We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michelle, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
In 2015 I was limited on funds and decided to make coworkers beaded bracelets as Christmas gifts. As time progressed, I created bracelets for myself, and co-workers and friends would inquire about purchasing them. For years, I felt unfulfilled and unhappy at the jobs I would acquire. I always felt I was meant to do more and had a greater calling. I have always known I wanted to be of service to other however I was stuck in terms of how to do so. I was also going through a spiritual journey. Trying to figure out who I was, what my purpose was, what my next steps should be and how to find balance in my life. I remember one day thinking if I could make bracelets, sell spiritual products and be of help and encourage others that would be awesome. However, fear set in, and the negative self-talk began. After speaking with my family and receiving words of encouragement I decided to take a leap of faith and Bronx Treasures, LLC was born in 2020. I see my business ultimately being an online spiritual botanica, where customers can find all of their spiritual products from sage, candles, herbs, spiritual colognes, washes and more.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I am originally from The Bronx, NY and am of Puerto Rican descent. When it comes to my educational and professional background, I have a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and hold two master’s degrees (Criminal Justice and Social Work). I have been in the field of social services for 18 years helping children and families. What I am most proud of is that with hard work, sacrifices, and determination, I was able to complete my educational goals. Between 2016 and 2019 it was extremely difficult working a full time and part time job and going to school part time to complete my MSW. I worked seven days a week and had no time for myself which was overwhelming and tiresome. At the time I could not see the end of the tunnel however nothing lasts forever and here I am.

Throughout my professional career, there have been many times where I have felt unfulfilled and did not agree with either how services were provided and or how decisions were made. It was always about satisfying the funders instead of providing true quality services for the children and families being served. Many of the roles I found myself in left no room to grow. I once shared my aspirations of stepping into management and my supervisor expressed, I was best suited being in case management because I was organized and responsible and would not make it as a manager. So much for supporting upward movement.

After going from one unfulfilling job to another and facing some challenges, I decided to take a leap of faith and venture into entrepreneurship. What did I have to lose? Even though it was and still is uncharted territory I have learned that the worst thing that can happen is not taking a chance. I do believe that my professional experiences have helped me acquire the skills needed to run my current business. I still want to be of service and help others however now I do it in a different way removed from the social service umbrella. I have learned that if you have a desire in your heart, you might as well pursue it and see it through. I am learning something new every single day and have never felt happier and more fulfilled. I consider my business to be a success because I took a chance on myself and the vison that was placed in my heart. There is no greater feeling than challenging yourself and betting on yourself every time.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

If I still lived in New York City, I would definitely say City Island would be the first stop. The Island has some of the best seafood in The Bronx. Secondly, Orchard Beach is a great place to catch some sun and enjoy some relaxation. Another New York City go to location is 42nd Street Times Square, definitely showcasing the energy of the city (the food, buildings, shops and of course lights). As this is the city that never sleeps, taking the subway from one borough to another is an adventure in itself. You never know what secret gems you will find exploring the city.

Now living in Atlanta, Georgia I would say there are a few places worth mentioning, Ponce City Market, Atlantic Station, Centennial and Piedmont Parks.  With this being a fairly new city for me, I guess it would be an adventure for the both of us as I still have not fully discovered all the wonderful things Atlanta has to offer.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?

I want to shout out my immediate family for being open minded and for supporting me in this new world of entrepreneurship. There have been times when I have felt stuck or questioned if I should continue and they have provided me with positive feedback, ideas and given me the overall push I need to keep going.

I would also like to thank my maternal grandmother (Visa) for being a caring, nurturing, supportive and loving grandma. She was always there for us growing up, and I am truly thankful and appreciative of her. May she rest in peace.

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to those who have supported my business by either liking and sharing a post, making a purchase, following the business pages on social media, or providing me with encouragement to keep going.

I truly appreciate everyone who has been in my corner throughout this journey. I am grateful for all of you. Thank you!

Website: www.bronxtreasures.com

Instagram: bronxtreasuresllc

Facebook: Bronx Treasues,LLC

Youtube: Bronx Treasures – Online Metaphysical Store

Other: Email: thebronxtreasures@gmail.com

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