journeys: I love evoking feelings through images and the power of fashion. Would love to turn those journeys into a book someday. 3- I’m in the process of creating video content for my platforms, to share the stories of some of the amazing people I meet everyday. It’s only through stories that we can make sense of the world, and empower others.
What is your favorite part about your career?
Every single day I wake up excited for what’s to come, and I can see that women relate to my journey, and there’s nothing more valuable than knowing that you are touching someone else’s life in some way. Social Media is a wonderful gift, and finding my voice and not being afraid to use it has been a blessing.
How does Miami inspire your personal style?
The sun is the perfect excuse to fill my closet with color! I’ve met some of the most determined and inspiring women in this city. It’s the melting point of Latin America, mixed with American ambition and work values. This makes me want to be the best version of myself, and that is reflected on my personal style. It took me so many years, and I had to live in so many countries, to find this, and to feel at home.
We are new to Miami, and have one day to explore, what should we do?
Spend the morning at PAMM, and have a cafecito at their restaurant. Head over to Mandolin for lunch and people watching, walk and explore Wynwood, then head over to the Bass Museum and have late dinner at Pao (Faena). When you are done, take a night walk on the beach... and enjoy the silence.
What does being an AO Boss Babe mean to you?
Being an AO Boss Babe means being a part of Stacey’s Universe, and that is an absolute honor. Ever since I saw her for the first time, I could see that she understood the power of fashion as a reflection of the self. She has been able to bring into the matter her vision of the world. How powerful and empowering is that? And there’s a message behind it, there’s feminism, there’s inclusion, there’s a woman taking risks to be able to make a mark in the world, and there’s the dream of fashion at its best.