Minda discusses her brand, N’Dalí Mexico, finding your passion, meaningful friendships, and more.
Well to start off, prior to creating N’Dalí Mexico, what is your background?
I’m 24 years old and I’m from a city called Orizaba in Mexico. I’ve always been a person who’s interested in many things like graphic design, fashion, photography, makeup, videography, and the list continues. That is one of the first reasons I decided to open my online shop. I see it as a space to land my ideas and really share them with the world.
I really enjoyed my time at university. I had the chance to live abroad and experience the Asian culture. I lived in Seoul and Bangkok. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Creation. You may ask, “What the hell is that?” Well, it’s a combination of business administration, business management, marketing, and communication.
I could describe myself as a very open person. I like to experiment and seek inspiration through traveling and really getting to know people that inspire me.
Wow! That’s amazing!
In what ways do you feel all of those experiences (traveling, being from Mexico, your degree, etc) prepared you for what you’re doing now? I feel like your work and aesthetics come from a very strong place.
Definitely, I can say they had some influence on shaping the person I am today, but also, I think the key, for me, is taking risks and getting out of my comfort zone. Working on my brand and as a freelancer has shown me more than the stuff I learned at school. Of course, I’m not saying to drop out of school unless you are sure that is what’s stopping you from getting to your dream.
Totally understand. What gives you the courage to take risks? I feel like I’m also in the same place too of stepping out and taking risks, especially being a fellow freelancer as well.
First of all and it may sound cheesy, but believing in yourself. Stepping out and doing your own things can be scary but it really motivates me when people start recognizing my work. It’s like a reality check reaffirming me that I’m doing the right thing.
Also as I already mentioned, surrounding myself with people that push me to be the best version of me. This is a must. Sometimes we hang out with toxic people, and the only thing they contribute is negativity. I definitely don’t need that in my life.
In terms of surrounding yourself with the right people, how have you gone about finding those people and discerning who was good for you? I think a lot of times people have a hard time separating from the comfort of familiar, yet toxic people. I know I've been guilty of it in the past.
I think this is one of those things that you have to find out by yourself and you know, it’s life. I’ve been very lucky to find meaningful and real friends through time, and I always say it doesn’t matter the quantity, but the quality and this applies to everything. My circle of friends is quite small, but I know we are there for each other no matter what.
Here is my little guide about how to recognize someone that’s toxic:
They make you doubt every decision you take.
They don’t give you their honest opinion.
They don’t support you.
They don’t add any value to your life.
Yesss to all of thisss! I’m 25 and it took me up until around 23 - going on 24 - to get really keen on toxic people. I’m from the Southern part of the US, and we’re allll about being “polite”. I started to realize it was to my detriment, so I had to cut some people off - even ones I really cared about.
And it was difficult, but I feel like all of that is definitely an opportunity for growth, you know?
100%. Sometimes as you mentioned, you have to get rid of people that you care about if you feel they are not the right people for you.
I just started this whole freelancer thing this year, and I told myself, “There is no backing down. You made a promise to yourself, and you are going to work hard to get where you want to be and make yourself proud”
Also, first you and then everybody else. It’s not selfish, but I feel that as women we have this natural instinct to take care of everybody else and we leave ourselves at last.
That’s such a great mindset to go into freelancing! That’s actually just a great mindset to go into anything. I’ve started to think about whether it’s a natural instinct or if we’re just conditioned to be that way.
I definitely think it’s a little of both. I think I was born with a business intuition because of my heritage and of course the example of my parents but on the other hand, I encourage everyone to take risks. Try everything because you will never know what you are passionate about if you never look for it.
You’ve recently launched your business. What have been the most rewarding and challenging aspects of it?
The most rewarding part is people recognizing the meaning behind my work. It’s not just all about the physical product but to communicate positive messages to our society.
The most challenging part is that every day is a new day. I think as freelancers we live with the fear of burning out of ideas or nobody buying our work, but I really try to stay POSITIVE. I always give my 110% on everything I put my mind on. I will never deliver something that I’m not sure about.
For those who aren’t familiar, what is the meaning behind your brand?
N’dalí is a word in Mazateco, a Mexican dialect, that means “have a good light,” and that is exactly my vision for everybody who owns a piece from my brand. N’dalí represents my pride for my culture and the talent of Mexican artists. It is the message behind every collection, and my goal is to take it worldwide so I can show everybody a piece of my beautiful country.
All of my products are handmade in Mexico, and that is one of the things that I’m most proud of.
That’s really beautiful. I love that the products are all made in your home country. Do you plan to expand to other items in the future?
Yes, of course! Many ideas but right now I’m focusing on this second collection. I feel we must be generous and give value to our creativity. After reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, I saw my creativity and ideas with other eyes. Sometimes ideas get jealous if you are not giving them the attention they want. As a consequence, they leave you so I always take good care of them.
That’s a really interesting way to think of ideas. Starting something new can also bring temptation to dive into a bunch of things.
For sure, you must focus on one thing at a time. I get that we want to do everything, but we end up just being stressed and really not delivering quality so that is a no-no for me.
I would also like to say that it’s ok to be lost or to not have a passion yet. It’s normal. I’ve been there, but the difference of conforming is doing something about it. Look for your passion. Look for that something that makes you stay up late at night without even noticing. Look for that something that makes you curious.
If you are doubting about something, find out what it is about. Look for opinions from people that you admire and from people you trust. And lastly but most importantly listen to your gut. I know for a fact that when everybody tells you that you are doing it wrong, but your gut tells you to go on...GO ON.