Check out our interview with young entrepreneur Angelica Alberto.

Tell us about Angelica Alberto.

By trade, I am currently a student physical therapist at Northwestern University
Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL. I love the hustle and bustle of living out in this beautiful city since there’s so much to do, which is such a change of pace from my hometown in Santa Clarita, CA. Whenever the 8-hour days of lecture and anatomy cadaver lab drains me, I always reflect on what it took to get here. Back in undergrad at Cal State Northridge, I knew at that time all I wanted was to even get into PT school. With a bit of a pre-quarter life crisis realizing that I had additional classes I had to fulfill for PT school ON TOP of the classes I needed to take to graduate towards my degree, several advisors told me I was looking at graduating in 5 years – which is not at all a bad thing, since the average graduation rate nowadays has shifted to 5-6 years depending on the major. Yet, my goal was to be done with PT school by 25. So, with that in mind, I hauled major butt and ended up finishing in 3.5 years with High Honors (Summa Cum Laude). This is not at all to brag, but just to depict the fact that when I want something, I will do whatever it takes to get there.

Growing up, I thought prevalent chronic diseases ranging from diabetes and hypertension within my family and generally a vast majority of Asian Americans was a norm. This is why I became more fascinated about the physiological reasons behind why and how this happens and how it can actually be mitigated through lifestyle changes as far as diet and exercise. This is what inspired my overall mission to shift the healthcare paradigm from a reactive to more proactive approach, which is why I am always trying to learn new ideas, skills, and resources from my educational background that I can utilize to help my prospective clientele.

You are launching a wellness spa in Beverly Hills, tell us more about it.

My mother and I came up with the idea of combining both our passions and skills to
empower anyone who has the desire to bring out the best version of themselves, Therefore, with my mother’s background as an aesthetic nurse and my developing skills as a prospective doctor of physical therapy, we will be providing a variety of services and resources that will help individuals look and feel their best selves inside and out. My mother’s passion for beauty and skin esthetics and understanding of the diversity of skin types has driven her to helping individual’s day in and day out solve their skin problems to look and feel their best as well as improve their confidence. In tandem with my background with a B.S. in Kinesiology Exercise Science, prospective degrees as a Doctor of Physical Therapy and Master’s in Public Health (2022), my passion is to not only make the people we get to work with look beautiful, but I want to truly make them feel just as good as they do on the inside. Therefore, we’ve created GRAVITAS BEAUTY & WELLNESS as a place where we can help cultivate this holistic, nurturing environment for the people we have the opportunity of working with.

Gravitas (ɡravəˌtäs) is everything about us that goes beyond the words we speak – “from our tone, presence, body language, facial expressions, and confidence that are all subconsciously scrutinized by our audience” – Vanessa Harding-Farrenberg.

What is your overall vision for the spa?

I believe the biggest investment anyone can make is in the longevity of their health and
wellness, thus looking beautiful inside and out. That’s why my vision for Gravitas is to help individuals seeking to cultivate personal growth by optimizing upon lifestyle changes that will help improve their overall quality of life. Our goal is to provide top of the line services, products, and resources for our guests so they leave feeling like they can take on anything that comes their way with confidence.

How do you set yourself apart from all the Hollywood It Girls?

Understanding what delayed gratification is. Success doesn’t just happen overnight.
Surely, it may be apparent that way in rare circumstances, but probably 9/10 times it has to do with the time, effort, and perseverance we put in. It’s the idea that to achieve the vision and dreams we have for ourselves requires little steps and decisions on a day-to-day basis that’s actually going to get us closer and closer to it. Therefore, with the rise of social media I feel like this seems almost like the end-all-be-all or defining moment for some, but I feel like we have to use it as more of a platform for greater things. Surely, if your vision is to seek out x amount of followers then that’s great! Yet, I feel like everyone is capable of utilizing their given platforms for something so much greater that makes a difference in the greater communities around them.

Being an It Girl/Young Entrepreneur, how do you manage to stay on top of your game?

