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The Founder and Creative Director of hand-made shoe brand Mia Becar, Betzabe Gonzalez, has spent the past few months in isolation moving homes, homeschooling her kids, and running her business virtually. At first, she was waking up in the middle of the night to check the news and was creatively stuck in place. So Gonzalez made minor changes to stay focused, optimistic, and hopeful, shifting her energy to sketch, paint, listen to music, and dream about the future.
In response to the pandemic, Gonzalez launched an initiative with The Mia Becar Foundation—the label’s in-house foundation dedicated to supporting entrepreneurial women around the globe. To help those impacted by COVID-19 Mia Becar donated all proceeds from sales March 23–April 6 to the foundation in support of the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund at the California Community Foundation.
Whitewall spoke with the shoe designer about her time in isolation, and how she believes, as a community, we’ll get through this together.
WHITEWALL: How are you doing?
BETZABE GONZALEZ: To be honest, I’m so grateful to be able to stay at home with my family and be really present during this time, but it can be challenging to stay positive and optimistic with all the uncertainties surrounding this novel virus. At times, I can feel overwhelmed with work, homeschooling the kids, and all of my other daily activities. We are also in the process of moving homes, so it’s a lot.
WW: What are you listening to, reading, watching, or listening to?
BG: I absolutely love music and always have music in the background while I’m being creative and while I’m sketching. I listen to J Balvin, Maluma, Becky G, Luis Miguel, Frank Sinatra, Lola Beltran, Beyoncé, Budda Bar, Pink Martini…I can go on and on. It all depends on the mood I’m in or the mood I want to be in.
I’m reading and audio reading The Way of The Warrior by Erwin McManus, as well as Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey.
I just finished watching “Money Heist” and “Little Fires Everywhere,” which I loved! I’m also watching (or, rather, Zooming) the Vogue Global Conversations by the Business of Fashion.
WW: How are you staying connected?
BG: The Mia Becar team has daily zoom calls where we have business conversations as well as everyday life conversations. I’m constantly in contact with our friends and family from all over the world via Zoom or email.
WW: How are you staying creative? Are you able to make work at this time?
BG: At the beginning of all of this, it was difficult to be creative with everything that was happening globally and with how quickly the pandemic has changed so much in our world. I found myself waking up in the middle of the night just to read as much news as possible. That, in turn, affected my optimism and mentality.
Now, I’m determined to take all the time I need to dream and create. I start, simply enough, with a glass of Kombucha. Then, I take hours to research, to take courses, to sketch and paint, and sit and listen to music while getting inspired for the future and for the future of fashion.
WW: Where are you finding hope or inspiration?
BG: I find hope and inspiration by being grateful for each and every day for one more day of life. I find hope and inspiration in what has always inspired me and that is the beauty that surrounds us, which consists of traditions, cultures, and people. I know right now it’s really a hard time to see so much anxiety and hurt affecting so many, but I truly have hope that we will get through this together as a community.