Meet Marisa Gonzales - Interview by Canvas Rebel
Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Marisa Gonzales. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Marisa, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Do you have any thoughts about how to create a more inclusive workplace?
As a small business owner, female minority, mother and someone who’s experienced chronic health issues, inclusiveness (or lack thereof) is what got me here.
After having worked in the corporate world and experiencing the rigidness of their policies towards women and employees with chronic health issues, I knew that I wanted to do better. And that’s why, I try to create an inclusive and sympathetic workspace (in my home office) and with the people I work and network with.
I’m very much family and health-focused in my business. And I want my clients and contractors to feel that they can value the same without shame. Each of us has our own immediate family, business, and so many other responsibilities to juggle. So when our children get sick, or we get sick, I encourage them (they do the same for me) to prioritize their wellness and the wellness of their families.
It’s what keeps us from burning out. And what allows us to grow our missions with an open heart and mind.
Part of keeping an open mind and being inclusive in the workplace, includes honoring the needs of disabled people and providing them with the tools and support they need to achieve their goals. My goal is to embrace their challenges and find out what their passion is. So they can work in their zone of genius and feel fulfilled – without me getting in their way due to lack of understanding.
Our life purpose is important. And we are all trying to make the best of our circumstances while achieving our purpose. So we can leave a legacy that we are proud of. And the best way to get there is to support one another throughout the journey.
Marisa working away surrounded by cultural inspiration in her design studio.
Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.
“Pursue what you love and are passionate about. Because you’re only going to live once. So make it the best possible life you can.”
These were my father’s words to me (as he was recovering from open-heart surgery).
And it’s those words and the encouragement of my late aunt that started my journey towards launching my boutique design agency, Marisa Gonzales Studios, LLC in May 2019.
You could say that those events were pivotal to where I am now. But my passion for graphic design started in my junior/senior year in high school.
It was not a linear journey. It was more like a fork in the road, took a right into the medical field (as physical therapist), and then took a hard left to my passion of design through business ownership.
Through this journey, I developed my empathetic and storytelling skills. I grew to understand that art is expressed in every interaction we have with the world. And that art is a great way to communicate with and connect with one another.
It’s the way I’ve approached design over the last 3.5 years into my business as a visual design strategist and website design/developer.
And it’s the way I help female consultants increase their leads and build brand authority through website design, custom branding, SEO, and accessibility.
What sets me apart from other designer’s is who I am and the lens from which I design.
I’m a Latina-American designer who has experienced what it’s like to be raised in the US while facing American biases toward people of color like myself. I also carry the lived experience of not feeling “Mexican enough” because I’m not bilingual. Although I’ve learned about my culture and celebrate it, I’m neither here nor there…always in-between.
Through this lens, I have perspective from both sides which has made me adaptive and influences my design work.
From a certification perspective, I recently earned my Kansas MBE/WBE/DBE certification. And I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design.
My design process is critical to the success of our working relationship. First and foremost, collaboration between my client and I is crucial to my creativity in my business. After reviewing the answers in my lead questionnaires, this helps me get a sense of my client’s persona. If I feel we may be a good fit, the potential client and I will have a discovery call to discuss her business needs, share his/her story, and answer any questions one of us may have.
I follow my gut to determine if this potential client and I are a good fit because that is one of the most important details that will either make or break our working relationship.
Once we have agreed to work together and I’ve onboarded my client, our journey begins with a kick-off call. Inside, we discuss more in-depth the client’s vision, target audience details (if known; otherwise I do the market research), communication preferences, project milestones, and deadlines for asset deliverables.
After final design approval, I develop the website and/or branding. Once the website goes live, then the client will have post-website support for up to 4-weeks depending on the package.
If the client chose the branding package, then all deliverables will be sent to them via portal or Google Drive. And voila, your brand authority journey begins!
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
For purpose-driven womxn
I help female consultants strategically design responsive websites to educate, generate leads and build authority with an emphasis on accessibility.
Please let me know if you have any branding, WordPress website design, or any graphic design questions. I’d love to help!
Or if you have design suggestions of what you want to read in your email or blog posts, please let me know.
Blessings + Virtual Abrazos