The Broadway Stop
Oh my, my first big project ever. One of my first steps into entering the "real word." Creating the Broadway Stop was no easy job. Today, I am revealing exactly how I did it.
Before starting, here are the basics of the project:
The links to all of the media outreach can be found here:
The idea came to me one day that I was sitting in my spanish class while texting my brother in February. We were talking about one day opening a pop up museum. We were jotting down ideas and pretty much making a joke out of it. But in that exact same moment, I knew that I wanted to create a pop up store of my own. I jotted down my ideas and went running to my dad. I knew of a vacant building that we could use. I knew what I wanted to help. I knew who I wanted to reach out to. I knew who I wanted on my team. And I knew of the concept I wanted. Now how to get from point A to point C, well that is a story in itself.
The Failing Side of the Project
I started the project at full blast. I wanted students voices to be heard. I always thought that so many people were so creative and talented that they needed a platform. I tried reaching out to my school and they seemed on board, but did not cooperate. I tried reaching out to the district, same thing. No one was taking me serious. I took matters into my own hands and instead of trying to collaborate with my school, I collaborated with my fellow friends. I made sure to make it clear that all ideas were open and anyone who wanted to help was welcomed. I knew I wanted to help the Respite Center, but even then, I had no clue how to help. All I knew is that no one was helping me and in that moment I pretty much realized that for this work, I had to be on top of everything.
I remember the first day I took my friends to the building. It was a mess. It was filthy, huge, and badly painted. I right away remember thinking, WHAT ARE YOU GETTING YOURSELF IN TO. I kept a smile and with the help of my friends we cleaned up. I wanted to get to planning the wall concepts right away. When wanting to create something trendy, I didnt want something just vague or with no meaning, I wanted people to relate to it. By this time, outreach to try to involve people was failing. No one really wanted to help except for the team I had. Even then it seemed that at one point we reached a creativity wall. There was not ideas flowing. What I did that night was research what is trending. From words to colors I digged it all up. I remember the word "tea" just fit in. I took it to my team the next day and we all brainstormed how it was going to look and the concept. I also knew from the start that I wanted to something with walls and something with the concept of my favorite disney walls. I took those concepts with my team and from there the concept art was born.
Figuring out the Cause
I remember everything going by so so fast. I knew I wanted to open for a month in June. I knew that it was March. I knew that i wanted to help out the immigrant situation that affects the people of our border directly. But what I did not know was how to do that. I had already been making a list of people I wanted to reach out to to help. I had already in the back of my head established a cause. So what did I do? I crafted up a huge email explaining waht my goal was, what deadlines I had, and what I was requesting of them. The requesting part I knew had to be crafted in such a careful and to the point way. These stores were essentially agreeing on a percentage of their proceeds to donate but the catch was I would be marketing, advertising, and selling there clothing. I then had the stores that agreed but now came the hard part: HOW THE HECK WAS I GOING TO SELL THIS.
Well my friends, by this time I was thinking, I am responsible, lets do this. I did my research and stumbled upon Square. I saw that they had a free trial for the time I needed it. I set up a meeting with my parents and the bank to set up an account. I set up the square account and I was ready. But now lets go back to the actual building of the store.
By this time everything was going on at the same time. One hour it was creative Regina and the next it was Owner Regina. I was running on literal magic and pixie dust. I had an incredible team, but behind that team was me running around to figure out the paint, cheapest options, and oh we cannot forget, fix the air. Oh the air kept breaking down. I was having my brother run around seeing how we could fix it. Luckily, we were able to quickly fix it. But back to the walls. I assigned two, Juan Silva and Fernanda Sosa, people to the purple and yellow wall. As our deadline was reaching closer, I remember grabbing my cousin and grabbing a brush to help them finish the tiny details on the wall. My cousin, Andres Cantu, had come to me with a idea of his own. It was a graffiti concept inspired by Texas. I loved it and let him take charge. Pedro Ordonez also came to me with a rather fun concept. He was able to combine texas and cartoons into one. He created that mural all by himself. My other three walls were a rather hectic project. The flower wall was done by myself, Fernanda Guerra, and Karla Garduno all gathered up either breaking down flowers, glueing flowers, or setting up the next set up flowers. It took us an eternity to get those details in. The "Tea" wall was originally started by Karla Garduno but because of unforeseen circumstances, had to leave our project. This happened about four days before the grand opening. And she was also in charge of my other idea of the "Extra" wall. I knew the concept I wanted but I had four days until opening and no artist. I had to scavenge Mcallen for the best local artists and I luckily found one who rather not be named. He helped me complete the finishing touches and my vision. By this time, I had taken a good fifteen trips to Target, Dollar Tree, Home Depot, and so forth. All the little details were bought from these places. For accessories and makeup, I used a old dollhouse I had custom made when I was younger and chairs and desks from one of my uncles shop next door, The Broadway Shop. He was a huge help in helping me put all the furniture in. Throughout this entire project, I also had to figure out a way to get the roof fixed. There was a small hole in the very very back. I was basically contacting half of my town for help and well it worked. Four days before the opening, the store was ready.
Two day before the opening I had told both the stores and my full team to be there to set up the actual store. Three days before, I went ahead and collected from the stores whom I knew would not be able to drop off. Also those three days before I went ahead and figured out how the heck to do inventory on Square because I had zero clue. The next day I had two ipads and a phone and my team was doing inventory all day. Once we finished, I stayed for about three hours to make sure that each code was put in with the right price tag. I did not finish so the next day, bright and early I went in piece by piece to check. After fixing all the problems that arose, I knew that the next day was going to be hectic.
By this particular day, I had already contacted a local pizza truck, cake service, healthy service, magazine shops, and friends and family to be there. So many people that I did not know showed up that it made me so happy to have been posting and reaching out about it. What I was not expecting was for media to show up. There were cameras and lights and people and it was so overwhelming but I remember putting up a smile and explaining the project. At the time, I had only given out two interviews about the project and all the other news media outlets I had reached out to, had not responded. After this day however, I was getting reporters coming in almost daily. I moved on over to the activity days and after this success they sped by. We had fitness day, pet care day, and taco Tuesday.
The Cause Once Again
After this project was complete I was traveling to program after program that it took me two months to first and foremost hear back from the organization I was donating to and then finally being able to know that this money would transform thousands of lives. I keep getting asked the question of am I making this project again. In all honesty, I am not sure. Every single day I would be working the store mostly alone or seeing when my team could come. It was very over whelming for me at so many times. If I had a little bit more help and prep time, I will be definitely doing this again!