Every day, I make the effort to challenge myself to constantly evolve. What this entails is
always, ALWAYS sticking to the vision I have for myself – both personally and professionally. From there, I scale back on at least 2-3 micro goals I need to achieve on the daily to make it a little less daunting. For example, starting PT school, I made a conscious effort to wake up as early as 4:30 in the morning to get a head start on my day (also because the grandma in me can’t seem to survive all-nighters like I used to back in undergrad!).

Yet, every day isn’t perfect! That’s why daily reflection is just as important in tandem with goal setting. This is the time where I get to evaluate myself on how well I did or did not achieve what I was planning to do within that given day. Also, it allows me to re-center my thoughts and always remember that there’s no greater competition I have than the person I was yesterday.

In all reality I still get infested with distracting thoughts of comparison and not feeling like I’m doing enough, which may easily fester into burnout and unproductivity. Therefore, remembering this verse always seems to get me back on track: “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:25-27).

What causes do you support and why? Two of my greatest passions:

There’s nothing in this world that lights a fire in my soul than helping children and communities who live in abject poverty through a non-profit organization I started back in 2016. Our mission is to provide scholarships, educational supplies, and resources for underprivileged children to help achieve their goals and dreams in life. I believe that giving these children the opportunity to acquire an education will allow them to be the game changers of our generation, and in turn do the same thing and create an endless ripple effect of giving and helping.

Second, I am a keen advocate for mitigating chronic illnesses and diseases, which continues to motivate me throughout pursuing both my Doctorate of Physical Therapy and Master’s in Public Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Each day, I love learning about the different ways we as PTs can be the source of primary preventive methods against ailments such as diabetes, cardiovascular, and respiratory diseases that affect nearly 6 in 10 adults today. This is what motivated me to pushing for the holistic, wellness aspect of Gravitas because in order for us to be able to perform optimally, we intuitively must function optimally.

Which public figure would you like to meet and why?

I would be more than honored to meet Gary Vaynerchuk. On days when I feel drained and unmotivated, I always listen to one of his podcasts that always gets me going. I appreciate his genuine take on what it takes to truly be able to do what you love, no matter how brutal it may be because that’s the reality of this field.

How can you be a role model to the younger generation?

If there is anything in this life I want to achieve, it’s to be the best role model for my 10-
year old little sister. Every time I involve myself in any project, I always ask myself if this would be a good reflection on myself in her eyes; as this gives me a basis of whether or not this would resonate positively with the entire generation of youth today.

Therefore, I hope to inspire children to live meaningful lives and to not allow extrinsic factors such as looking and being a certain way dictate their value. Some values we take for granted yet become so integral growing up are remaining true to our integrity and self-love, as seeing what’s popular out on magazines, TVs, and social media depict a certain type of façade that may lead children to pursuing not the most positive characteristics and values of certain role models. That’s why I want to lead the change of being a role model that sticks to my values and allows those to guide me through my journey of pursuing my passion for contributing to the greater society.

Lastly, 3 things: 1) Embrace failure. Change your perspective from thinking “I am not good enough” to “this was a lesson learned of what NOT to do the next time”. 2) Don’t be afraid to be uncomfortable, because complacency is the biggest failure from allowing you to optimize upon your true talents and potential in this life. 3) Most importantly, be driven by your own passions. Not what the person to the left, right, or whatever you see on social media is doing; but really reflect on what things in this life light a fire in your soul and let that be the guiding vision for what you’re sought out to do in this life.

What is the most important thing in your life?

Family. I think it’s an understatement to say that I am who I am today because of them. They have relentlessly supported me throughout every phase of my life – whether it was graduating from high school/college, spontaneously joining a beauty pageant a couple years back, or starting this new venture – they are the source of my strength to keep going no matter how crazy life gets.

What do you do for fun?

Big or small, I love spontaneity! This could either range from taking little walks around the beautiful Chicago Riverwalk and Lakefront during my intermittent breaks from class, getting a croissant and a matcha latte from the Starbucks Reserves just across the street from our department, or hiking and trying new group fitness classes with my friends! Ever since I moved to Chicago, I embrace spending quality time with my family and friends back home more than ever. Most importantly, I have to say I’m probably the biggest faux dessert connoisseur you will ever meet – which I like to say is just a fancier way of saying I have the biggest sweet tooth ever! So, on my off days don’t be surprised if you catch me Yelping the next best bakery in the area.