Our first Fabulous Female for 2020 is Sabrina Castillo, of Union City. Sabrina is a mom, wife, entrepreneur and business owner! She is also a proud immigrant of El Salvador, who migrated to the US with her mother. At one year old, Sabrina came to the US, because of the civil war going on in El Salvador. Since coming to the US Sabrina has worked hard to make a successful and happy life for her family.
As the daughter of immigrants, getting a good education was important to Sabrina. Sabrina attending Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. She received a Bachelors in Marketing Communications, after changing from her initial major in Hospitality Management.
After college, Sabrina made the move to NYC. With a degree in Marketing, her goal was to land an internship at a top firm. Her wish came true with an internship at Publicis Dialog. Always one to keep her plate full, she also landed an internship at VIBE magazine. Sabrina gained experience working with such clients as the World Economic Forum. She then moved on to another PR firm, who specialized in Hispanic PR. While at her new firm, she had the pleasure of working with corporate clients like General Motors. This experience reaffirmed that Sabrina wanted to work in the Latino space.
While at her new PR firm she also met a Producer from a sister station of NBC. She was then hired as a Field Producer, for an Urban Hispanic music and lifestyle show. Sabrina gained additional experience, which catapulted her to start her own PR firm with the Producer she had met. Sabrina was able to work with such stars as Pitbull, Tego Calderon, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee and Aventura to name a few. Some of the labels she collaborated with where Sony and Universal Latino.
As the business grew exponentially, Sabrina decided to take a step back so she could put some focus towards her growing family. Despite taking a step back, Sabrina still wanted to make an impact and continue working, but not at such a fast paced level. She began working in community relations for a nonprofit on social impact projects. She collaborated with Voto Latino, co-founded by Rosario Dawson, which to this day is still a force in the Latino community helping to empower Latinos.
Gaining all of this experience was the catalyst for Sabrina to facilitate one of her dreams of being a business owner. Her husband and she had always talked about owning their own restaurant. They investigated and took on every opportunity, researching culinary schools, and after her husband finished the hospitality management program and had years of experience, they finally took their savings and opened Carlito’s Trailer – an homage to her husband. The food truck launched in Jersey City and after having success with their food truck they opened their first brick and mortar in Paramus at the Garden State Plaza Mall. On top of being the part owner, Sabrina handles all of the marketing and partnership efforts for the business!
Sabrina has always been the type of person to not just get ideas in her head, but also ensure that they come to fruition, as demonstrated by opening up their own restaurant. This desire was the basis of her next passion project, The Dream Lab. “The Dream Lab is an entrepreneurial and personal-development incubator by Latinas for Latinas.” Sabrina’s desire, with The Dream Lab, is to empower Latinas to live their life by design, and not be pigeonholed by society, themselves or their families. After talking to many women, who were struggling and couldn’t see beyond their own circumstances, Sabrina and her partner decided to launch The Dream Lab.
After hearing everything that Sabrina is juggling, I had to ask her how she’s able to manage it all. Sabrina claims that she’s not perfect so she often asks for help. She also believes that you need to find your balance – something we all struggle with. Sabrina told me that sometimes for her being off balance is her balance. Some days she’s all about her family and other days there are other priorities that take precedence. She’s also a big advocate in getting a sitter not just for dates or girls nights, but for when she needs to get things done. Her last two tips are to make lists and make time for yourself, so you don’t burn out. Sabrina is also thankful to have a loving and supportive partner, in her husband, and when her parents visit they are a huge help.
Sabrina loves to preach how women should empower and support each other, and she lives this philosophy daily. In her opinion, we aren’t each other’s competition. That mindset needs to be checked at the door. Sabrina loves to support her fellow females, and entrepreneurs, by letting them know she’s there for them as well as sharing knowledge and information. She wants to be a role model for her daughter, by demonstrating not just kindness and paying it forward but that you must roll up your sleeves and put in the hard work if you want anything in this life.
You can follow Sabrina, The Dream Lab or Carlitos Tacos on Instagram or better yet take a trip to Paramus and enjoy some mouthwatering tacos. Most importantly, for any entrepreneurs having self-doubt or challenges in where to start check out a Dream Lab event and be inspired!