Wednesday, July 1, 2009

William Lopez >

William Lopez, Founder and CEO, Gregorio.

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
To be an entrepreneur you need to have a vision and the fortitude to make your dream a reality. It’s like seeing through the eyes of a child: Anything is possible, No limits and Thinking outside the box.

What did inspire you to start your business?
What inspired me to start Gregorio was my realization that what I wore as a professional did not express who I was from a cultural standpoint. I see many Latinos succeeding in the United States and I wanted to celebrate it and express it via fashion.

How did you finance it?
Like many entrepreneurs, I saved and received help from a variety of business folks with various disciplines.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
It has everything to do with my business. All of our designs are rooted in Latino culture telling a story that transcend boundaries and appeal to anyone who likes to be on the cutting edge of fashion.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
I think it’s more of how you think. I work a lot on positive thinking and stay away from cynical thinking. I focus on five key behaviors: awareness, acceptance, letting go, taking risks and generating.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Our current economy is challenging everyone. We are analyzing several bright spots in the apparel industry and are developing new line extensions.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
Gregorio is a young company and in the field of play there are moving parts which we are modifying continuously. In a few years I should be able to narrow down my response.

What was your childhood ambition?
As a child I wanted to be a Formula One racecar driver. However, I also had a vision that I would be president of a large corporation.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
The entrepreneurs I admire are Thomas Edison for his tenacity, Bill Gates/Paul Allen for their vision and Jesús Chavarría for giving Latinos a platform of inspiration.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
I like lunch for business meetings.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
It’s a balancing act with the family activities. As an entrepreneur you are “on” 24/7, therefore, I think my relationship with my wife suffers the most, however, we both understand that we are a team and we take on life one day at a time.

What is your favorite quote?
My favorite quote is from Thomas Edison, “I haven’t failed; I’ve just succeeded in finding 999 ways how not to do it.”

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Yes, but think of our world without computers, ipods, Amazon, cell phones etc.

Biggest mistake made?
I have made many but overall I think it boils down to seeing an opportunity and not capitalizing on that opportunity.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, I consider myself an innovator. Successful businesses understand that growth is achieved when innovation is constant. A business will not stay alive if they continue to conduct business as usual.

About the Company
Gregorio is a new apparel company rooted in Latino culture, celebrating the vibrant spirit of Latino life with a unique elegant line of men's neckwear. These stunning handmade one-of-a-kind 100% premium silk ties, known in Spanish as Corbatas, feature designs that carry over the exquisite colors and images of the Latino culture more often observed through art, architectural styles and pottery.

Our goal is to dress today's fashion conscious person for their day at the office or for the social professional occasion with an accessory which allows him or her to feel the pride and exhibit the beauty of the Latino culture.

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