Georgeth “Geo” Sanchez is a Latina small business owner whose event planning venture arose from a hobby to support her college finances. Her business Geo & Co. specializes in chocolate dessert bowls, arranged fruit and candy buffets, handcrafted pretzel rods, and banquet chair covers and props to rent.
Geo currently attends USC under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program where she is studying to become a social worker. While DACA provides many opportunities such as the ability to obtain a driver’s license, enroll in college, and legally secure employment, there are still hurdles, such as financial aid for students. Under DACA, students are disqualified from federal financial assistance which means all school related costs must come out-of-pocket. This can be incredibly difficult when college tuition is constantly rising.
Due to her financial need, Geo decided to turn her event planning hobby into an actual business to raise funds for her graduate school studies. With the help of C.P. Krishnan an Ann Krishnan of CAK International, LLC, a 2017 Small Business Champion, Geo gained the courage and motivation to officially file her business name on March 8th, 2017, in honor of International Women’s Day.
As someone who is studying part-time and working full time at a homeless women’s shelter, managing her own business is not always easy, but through every challenge she manages to find solutions.
One major obstacle has been working with a limited budget for her inventory. She explains how “in the event planning business, trends and styles are always changing and it’s difficult to house all the Pantone colors in overlays, napkins, chair covers” etc. And due to her financial need she cannot always purchase inventory in bulk or splurge on rare hues and prints which retails at higher costs.
Despite this, she has found ways around the challenge by sticking to classic colors and finding combinations that are timeless, clean, and sophisticated while allowing her customers to save money.
“As a small business entrepreneur in the event planning industry, I feel my bilingual skills and budget friendly approach to event planning has allowed me to gain the trust of customers. In our Hispanic/Latino communities, milestones (quinceaneras, baptism, weddings, birthdays, and graduations) are the cause of great celebration. That gives me the opportunity to offer my services while ensuring that my customers get the best deals possible.”
She also feels that much of her success has come from her faith in God and her grandmother’s watchful eye from heaven. Her grandmother was a successful business owner herself for over fifty years in South America and undoubtedly has been a great influence on Geo. She even incorporated her grandmother’s favorite flower the “flor de nardo” into her business’ logo in her honor.
Throughout her journey so far as a business owner, Geo has surmounted obstacles and fought for her dreams. This mentality is what she encourages other aspiring Latinas to have when pursuing their own dreams.
“Think outside the box, ask for help, and fight for what you dream of,” she says. “We are often paralyzed with fear and although quite normal- what defines us is what we do with that fear. Today, I choose to fight for my DREAM!” And she hope you do too!