July: Alexia, Gab, and Pastel
Updated: Aug 19, 2019
What’s your wave (hustle)?:
Alexia Winfield: Main hustle: JPMC, Corporate Culture Effectiveness; Side hustles: Columbus Book Project (CBP), Founder and Creative Director and Humans of Columbus (HOC) Co-Founder and Brand Director; Public speaking; Accountability partner for a few entrepreneurs/peers;
Gabrielle Santiago: My main hustle is serving at The Pearl, Short North. My side hustle is co-founding and leading the Humans of Columbus Team, I am one of three co-founders. My roles include: Lead Concept Designer, Event Merchandiser, Head of Production and overall vibe setter.
Pastel B.: My side hustles became my main hustles in 2019. I’m currently a Server at Del Mar, Co-Founder and Executive Head Chef for Humans of Columbus; Ambiance curator “DJ Pastel”.
The first time I discovered my passion was......
Alexia Winfield:...the moment I committed to living a lifestyle I wanted to have, regardless if it was available at the moment. I want to live a lifestyle, rich in culture, diversity, ingenuity, and connection. When I moved to Columbus, it wasn't obvious to me how I could live this lifestyle I envisioned. I then started to create... I saw a city lacking a platform to demonstrate the vibrant undercurrent Columbus has so I created CBP and now from that HOC. HOC goes a step further and brings doers and those looking to achieve together to break bread.
Gabrielle Santiago: The first time I discovered my passion was during the first production for Humans of Columbus. As I was picking out fabrics, table cloths and beverage napkins for our launch dinner, it suddenly all clicked. I had been creating tablescapes since I was a little girl for all of our family dinners. My mom had so many beautiful cutlery sets and plates, tablecloths, etc and she would give me full creative control over the 'mood' for the night. In my early twenties, I was a Banquet and Event Coordinator at Martini Modern Italian and also assisted in decorating events for caterers. I always had a knack for decorating and creating but never knew what it could be used for. While building Humans of Columbus in hopes that other creatives would come together and find their passions, I ended up finding mine.
Pastel B.: I discovered my love for music at about 6 years old. It was all around me. From my grandparents playing records like Marvin Gaye, and Zapp & Roger entertaining guest, to my Mother playing Keith Sweat while cleaning the house on a Sunday to my uncle’s blasting LL Cool J while cleaning their cars on the front lawn they all gave me my first little taste of that old school feel. I also developed my love for cooking at a very young age. My Grandmother made cooking an experience. Me being curious, I always wanted to help; so she let me. I started preparing full meals for my siblings and myself by the time I was in middle school. Pan several years later; I was in California at the time visiting friends. My friends were professional dancers so they’d always ask me for new music. I was pretty good at making mixed CD’s, so my friends encouraged me to take an interest in DJing. I decided to explore a little more, made some investments and taught myself to DJ on the plane coming back from LA with just a Laptop. After much practice I presented my mix to the club owner of The Social Room, and that’s where I made my first mark as a DJ here in Columbus. With 9+ years on my belt of DJing, I’ve starting taking cooking more seriously. After years of engorgement from friends, peers & now Co- Founders I’ve decided to take my cooking ability to the next level. In 2018 I started a company Called Humans of Columbus with Gabrielle Santiago & Alexia Winfield. We discovered that we had a desire to redefine what it means to break bread with a stranger.
Since April of 2018 we’ve built a “The Dream Team”. I couldn’t be happier with where we currently are, and where I know we are capable of going.
My biggest influence......
Alexia Winfield:... my up bringing. I had older cousins that personified cool for me. They were cool. They exposed me to different brands and they styled things creatively, they were my Hypebeast. They were trend-setters. They played me the latest music, I enjoyed their taste. I have quite the few influences tho, going to an HBCU was also major one for me.
Gabrielle Santiago: My biggest influences would have to be my mom, papi, brother and grandpa. I come from a family full of creatives and artists. They all have taught me amazing lessons, while implementing hard work and humility.
