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How To Build A Community To Support You Throughout Your Career

Cuyana CEO and co-founders Karla Gallardo and Shilpa Shah credits the community that surrounds them, from friends and family to business partners, to creating long-lasting and successful relationships. In their most recent collaboration, Gallardo and Shah have joined forces with Meredith Koop, stylist to Michelle Obama, to create ‘New Office,’ that updates the work wardrobe for women and helps them on their personal journeys.

Gallardo and Shah are believers in the human connection starting with your foundation (family) and later blossoming into the various communities each person may experience throughout their lives. Human connection is a necessity and amplifies our empathy towards others.

“From CEOs who advise us on hires to retail experts who help us choose store locations, introduction by introduction, we’ve built a troop of people we can reach out to answer questions, help us make decisions and share their own experiences,” Gallardo says. “As first-time founders, their support is invaluable.”

When looking to build relationships, attending events within your interests can help connect you to like-minded people. Researching and understanding the individual’s work can help kickstart a direct relationship immediately. A potential partnership can work by expressing ways in which you can work together, which is how Shah connected with Koop at an event in 2016.

“Relationships are more likely to manifest when we show up as who we really are,” Gallardo says. “When you’re meeting someone new, be honest about where you are at in your life and what your goals are.”

In order to fully realize a relationship, it is important to reciprocate support to your community. Habits to successfully strengthen your community includes dedicating time to check in with them, prioritizing facetime over digital communication, and connecting with at least a few people every week. Taking the time and effort every so often to recognize your community keeps the “circle of reciprocity flowing” and strengthen those bonds.

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