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Moguls in the Making: Graciela Alvarado aka Chela


It’s Tuesday and finally some sunshine in California after weeks of rain! Today we feature a beautiful latin queen Graciela Alvarado aka Chela. She’s is a singer, songwriter, mother, and owner of The Dollhouse Beauty. Chela does is all. Let’s dive in to her story.

Tell Us Why You Started Your Business/Started Your Profession? 

I started my company 13 years ago when I was given the incredible news that I was going to be a Mother. At first I was horrified because before that I was an independent recording artist. Trying to create music that would inspire change and more love. I happily put my music dreams on hold to make sure I could provide for my son with I the best chances and opportunities in life. For me the beauty industry was it. A place I could still be creative, connect with people and grow professionally.


The Dollhouse Beauty

“A personal experience that is exclusively for the everyday girl looking for red carpet treatment, even if it was just for a ladies night out in LA.”

What Makes Your Brand Unique?

At the time when I started my business their was no other beauty beautiques that had the esthetics like mine in the area. Chic salon offering the very best in hair design, nails, make up and lashes. A more personal experience that was exclusive but for the everyday girl looking for red carpet treatment, even if it was just for a ladies night out in LA. I’m all about being exclusive, and doing things different and extra. As womenI think it is important we celebrate ourselves, our accomplishments and feeling beautiful.

Who motivates and inspires You? 

My late grandmother Mina is my biggest inspiration. She came to this country knowing no English, she was a wife and mother of five. Hard working, disciplined and dedicated. She created a beautiful empire of own. Commercial and residential real estate, a successful restaurant owner “El Guanaco” a Mexican and Salvadorian restaurant that still stands today located in Menlo Park, Ca. She basically raised me. Taught me the importance of life, my culture and being fearless. She would always tell me. “Work hard mija, carry yourself with pride, be kind, respectful, and never give up on your dreams. It will all pay off I promise” She believed in family, pursuing the impossible in life and was spiritually connected. I respected her for that.

What obstacles have you had to overcome while running your business? 

Wow.. honestly a lot. But the obstacle that stands out the most happened 3 years ago. Feb 4th, 2015 to be exact. It’s a date that’s still very hard for me to forget. It changed things forever, and still today. Prior to that date I had been suffering for almost 3 days with massive migraines. On the fourth day I woke up completely paralyzed on the left side of my face. I had lost ability to close my eye, my vision became blurry, I couldn’t eat, drink or do anything with the left side of my face. I honestly thought that maybe my face just fell asleep but I came to discover almost a year in that I had a tumor in my right parotid gland. At the beginning they missed diagnosed me as having bells palsy. I had to fight and advocate for myself to discover that it was in fact a tumor. It felt like forever trying to figure out exactly what type of tumor I had. This location being a place where cancer has been known to start. They did three biopsies and could not figure out if it was cancerous or not. The waiting broke be me down. I had to wake up each day, go to work, be a mommy all while not knowing if my life was going to come to an end at some point due to the tumor. The diagnosis could not be determined so they decided to have surgery and remove the tumor just to be safe. That choice was dangerous, because some cancers can spread immediately once they’re removed or opened. Going to work almost less than a week after the tumor was removed was very difficult. I didn’t even give myself time to heal. I didn’t have that option because I owned a store front and I could’ve lost everything. I thought I was strong before this cancer scare, but this moment changed everything in my personal and professional life.

What Does Latin Beauty Mean To You? 

To me Latin Beauty is revolutionary. It’s fearlessly evolving and the next generation is paving a new way to inspire other young Latin women of the world. We have no color lines, no limits, were beautiful, powerful creative souls and our culture is rich, brilliant, and filled with endless possibilities. The best part in Latin Beauty is we’re just getting started, that’s exciting, it’s beautiful! When I was growing up there weren’t many outlets on mainstream media, news or magazines for Latinos. To see Latin Beauty you had to buy a Latin magazine, or turn it to your local Latin television station etc. Today that’s all changing and fast.


What are the 3 Core Values of Your Business Model? and Why? 

-Be Kind -Be Grateful -Inspire & spread love

How Do You Overcome Fear? 

I overcome my fears with meditation mostly and just letting go of control. I try to get comfortable in being uncomfortable. Knowing and having confidence that in the end everything works out. In life it’s all a mind set. I try to run towards my fears because fear normally is what holds us back from our true destiny.

What Message Do You Have For Emerging Entrepreneurs 

Never believe anyone when they say something is impossible. Be fearless in all that you do. The rest becomes history!

Instagram: @thedollhousebeauty