Pastel B.: My biggest influence would be my drive. I was already a dreamer. I always knew that there was more than I knew or had access to and I’ve always been willing to seek it.
What/who inspires you to do what you do?
Alexia Winfield: People who are hungry for more. Non-settlers. I want to work for and with those type of people. I'm always trying to test boundaries and innovate so it inspires me to meet and share with people similar.
Gabrielle Santiago: Definitely the Humans of Columbus Team, its so dope to be surrounded by so much creative talent, hunger and drive. I truly value each and every one of them and what they all bring to the table, they make me want to show up for them and for our dreams.
Pastel B.: My Humans of Columbus Team. The hunger that we all have for the art of gathering and teaching ourselves the value and true meaning behind finding one’s purpose.
Who do you hope to inspire?
Alexia Winfield: Little black girls and those I leave my legacy to.
Gabrielle Santiago: I hope to inspire those that feel lost or without purpose, I've been there before and the crazy part is that your passion is there, its about doing the work to unlock it.
Pastel B.: Every individual that permits a seconds of their time. I’ve been focused on doing things with intentions and purpose. I’ve learned that if you do things without purpose that involves others you do a huge disservice to those people. We as doers need to focus on building a purpose that is specific, unique and disputable.
What are you creating right now?
Alexia Winfield: The future of HOC 2. What does Alexia the brand look like and what services will I market
Gabrielle Santiago: Currently working on decorating an event for our first HOC client, also working on upcoming dinner concepts and future clients, we are in transition of also marketing ourselves as a full production for any event, we can literally create the experience for you and all you need to do is show up. Personally, I am working on my overall branding as an interior and ambiance designer, which is really exciting!
Pastel B.: Currently I’m working on menu development for upcoming events and future concepts. I recently DJ'd in Brooklyn for the first time and had an amazing experience, I’m super eager to get back up there before end of summer. Also I have some Local events coming up that are open to the public, 7/18 Harness Magazine will hosting their first spoken word, also I’ll be DJing at seventh son for Daiquiri Daze on 7/21, and 8/3 we have Orange Soda fest!
What do you have coming up down the road?
Alexia Winfield: It's never a dull moment. :) Follow me @lexyia and @humans.of.columbus I'm actively sharing what I'm doing/creating
Gabrielle Santiago: So many exciting things for HOC! We are currently getting ready to decorate and fix our headquarters at 400 W. Rich, our new website will be launching within the next few months as well as another 2-night dinner experience! Our team is constantly growing and we are always in the lab brainstorming new concepts and events for the creative community.
Pastel B.: Quite a few things, HOC is an ongoing machine so currently remodeling our head quarters over at 400 W. Rich, we’re also in the process of developing our new website. We’re actively preparing for upcoming dinners and installing pop up’s in between dinners. I plan host some smaller gatherings on my own time with the HOC chefs, as well as creating more mix’s and playlist that people can enjoy. (I’m so bad at that) They never said having a split passion was easy; but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Where can we find/see/learn more about your work?
Alexia Winfield: @lexyia and alexiawinfield.com (a wip)
Gabrielle Santiago: Find me on IG (@geee_santiago) or (@humans.of.columbus). I won't lie, I like to keep my privacy from the internet and rather engage in person. So, if you see me out or want to snag a cup of coffee and a smoke sesh, I'm all in. I am def trying to get better at this whole social media thing, it serves a purpose when used in the right way.
Pastel B.: @Pastel_b3e and www.artistecard/djpastel.com
What message do you want to share to inspire others?
Alexia Winfield: Self-awareness and self-management is, and will always be, a priority.
Gabrielle Santiago: The main message I would like to share is do the work, the whole work. Mind, body and spirit. Focusing on my mental and spiritual health has changed my life. It's constant work but oh so rewarding.
Pastel B.: You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success.
”You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economic or science or the arts. You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you’ve GOT! You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all. Don’t surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.” – Brave Enough – Cheryl Strayed