We had the good fortune of connecting with Franchela Ulises and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Franchela, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I was born in St. Thomas United States Virgin Island and my parents are from the Dominican Republic. I grew up in two different islands with people that looked similar to me. In 2010, I moved to Arizona. That is when I realized that not many people understood why I spoke spanish. One of the many questions I am asked are ” where did you learn Spanish?” and “You don’t look Latina” I did not understand why that question was being asked so much, if I am Latina. later, I understood that many people are not educated regarding the Afro-latino community. So, I decided that it was important for me to educated the community by starting my organization. The purpose of Mujeres of all shades is to offer a space for women of different ethnicity’s, body types and skin tones to express themselves and speak on their culture. Fashion and supporting women is on of my biggest passion, I am a model, stylist and a creative director. My experience in the field was a motivation for me to offer a space for women around the world to embrace their beauty.
My thought process behind starting my brand was “Support” Mujeres of all shades has become a place of sisterhood, growth and empowerment. We continue to help the community by conducting styling, modeling and women empowerment workshops, social event, photo shoots and private meet-up for members. Women empowerment is so important and in order for women to support each other. First, there needs to be appreciation and value for one another.
What should our readers know about your business?
Mujeres of all shades is a community focused on empowering women of all shades. Through, fashion and culture. MOAS was created to help women embrace who they are. I have been modeling for over 8 years @franchelafranco and styling for over 5 years with my brand @styledbymodestu. I focus on runway and editorial photography. I use my experience to help women embrace their individuality, by offering styled shoots, posing classes, workshop on fashion and diversity within the our communities. We are living hard time, surrounding ourselves with strong, like minded women is always helpful.
What I am most proud of is the growth I see in the women who are part of our community. The confidence they show after each meet-up, photo shoot and interaction with other women is priceless. The comments and the feedback of people in the community regarding the impact we are making is incredible.
Life is going to be filled with challenges but, I don’t let that break me. I try to stay positive and trusting that everything will work out.
I overcome challenges by staying focused, confident and strong. I accept what I can’t change, focus on what I can and learn from my mistakes, I ask for help and support from others and I make a plan that will help me during the next challenging time.
The lessons I have learned throughout this journey is to stay true to myself, my goals and my values. I learned that taking a break, stepping back and recharging is necessary.
What I want everyone to know about Mujeres of all shades is that this organization that has purpose. We strive to help, encourage and continue to unite women in all part of the world. Passion is nothing without action. When we believe in something we need to go for it. Leaving the fear behind and embracing or talents is best thing we can do for ourselves and others. Mujeres of all shades was created to do just that. Our life experience can changes someone life.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First, I would take my friend thrifting. Arizona has amazing thrift store and many of them are small owned business which is pretty cool. Thrifting is so fun. You get to find unexpected pieces, hidden treasures and save money. Then, I would take her to eat at Moran Italian. The food is delicious and the restaurant is beautiful, relaxing and super chic. After, I would make a quick stop at one of my favorite Bobo shops “Milk run” the Thea Tea Bobo float is so creamy and a dream.
Since fashion is a big part of my life and my organization Mujeres of all shades. I would take my friend to a fashion show and to one of the many networking events open to the public. Those events are so fun, you get to meet new people, socialize with other creator, artist and business women.
Some of the most interesting and exciting people to meet would be in the fashion community. Their is always a fashion show, photo shoots, networking event and meet-ups that are super fun and out of the box.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to Shoutout my team Stephanie Murillo @Machechena, Tiara Thornton @sassy_curls and Kerrington Vaughn @demariwithstyle_18. They have all been of great support for Mujeres of all shades and the ladies involved in the movement.
They continue to strive and work together to grow our community.
Instagram: @Mujeresofallshades @Franchelafranco @styledbymodestu
Facebook: @mujeresofallshades @Franchelafranco
Other: Pintrest @franchelafranco Tiktok @franchela0707
Group photo on stairs with dress, Group photo siting smiling, Pink dress (myself), Purple dress (myself) Blue and green dress with scarf (myself) Red dress (myself) Photographer Aubree Tippett @Aubree.photos Group photo bright colors; photographer Uriel Iturralde @tugo_photos Black and white photo (myself) Nichole Kathryn @Nicholekathryn