Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellie Gonzalez.
Ellie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was Dallas raised. I moved to Denton and have been here going on 12 years now. I am extremely close to my family so when I moved to Denton, I had to find my Denton Family. I have always been an outgoing creative but here in Denton, I found my voice for many creative outlets. I founded a poetry group or collective in 2014, Lost Poet Lounge. I became involved in our community through many efforts – Help Portrait Denton, Photographer for The Dentonite and other community activities. I was given the opportunity to become a radio show host of my own show, The Denton Vibe With Diva Girl Ellie on Denton Radio. All of these combined, have given so much to me as an individual. The connections, bridges, bonds that have been created through these avenues of art and creativity have been priceless. I have found my Denton Family!
Has it been a smooth road?
At times, no. It hasn’t. Because of that closeness that I have with my family back in Dallas/Surrounding areas. Moving to Denton was kind of a “shock” so to speak. Although Dallas wasn’t far. I didn’t have my family 2 minutes-10 minutes away to say, “Hey, Let’s hang out, Let’s Do this” – so that part was really hard for me not having that sense of family here in the beginning. I became restless. I wanted that familiar feel and sense of home. And it wasn’t happening so I had to go out and create it. Feeling like you left your real family behind was a huge struggle for me. I can imagine that this being a double-university town that some of the students may feel that at times. So, you have to venture out of your comfort zone and go out and create your world. Literally. I had to start from scratch in a new town. It takes time. Invest in the positive influences that will nurture the core of who you are and want to become. It will happen.
What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to a young woman just starting her career?
Find the beauty of who you really are and unleash that on the world. Never be afraid of your past, present or future. Each of us are completely different pieces of a puzzle. We will not fit in someone else’s puzzle place, but together we make a beautiful picture. Find a way to make connections with other women. Surround yourself with women who are NOT afraid to SEE YOU SHINE! Invest in people who treat others with kindness, understanding and love. Never think that because you came from a “past” that you can’t make a future that is a total contrast of where you came from. Find your voice, people need to hear it! Your word has power so yield your words carefully and with class, dignity and respect. You will make mistakes, many – it’s ok. It’s a part of the journey. So, enjoy the journey and celebrate your triumphs!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Denton Vibe With Diva Girl Ellie story. Tell us more about the business.
I am a local radio DJ or radio show host for The Denton Vibe With Diva Girl Ellie on Denton Radio.com here in Denton. I am also the founder of Lost Poet Lounge, which is a Poetry Collective.
The Denton Vibe With Diva Girl Ellie is all about art, writing/ poetry and music. I wanted to create a platform that would highlight more than just the music in town, since Denton is well-known for our music (Jazz). Being here 12 years, I have seen so many un-celebrated artists that truly deserve the spotlight. It wasn’t about who is the current buzz or who was popular, it was about – “WOW! Have you seen this person’s art, poetry or music! They are just starting out and look at their talent!” Sometimes you want to find that hidden gem among the many. The unique one. Or sometimes you want to break the mold and say, “hey, we have more to see in Denton than just jazz.” So, the Denton vibe spotlights people like that. Some may be more seasoned than others but worthy none-the-less of The Denton Vibe sharing them with the world. It’s always fun for me and very rewarding to see people open up after they have been on the show if they are new to the spotlight. That makes me really happy.
In my role as the founder of Lost Poet Lounge, I produce the shows and book talent. It’s a creative outlet for people to share their poetry or writing and be in a nurturing environment. We get a lot of first time poet performers. We have seasoned performers too. But it’s always a thrill for me to see the first timer go up and perform pieces that are usually extremely vulnerable or personal. There is a strength and courage to that. Everyone goes through it at some point or another. I know I do. The role producing the show is quite different than when I myself, get up and perform poetry. But the butterflies never get old. And it’s therapeutic. Once you have done it once – more than likely you will perform again. We have a lot to say. Share it.
I am extremely proud of these two areas of my life. The people that I have come across and made connections with are priceless. I have learned SO much from the people that come on my show as guests or performers. It’s your own family. Each individual comes with a story, a journey and each is beautiful in its own right. I am truly blessed to do what I do. The people that support me and believe in me and cheer me on are amazing! I keep searching for those hidden gems to share them. It has to be done and it needs to be done. Art is life – in any form.
Who do you look up to? How have they inspired you?
There have been so many positive women who have inspired me. My mother and sisters, being the essential pillars of inspiration. My mother, Maria Elena gave me my love and passion for music aside from core values. My sisters, Anna and Raquel gave me examples of courage, strength, determination, an unbreakable spirit. My closest cousins, Linda and Zulema – solid work ethic, getting it done, can-do attitude and literally, don’t forget to dance through life. An amazing artist friend and positive community leader in DFW, that made a huge mark on me was Iris Candelaria. She taught me “you can do it!” no matter what my doubts were about something. Whether it be in my art, photography, poetry, events that I plan, my gourmet salsa biz or just dealing with people in general. The friends that I have been inspired by now, in Denton are so many! From the women that I surround myself with daily, to the ones that I see once in a while but pick up where we left off. The women you see me hanging out with are women I admire. All ages. We just click and I Love that they have accepted me as part of their tribe just I have them. It’s a wonderful feeling when you can say you have found your tribe. Each of them have enhanced my life. They know who they are and I love each of them dearly.
- Website: https://www.facebook.com/TheDentonVibe/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/divagirlellie/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/divagirlellie
- Twitter: https://www.facebook.com/SexyMexiGourmetSalsa/ (Not twitter)
- Other: https://www.facebook.com/lostpoetlounge/
All photos: Ellie Gonzalez