Love & Hustle Spotlight: Ron & Tricia Benitez
We talked with co-owners and co-founders Ron and Tricia Benitez of Asmbly Hall, the effortlessly cool boutique clothing store using their platform to elevate the talents of their community. As entrepreneurs, they’re key members of Undiscovered SF and Kultivate Labs, bringing awareness to the SoMa Pilipinas Cultural District. As parents to young daughter Harlow, shopkeeper extraordinaire, they strive to pass on the value of an entrepreneurial mindset. They gave us some fashion tips as well as their take on expanding your network, the power of working together towards a common goal, and the limitless potential of a “how-can” mindset.
“We don’t build stores. We build stories.”
Hailing from retail backgrounds like the Gap Inc., Levis and Gymboree to Quiksilver, Roxy, Oakley and more, Tricia and Ron embarked on creating Asmbly Hall to reflect the idea of a store being more than retail – they wanted to create a space around Fashion, Art, and Music.
“Hustle means Never Not Working. Making connections, networking and working to bring value to yourself and your business.”
As parents and entrepreneurs, Ron and Tricia are no strangers to utilizing all aspects of their community to grow and evolve. Tricia’s grandparents and parents owned and operated one of the first Filipino businesses in the SoMa which sparked her entrepreneurial mindset. It was the connections and relationships built through the family business that created a strong support system.
“Hustle means Never Not Working.”
“Being a small business owner, being in the retail industry and active in the community, it’s all about the connections. Bringing people together is what we, and our store, are all about.”
For Tricia and Ron, Asmbly Hall isn’t just a store – it’s a space where they can foster connections between shoppers and local artisans as well as bringing together seasoned business owners and mentors with the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs. This is what they hope to bring to Love & Hustle.
“There’s no such thing as ‘no can,’ only ‘how can.’”
“We can tell you that any obstacle, hurdle or barrier is meant to go over, around or through. There’s no such thing as ‘no can,’ only ‘how can.’”
Excited to be hosting their first Art of Hustle event, Ron and Tricia already embody the values of the hustle: giving their time, expertise, and support to those in the community. They cite mentorship as the cornerstone of success to any endeavor.
“At the end of the day, we’re always students, always learning.”
“Community is extremely important. We don’t have all the answers, and its important and humbling to know that. We are not the best at everything. And in the retail world, we aren’t able to offer everything to everyone. We personally like to use the word co-opetition, it’s all about supporting each other. Mentorship is extremely important as well. We’ve been fortunate to work with some of the most talented and brightest minds in the industry, and can call, email or DM them for insight, support and guidance. We have also been mentors to others. But at the end of the day, we’re always students, always learning.”
“[A strong network] is like Voltron…”
Their openness to learning – and teaching others – comes from the understanding that no one achieves anything in isolation. Success is the culmination of drawing together the different threads of knowledge and experience – both your own and those of the people around you.
“It’s like Voltron – each has their own strengths and one cannot function properly without the other. But when combined, potential to work together to achieve a common goal can be limitless.”
Love & Hustle, a live event that brought together the community of entrepreneurs seeking sound business coaching, marked the meeting of different individuals and communities whose combined talents, experiences, and worldviews foster a hotbed of learning. For Tricia and Ron, it’s a chance to learn from other leaders and influencers and to build an even stronger support system for themselves and the different communities they serve.
“We’re looking forward to hosting the Art of Hustle event and meeting new people. We hope people will leave and feel inspired, and find the connection they are looking for to help take themselves or their business to the next level. We’re here to help build that foundation, help people and/or their business become anchors in their neighborhood and pillars in their community.”
They added, “You’re all here today at Asmbly Hall, right? Maybe not to buy clothes, but to connect and build your network. And, well, maybe to buy some clothes, too.” ?
Do you want to strengthen your business foundation and build your network?