Get To Know Our Founders
Valerie Alfonso and Savanah Sanchez are Costa Creative Companies CEOs and founders. Graduating with their marketing and graphic design majors, they could see their skills complementing each other, deciding to join forces and start a digital marketing company.
In honor of Costa's first anniversary, we have decided to interview them and gain insight into their lives.
How did you guys meet?
VALERIE: We've known each other since forever ago. We were probably like 7 when we met. After that, we got closer in one of our church camps since we roomed together, and we've been friends ever since.
SAVANAH: We met at around 7/8 years old! We both attended the same church and grew up in the kid's ministry together. We even went on a mission trip to Paraguay together when we were 16! We still attend the same church, which has connected us throughout so much of our friendship.
What's your skincare routine?
VALERIE: In the morning, I wash my face with my Tula purifying cleanser, then moisturize my face and neck with the PUR Get A Lift Firming Facial Cream. I've been using this one for about a month or two, but so far, I love it and the smell. After I moisturize, I put on my Tula Protect + Glow Gel SPF 30, and lastly, I go in with my Vitamin C and Glycolic Acid from Pacifica, which helps with the dark spots. This I do every morning, and at night I repeat it, but instead of the SPF, I substitute it with my Mario Badescu rose water spray.
SAVANAH: My skincare routine is pretty pathetic and needs improving! I have sensitive skin, so I use the Cetaphil face cleanser every morning and night. In the morning, I use a topical cream from my dermatologist, an eye puffer serum from TJMaxx, and the Neutrogena sunscreen moisturizer. At night, it's pretty much the same routine, but I sleep with Aquaphor on my lips, so they hydrate overnight. Every now and then, I'll use a face mask with my sister-in-law!
Try to describe yourself in 3 words only.
VALERIE: Committed, Dependable, Genuine.
SAVANAH: Creative, hard-working, fun.
Where are you from, and how did your background and upbringing impact who you are today?
VALERIE: I was born in Costa Rica and lived there for the first seven years of my life until my parents decided to move to Miami, so they raised me here. I remember a lot about Costa Rica, especially since I visited it during my summer vacations. Honestly, my grandpa was one of the first people who influenced me to want to become a business owner in the first place. He's been a business owner for over 30 years and has
never stopped. I am very grateful for having the background and upbringing my parents enabled me with. My parents are one of the main reasons for my achievements. They have always been highly supportive of my accomplishments and life decisions while, of course, still advising me on what they think is best. They have worked so hard and done so much to ensure my sister and me a wonderful life. If it weren't for them and the morals, values, beliefs, and standards they established throughout my life, I would not be the person I am or where I am today.
SAVANAH: I was born and raised in South Florida and have a Cuban background (so I grew up on croquetas and lollipops). The melting pot that is South Florida has been a cultural lens I look through in everything I do. It has allowed me to be more aware of others when I travel, as I work with clients and interact with people daily. Where I grew up, I felt unique, but the most significant impact on my life has always been my parents. From a young age, they saw an entrepreneurial side to me, which they always encouraged (even when my talents hadn't caught up with my ambition). Their love and support gave me the freedom and independence to try new things, fail, and then try again. My dad was the first entrepreneur I knew. He always worked to better himself and wasn't afraid to learn or try something new - even if it meant failing. I was always most impressed by how he was able to pick himself up if he did fail and try again. My parents led by example in everything they said, significantly shaping who I am. My parents were behind everything I put my mind to and are still my most incredible supporters and advisors.
What's the end goal? Where do you want to be professionally by the end of your career?
VALERIE: Professionally, looking at it where my life is at the moment, my end goal would be to have a company recognized for its excellent work and professionalism. I would like us to be in a position where we feel accomplished personally and professionally. My end goal is to be successful, and success for me means having created a company with a good track record and can be a template for other marketing agencies to use. There are always goals that will turn into bigger goals as you progress in your success and life, and those may alter and change as you go along, but make sure you're happy while accomplishing your objectives is most important.
SAVANAH: Honestly, I couldn't tell you what the end goal would be or where I'd like to end up because I feel like I've just started, and I still have so much to experience. I genuinely love what we do now (graphic design and branding have my heart), and I can see myself working in design for a long time. Now I don't know the end goal, but a few goals I have along the way are:
Go back to school to get my Master's degree in business.
Be my boss for as long as I am able.
Travel the world doing what I love and inspiring others to do the same.
What was your thought process behind starting your own business?
COSTA: When we came up with the idea of starting our own business, we had just recently graduated from college. Valerie graduated as a Marketing and Logistics major from FIU, and Savannah graduated with her Graphic Design degree from UCF. As long-time friends, we felt that our skills complemented one another well. We both loved the idea of being our boss and starting our own business, so it felt natural to come together to do so. Together, we were able to provide much more - making us a "one-stop shop" for our client's marketing needs.