Get to Know Fernanda Zapata, VP of Communication at The Promotion Factory
Jan 25, 2013 - by Fashion Indie
Daniela Anastasio Bardazzi from Etienne Aigner always says that luck is crafted by design and I believe those are words to live by.
I was originally born in Mexico City and though I love my country I always felt a bit out of place. Too tall, too independent, too different from everyone else around me. At the edge of 16 I moved to California for my sophomore year in high school at Villanova Preparatory School. What was meant to be a one year adventure soon developed into a long-lasting relationship with the U.S. and rather than coming back home I stayed in tiny Ojai and later moved on to study marketing and international business at Trinity University in San Antonio (home of the Spurs). I had a detour to Milan where I learned Italian and how to make pasta (though I have never re-applied my knowledge). So how did I get here, to New York City? There was always something pulling me, calling my name from afar, a feeling in my stomach that always told me New York was meant to be my home and so my road here slowly unraveled.
Back at Villanova I never could have predicted the impact this one person would have in my life. Francesca was (and continuous to be) this amazing girl with a natural charisma and an addicting personality that you simply couldn't tear yourself away from. She has shown me a type of friendship that transcends time and distance (Steph I'm also thinking about you) and she inspired me to pursue my Italian side. It was through Francesca that I met Ivan while in Italy, but the story doesn't end there. Ivan moved to New York and while visiting him it was that I met Davide after his birthday dinner at Malatesta. Last but not least, it was Davide who introduced me to Venanzio, owner and President of The Promotion Factory.
Just out of college with no fashion or luxury experience, Venanzio saw something in me and I'm not just talking about the experience I'd learned doing PR for Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitan. A spark? Maybe a hint of desperation? At this point several other places had respectfully retracted their job offers immediately after me uttering the words "H1B Visa". Whatever it was, this is another person who changed my life. I was hired as an intern and then he gave me my first account, Vanilla Star Jeans, who was launching a deal with at the time Olympic Gold Medalist Nastia Lukin. From then on it has been a roller coaster ride. I've gotten a chance to work with and meet some amazing people (Carey, Alex, Giovanna, Maggi, Gabriela, Kaitlin, Josh, Beppe, Daniel, Pat) the list continues, while also working with some amazing brands like Hublot, Girard-Perregaux, Carrera y Carrera, Etienne Aigner, and more. The experiences, work-wise and personal (I met my husband Shaun through a co-worker), have been more than rewarding! It was also through someone I'd met at TPF that I found myself in my latest venture at Right or Rude, as a commentator on etiquette and manners in today's world.
You can call it luck or fate, I think it is more a combination of hard work, dedication, sacrifices (not just my own but also those made by my family to support me), faith that others put in me and faith I put in myself, and yes, also a little bit of luck. It was not by being but rather by putting myself in the right place, at the right time, so you can continue to meet those incredible people that change your life.