Excited to have connected with fellow NYC-based business owner Pamela Delgado, who is inspiring others through fashion with her brand Rawly Bold. We love her messaging and focus on transparency; she also has an inspiring career journey. You can learn more about her below, as well as Rawly Bold on IG and its website: https://www.rawlybold.com/ where you can shop the collection.
Thank you, Pamela!
Name: Pamela Delgado
Location: New York, New York
Education: Some College
How did you determine what you wanted to study in college?
I originally wanted to be in the music industry but, my parents were not fond of the idea. I figured with a business degree I could tap into more industries vs solely focusing on music. However, due to my family’s financial hardships and my lack of interest, I did not finish.
Walk us through your initial job search strategy and how you landed your first full-time role.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn didn’t exist at the time. I was constantly looking for work on Indeed and Craigslist. Everybody asked for experience and at one point I became frustrated. How am I to gain experience if nobody is willing to give me a chance? I am bilingual in English and Spanish and saw a post from a startup seeking a bilingual administrative assistant. I was 22 at the time. Since I didn’t have a degree I did research on the position and during the interview I presented myself as if I had 20 years of experience yet, just as eager as they were to grow. After months, I was their office manager and ended as their key/international account manager.
How did you go from that first role to your current role—what was that journey like for you?
Looking back, every role I have had was the practice I needed to be where I am today. I started in the fashion/accessories/wholesale industry. I learned about trade shows and eCommerce. When I moved to New York I was in the same industry but, on a grander scale. Due to the competitiveness and I jumped ship into medical sales.
Tell me why you decided to create Rawly Bold?
After a few years in medical sales I learned I was significantly underpaid compared to others on the team. My quotas were met most of the time. I can count on one hand still to this day the number of times I have not met the quotas and I am 5 years in. I love fashion and while in the fashion industry I knew I wanted to eventually be in the business for myself but, hadn’t had an idea of how nor what. Discovering being underpaid, I was inspired to inspire others through fashion. Thus all prior roles and connections have significantly prepared me for my role as an entrepreneur in the fashion industry.
Beyond the give-back model, what makes Rawly Bold different than other empowerment-focused brands?
My story and my incredible desire to create a brand that replicates a diverse world where women are just as powerful as others. I agree there are many empowerment-focused brands. However, I didn’t know they existed until I entered this community. My goal is to be that one empowerment-focused brand that everybody knows about. We are real women on a mission to empower all women. We show real women in our campaigns. We work on ways to show transparency as it is very important especially, for being an online business. It’s not easy but, thankfully, we’ve been well received and we work tirelessly to ensure it continues.
What advice do you have for young women who want to get into the apparel industry or pursue getting a passion or purpose project off the ground?
Do your homework and be ready to work around the clock. Incredible follow-up skills will benefit. You’re not the only person a supplier is working with so be efficient, take initiative yet, always be kind. Kindness can lead to very helpful leads and referrals.
What has been your biggest career “hurdle” and what did you learn from it?
Not having a degree has been a hurdle. I have had to work harder than others to prove myself. However, I knew that from the beginning and I am willing to do the work to ensure I reach my goals.
Do you have a mentor? Who do you look to for inspiration and support?
I don’t but, I wish I did. My ideal mentor would be a female founder who bootstrapped her now thriving company. A seasoned founder with experience in multiple fields as I am a multi-passionate woman and would like to dabble in other fields as well. Someone who’s open to guiding me and giving me the feedback that I may not want to hear but, the information that is imperative to my growth.
What does collaboration over competition mean to you?
Working together vs criticizing or diminishing one another. When one is being competitive we tend to dimish the other to make ourselves feel good. That’s unnecessary in my opinion. There’s room for all of us.
Final words of wisdom to all the young women out there who are strategizing to reach their education and career goals?
There will be days where one becomes incredibly overwhelmed, lost, tired and all one can think of is to quit. DON’T. Remind yourself of your goals, write them down and post them somewhere visible. Your goals and dreams are worth the hustle. It’s not going to be easy but, it will be worth it.
If you are open to connecting with our readers, how can they reach you?
Feel free to DM me on IG @rawlybold or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org