Long story short:
I’ve always been attracted to the arts; Painting, drawing, singing, dancing, modeling, acting – you name it – I did it.
When I was 3 years old, I wanted to be a singer. To this day I sing in the shower and to my friends. I make them listen and pretend they love it.
My first fashion guru was my mother. When I was a little girl, I would sit next to her hairdresser and watch her put together her outfits and do her makeup so flawlessly, every time she was getting ready to go out. I would sneak into her walk-in closet and try on heels and shirts. I couldn’t wait to get older and be able to wear all her clothes! Sometimes I would wait until she left, and I would play music and pretend that I was also at a party wearing the most stylish outfit there.
I always loved drawing. At 8 years old, I began taking plain white notepads and designing dresses, swimsuits and different styles of clothes. I would cut my shirts and sew pieces together adding fringe, lace, or pearls. One of my favorite pastimes was sitting with my grandmother and making jewelry.
Then I fell in love with acting. I was 12. I pursued it throughout my teenage years, doing theatre and film. As I graduated high school in Colombia, I decided to move to New York City to continue my journey. I don’t believe that there is a better city in the world to explore the arts and define what your passions really consist of.
So when I turned 18, I ventured off to The Big Apple by myself. I’ve always had a “gypsy’s soul,” because if I’m curious about living someplace else or seeing other parts of the world, I will just pick up and go. There is no greater believer in “YOLO-ing” than myself, especially when it comes to traveling and making memories.
There I was on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. It was an afternoon in August 2010, and the sun was beaming down on the melting cement streets. There was not a single cloud in the sky, and the skyscrapers looked like they went on for miles up. Three days had passed since my arrival in New York. I hadn’t yet enrolled in school. I wanted to find a part-time job first. I was standing in front of the building where I had just completed my first interview. While I was going down the company elevator, I got a phone call. I had gotten the job at Abercrombie & Fitch.
Working at a flagship store on Fifth Avenue, also known as one of Manhattan’s most recognized locations for fashion, gave me my first experience in the retail industry. After that, I continued into positions in other companies such as Zara and American Apparel within others. As time went on, I gained greater experience in the fashion field, and I started styling individual clients.
With time, I began recognizing all types of fabrics, colors, cuts, styles, brands, designers and seasons. I quickly grew a great passion for the industry; for suggesting people what to wear and how to wear it.
It’s a real luxury to be able to make a person feel beautiful and confident when wearing something you think they should wear.
I was majoring in theatre arts and mass communication at a college in Manhattan. As time went by, my comfort in front of the camera improved. My first experience with television broadcasting was in early 2012, when I began interning for Descubriendo New York, an online search engine for tourists visiting ‘La Gran Manzana’. I was hired as a lead anchor and then went on to production assistant.
During that time, I began establishing my brands. I first started with a spanish fashion and styling blog called Lolita Seraphina. After that, I developed Cata Balzano Inc, also doing styling and fashion services, but this time in Miami. That was after I moved out of New York in 2012. I decided it was time to leave “The Big City.” I had already found the secrets to reaching my dreams, and it was time to go. New York City taught me that if I wasn’t seeing the opportunities I was looking for, I had to go out and create my own opportunities somewhere else. Most importantly, it taught me to grow tough skin and to never give up no matter how difficult things seemed at times.
So I moved to Miami. It didn’t take long for me to discover all the interesting aspects in this city: The beaches, people, hospitality, its diversity, ambience, food, climate, culture and history. Not to mention, it’s only three hours away from my beautiful Colombia. Miami’s beauty captivated me and inspired me to want to live and develop my company here.
Since I began developing Cata Balzano Inc into a brand, I believe I have successfully identified who I am and what I like. With this company, I look to emphasize on all areas of communication and fashion that I am passionate for.
Establishing my brand has been my biggest life project so far. It signifies a step-by-step process with hours of writing and brainstorming on what I could do to make this website the best it could possibly be. I started this concept in March 2012 with Lolita Seraphina, and in mid 2016, I began to see it flourish.
Throughout the process I learned that patience truly is a virtue. I have stayed focused on what I want no matter what comes along. I have kept it going by disregarding the many times someone tried to make me feel like I was crazy or I wasn’t capable of doing anything. This company is my baby. I work hard on it and try every day to make it fun and unique.
I just want to inspire those who won’t get started because of insecurities, fears or doubts. It doesn’t matter what others say or think about your ideas and who you are. If you want something, you’ve got to work hard and fight for it. I was always the girl involved in some type of business in school: selling cookies, brownies, making hairbows to sell – Whatever it took to make some extra money. I was never the girl who did amazing at school or who got the best grades and test scores on anything. I was actually made fun of because my Spanish wasn’t perfect nor was my English (I still get laughed at sometimes) and because I didn’t understand certain things. People many times tried to make me feel stupid or that I would never achieve anything because I wasn’t smart enough, but I never let anybody put me down. I was sure of my capabilities, and I always tried my hardest. I was sure someday my hard work would pay off, and in the end that was what many people valued me for: my effort.
I want to thank anyone who has constantly empowered me with kind words and good energy. Within those special people is my mother. She’s my motivation, my rock and backbone. I also want to highlight three women who have impacted my career in countless ways: Chris Delboni, Joan Chrissos and Dr.Sandra Poster.
As their student, I had the pleasure of learning the art of proper communication. I saw the power of my words and the possibilities to not only inform, but to also transmit emotions to others in ways I never thought possible. With the push of these three strong women, I acquired many tools that shaped me as a professional, as a woman and as a person, while staying true to my beliefs and myself. For that I am eternally grateful.
The endless love and support from those who have genuinely cared, has been the motor pushing me to continue my career path. With this project, I have grown and continue evolving into the monster journalist and reporter that I aspire to be in the future. There will never be a day that I don’t wake up thankful for where I am and for the woman that I have become.
It’s been a long journey, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
With love and eternal gratitude,