When Sofia Gonzalez was a student at Immokalee Tech Center, she already had her eye on the future. “While everyone else was building out their portfolios to work for someone else, I decided to start my own company,” she says.
She began developing a roster of branding clients, who then asked for more services. So she and her sister, Evita Gonzalez, partnered to co-found Affluence Media Agency in 2016. The firm creates custom strategies for clients addressing everything from branding and inbound marketing to sales-ready website design.
Gonzalez enjoys the initial consultation with a client, “where they’re telling you their challenges and all the juices start coming in and all the strategies start coming and you’re getting excited,” she says. “After that, actually seeing the brand develop or seeing their sales goals be achieved — I love seeing the transformation of it all. Seeing other businesses succeed and grow, that’s where my heart is.”
She shares her expertise and experience with other entrepreneurs through workshops, summits and other events. “I know what it’s like starting a business; it is not easy at all,” she says. “I remember late nights trying to figure out where the next paycheck was coming in or wondering am I doing this right?”
She also helps nurture and develop the next generation of young women through her involvement with the nonprofit Gemstones in the Making. “Seeing the spark in their eyes is amazing to me,” she says. “I like seeing the inspiration I can provide for that generation.”
Gonzalez is currently developing a new brand called The Healed Babe while in Hawaii on a sabbatical, where she’s also writing a corresponding book. “I want to help women heal from the wounds from their past so they can be able to have a healthier future,” she says. She’s had her own experiences with trauma and wants to share what she’s learned to help others overcome it, and she’s in Hawaii because it’s a place where she feels close to her late father.
Gonzalez comes from a family of entrepreneurs, and her sister Evita has been a lifelong mentor. “Her strategic mind and innovative approach to life is refreshing,” she says.
Salsa dancing, cooking and traveling are some of the ways she escapes from her busy work life. “When I’m traveling, I just get to be Sofia exploring new cultures and food,” she says. “I think there’s so much beauty around the world, and I just want to see it all.”