'Round My Block Ep. 2 + Yari Blanco, the Girl Mob
Do you believe in yourself? Like, do you really believe in your own capabilities? Talents? Dreams?
The essence of an entrepreneur starts there: the moment when one decides to become totally self-sufficient and place their livelihood, peace of mind, and financial stability at the mercies of their creativity.
Through the course of this journey, one may stumble into roadblocks when faced with the small voice of insecurity that self-inflicts doubt and apprehension, but the voice of resilience and faith must be that much louder and confident while in the trenches of entrepreneurship; and it is this very confidence that I heard from Yari Blanco.
As the founder of the women's empowerment brand and website previously known as Girl Gang NYC and now, the Girl Mob, Yari's venture into entrepreneurship began with a push from an unexpected source, "It was an idea that I always had in my head. At the time I was dating this guy who wasn't necessarily the nicest person, but he was like, 'why don't you stop talking about it and just do it?' So she did. After a few girls from her team reached out to her asking how they could help more with the Girl Mob, she knew she had something big on her hands.
At times, the individuals around us can identify our potential long before we can see it for ourselves. Yari quickly learned this after putting out a call-to-action seeking "spiritual hustlers, glowing gangsters, and cultural killas" to join her team and received an overwhelming response, "It's slowly becoming something that I always knew it could, but it wasn't until people started raising their hands that I was like, 'wow, I really have something here.'"
There has to be something special about a brand to have the ability to stand out in the sea of groups and vendors in the midst of an event as culturally saturated as Afro Punk, which is where I was first introduced to the Girl Mob. Their 10x10 space was girly, drenched in flowers, yet edgy, and welcoming to all of the 500+ visitors, men and women alike, who came in touch with the Girl Mob through the young women representing the brand.
"Every time I speak to someone who says they met us at Afro Punk the response is always the same, 'I love you guys. I love what you do. How can I contribute?' And I have no idea who from the team they spoke to! But the common thread is sisterhood, honesty, and authenticity. I love that because no matter who you touch from my team, you're going to walk away with the mentality that the Girl Mob was created for women that look like me, talk like me and want the same things I do."
The diverse, hand-selected group of young women that make up the Girl Mob team, are a direct reflection and testament to Yari's vision. Her ability to identify the drive, hunger, and passion in the eyes of her team members speaks to that of which is within her.
But in order to reach this level of self-awareness, particularly as an entrepreneur, one must embrace a willingness to vulnerability. "Emotionally, it places you in a very raw space because you're going to have really good days, but there will be times when you ask yourself, 'what am I doing this for? Why am I pouring all of my energy into believing this could turn into something big?'"
As Yari explains,"when you're an entrepreneur you really have to allow yourself to go there." This place, there, can be different for everyone, but in order to reach this point, it takes the very same belief that got you started. Sometimes we surprise ourselves with our capabilities, other times, we wish we could pull out more, but throughout our journey, we learn that we have everything we need to be successful already within us.
At the end of this month, the Girl Mob will be hosting their first event of the year, Trap Aerobics; originally planned for 30 participants.
"One of the girls on my team suggested that we open it up to 60 people..."
And it sold out, right?
"Yes! We sold out!"
For more information on Yari Blanco and the Girl Mob, check out the links the below:
Peace, peace, peace,