Isabela Rangel Grutman knows that the only failure is in giving up. When the founder (and model, designer, businesswoman, active philanthropist, and mother) carved a path and a name for herself in the fashion world, she was undeterred by the fierce competition. Isabela honed her prowess, nourished her passions, and lent her talents to iconic brands, including Stuart Weitzman, Adidas, and L’Oréal; recently, she shot for Tiffany & Co. and Calvin Klein.
Now, her life is something of a Miami fairy tale. An advisor to the Groot empire (she married David Grutman in 2016), Isabela’s overseeing her own entrepreneurial ventures. Rangel is a house of resort-inspired fashion for women and children that nods to Isabela’s home country of Brazil, while ISA GRUTMAN Jewelry evokes timelessness and grace. And that’s just a sampling of Isabela’s packed resume, a testament to a steely determination and creativity. Her most important position, though, is as a mother and role model to two young daughters.
The secret to finding balance while parenting and running businesses? It’s the same philosophy that nurtured Isabela’s early career: work hard. Don’t let other people decide the course of your dreams. And know that, when you don’t give up, anything is possible.
You’ve had a varied and impressive career: how did you transition from modeling to entrepreneurship, and why was that transition important to you?
I still model, just not full-time anymore. The transition, however, was quite easy. In modeling, I was heavily influenced by the fashion world, which helped my passion grow for both clothing and accessories. The switch from being a brand’s client to the CEO was where I had to learn a lot, and, in fact, I’m still learning every day. I am lucky and thankful to have a lot of successful family members and friends who often help guide and inspire me in my two businesses, ISA GRUTMAN Jewelry and Rangel.
What was one of the most important lessons you learned as a model that has guided you in business?
I believe the most important lesson I learned was to never give up and always strive for my dreams. The modeling world is a tough industry and extremely competitive. I had to work extra hard to always prove myself. Having had this experience has set me up to never give up on something and when it gets hard to work harder.
You have quite a few projects right now. What are you most excited about, from your businesses to your philanthropy?
It’s been so crazy, but I wouldn’t change anything for the world. I love creating and building my brands as well as helping others. I am most excited about my new collections coming out — behind the scenes, we are investing a lot of time into these designs. There has been so much trial and error to get the styles perfect, and I am just proud to share them with the world soon.
What inspires you in your work?
I am heavily inspired by vintage styles, both in jewelry and clothing. There is something special about pieces that have a story and history. I also get inspired by culture and people around me, which helps keep the brands fresh yet still timeless and classic.
How do you balance entrepreneurship and motherhood?
Being a mother is the most important job I have, and that always comes first. I am lucky to have a great support system, and my children are surrounded by people who love and care about them, too! Everything I am doing is to be the best role model and mom to my two daughters.
How do you create wellness within your busy schedule, and what wellness practices help sustain you physically and mentally?
Ultimately, it comes down to making time for it. I first and foremost eat relatively healthy food, I try to work out daily before I head into the office, and I schedule my appointments in advance to make sure I commit to them. At the end of the day, health is wealth and the most important thing you can have.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?
My best advice would be to keep dreaming and work hard toward your goals. Never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Anything is possible with passion, hard work, and perseverance.
Feature image photo credit: ISA GRUTMAN Jewelry