GRINDING: Yacira Valdez

1. Name/Alias:
Yacira, Yacque, s’aint yacque, cocolah, Yah

2.Where are you from/ Where do you currently live?:
Originally from Dominican Republic now I reside in lil DR, Inwood, aka Washington Heights

3. Where did/do you go to school and your major?:
Fashion Industries High School, Courses here and there FIT, New School, Art Institute, Parsons, SVA (Education should be free!!!)

4. What is your Grind?:
Aside from the freelance 9am till the job gets done, I…design jewelry and accessories, co-owner and restorer of YakBlak Vintage sunglasses, artist and fashion designer and more to come real, real soon……My pride and joy is my newly launched designers collective website www.cocolah.com along with the blog www.cocolah.com/blog.

5. How did you get into what you’re doing now?:
I’ve always loved fashion, but if i had it my way I’d be shopping couture, that’s real. I really got into design out of necessity….my money was real tight for many years so I learned how to thrift and make accessories and look cute on a dime. I love thrifting but I would rather shop at Barneys, Neimans, all day any day. sigh.

6. When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?:
As a kid I didn’t see myself in the future, that’s why everyday is exciting to me. I can’t believe I’ve made it this far and that I have empowered myself in a way that allows me to help others.

7. What are some contributing factors that shaped the life you live now?:
Growing up I lived with many different relatives, I was a floater. Never really had my own space, let alone clothes, everything I owned was borrowed or stolen after it was borrowed, still I managed to have my own style. By any means necessary. I don’t know anything else but the Grind.

8. Any specific people that mentored or helped guide you to your current path?:
The voice inside me that kept telling me not to give up. My son for giving me a reason to keep pushing.

9. What motivates you?:
My new found sense of self and the realization that I have the “it” that makes a person successful and unstoppable. Leaving a legacy, making my money old money that I can pass down to my grand kids and great grand kids.

10. Your favorite author and why?:
This is hard I cant choose one! Rumi for his complex simplicity. Neruda for seeing the beauty in everything. Octavia Butler for the genius of seeing the underside, inner side and over side of the universe.

11. What are 3 goals you want to achieve within the next year?:

Making www.cocolah.com one of the top underground fashion sites on the international circuit, big press, and making enough money so I can take a year off from the 9-5 so I can focus full fledged on my businesses.

12. One person that continuously inspires you and why?:
I hate to say it but P. Diddy for his business sense, dedication and hustle. All the ridiculousness he does is making him a mogul. I’m not impressed with what he’s pushing but I learn a lot by the way he’s playing the game.

13. 3 Indie brands you LOVE to rock?:
S’aint Yacque, Yakblak and 21MC

14. What annoys you the most?:
Not having enough time to work on all my projects, not having enough money to pay someone to help.

15. Your best quality?: PASSION

www.cocolah.com

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2 Responses to “GRINDING: Yacira Valdez”

  1. budgetdiva Says:

    I love this. Thanks for continue to share what is new and fresh and who we should be paying attention to. I always come back to your site for independent inspiration.

  2. Nina Says:

    Love this post. One I can relate to. Very inspiring!!!

    Keep it up lady!


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