Gabriela Bucio credits the go-getter attitude with her success

Ever since she was little, Gabriela Bucio has loved the idea of ​​bringing customers into a business. She remembers helping her uncle, who was a club promoter in the United States and Mexico, design flyers for concerts and hanging them at local meat markets to let people know about upcoming events.

“It was way before Instagram and TikTok,” Bucio, 36, said. “We did it the old fashioned way and taped fliers everywhere. I learned about business and how to market like that.

Born in Michoacán, Mexico, and raised in McAllen, Texas, Bucio began her career as a legal assistant at a law firm in Austin and would supplement her income by working as a bartender, so she could have extra money to attend musical performances around town. Meanwhile, Bucio was convinced that she and her brothers could run their own restaurant.

“Working as a bartender, you learn all aspects of running a restaurant, from the back of the house to the front,” she said. “It was only natural to create our own company.”

Today, Bucio owns Gabriela’s Group, an umbrella company that includes three Mexican restaurants named Gabriela’s – two in Austin and one soon to be in Houston; another pair of pink-colored Mexican restaurants under the Taquero Mucho brand; SeaReinas, a seafood restaurant; Revival, a cafe; Mala Vida, a reggaeton and regional Mexican music hall; Mala Santa, a dance club; and a construction company called Horchata. Luckily, with a reliable wireless network (“All my work phones are Cricket”) and a strong support system like his family, Bucio is able to stay on top of everything.

Gabriela Bucio
Photograph by Sarah Natsumi Moore. Designed by Anomalo.

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If owning 10 companies wasn’t enough, Bucio has his side of the hustle too – DJing as DJ Gabby. It’s something she’s also passionate about and takes her back to when she was helping her uncle promote his clubs as a child.

“I can talk about music and listen to music all day,” Bucio said. “When I was going to gigs, I’d buy the vinyls they were selling and I’d come home and play them on my turntable. Then I started mixing. It just came naturally to me. It’s something I like to do to relax.

Gabriela Bucio’s method of making her personal brand of “Sideconomics” work as jefa is simple: create a vision, step on the accelerator and, above all, have fun doing what you love. Here are five ways she managed to stay balanced while pursuing her assortment of businesses and her second career as a DJ.

1. Take initiatives and learn the trade
Bucio said she always wanted to be her own boss and implement her own ideas for her businesses. So instead of just talking about how she could run a restaurant better, she did. “The first step is to do something about it,” Bucio said. “If you want to own a restaurant but you’ve never worked there before, go get a restaurant job and learn the trade.” When she worked as a bartender in a restaurant, Bucio didn’t just stand behind the bar mixing drinks.

She learned to be a waitress and to manage other employees. “I learned every position in the restaurant,” she said. “I can even serve your table if I have to.”

Gabriela Bucio
Photograph by Sarah Natsumi Moore. Designed by Anomalo.

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2. Stay connected
Bucio admits she is on the phone “24/7”. She must be. And it’s not just one phone. Bucio has several devices to keep her informed of what is happening in all her businesses. She has an open line of communication with all of her staff and enjoys answering questions from people who visit her businesses on platforms like Instagram. “I’m always on the go, so I’m always on my cell phone,” Bucio said. “I like the fact that we can respond to people in real time. All my work phones are Cricket. I think we have 10 just for nightclubs. Cricket’s value also helps Bucio stick to the budgets she has allocated to her businesses.

3. Build your own future
When she opened her first restaurant, Bucio didn’t have much to put into it. She said her landlord gave her used furniture to help out. The hardest part of starting his own business, Bucio said, was having little capital. She didn’t come from “generational wealth” and couldn’t get loans like most business owners do when trying to get started. “I started with nothing,” Bucio said. “But I am a go-getter. That’s how I get things done.

Gabriela Bucio
Photograph by Sarah Natsumi Moore. Designed by Anomalo.

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4. Mass Awareness
Although she enjoys running many aspects of her business, Bucio knows she can’t do it alone. So, she has built a small army that can help her with all the social media outreach they do for her businesses. Bucio considers social media, branding and marketing his forte when it comes to his job. She also has a sense of talent and has built a social media team that can reach a wide audience. “You have to follow the trends,” she says. “You have to keep learning about all the new apps and what people like and don’t like, and what works and doesn’t.”

5. Separate your business from your secondary activities
With 10 companies and a DJ side hustle, Bucio stays busy. So, she has help when it comes to keeping track of all her finances. His accountant does all the heavy lifting. Bucio decided to keep Gabriela’s band separate from his gigs as DJ Gabby. “I just thought it would be a lot easier for me to run my DJ business separately from all my other businesses,” Bucio said. “I like being paid as a DJ and not having a check made out to Gabriela.” It is also good for tax purposes. “It helps to see how much money you’re making and where you can invest,” she said. “Business owners should hire an accountant once they can, or at least go talk to one. Many of them offer free consultations.

Sideconomics is a Remezcla initiative brought to you by Cricket Wireless that offers valuable insights and advice from successful Latino entrepreneurs who have turned their side jobs into sustainable main gigs. Cricket’s trusted network connects customers to their passion projects and support systems to help the Latino creative community thrive.

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