The Power of Investing in Yourself

Photos by  @fenskefoto  (Factora alum & new business owner!)

Photos by @fenskefoto (Factora alum & new business owner!)


Coffee & Coin is an event series where we get deeeep with women about their finances. (Like really deep. Like “How much you save per month?” deep.)

These next few events are sponsored by Capital One, who are huge supporters of empowering women through financial literacy too!

At the Capital One kick off Coffee & Coin in August, we had the pleasure of interviewing Monica Ceniceros, artist and co-founder of atxGALS and The CathedralATX. There was laughter (see above). There were tears. There was applause. Most important: there was a whole lot of inspiration. You could feel it in the room.

capital one cafe austin coffee and coin
Capital one coffee and coin

Monica’s story is incredible: she moved to the United States from Mexico when she was 16 and hasn’t taken a penny from her parents since.

She waitressed to put herself through school and became an expert in slangin’ expensive drinks and appetizers, which led to bigger tips…and the realization that she should probably be in sales.

She started atxGALS to empower female artists while at her ad sales job. That job is what allows her to totally self-fund atxGALS and not need investors.

We transcribed some of our favorite answers from our event in case you missed it. You can also check out our events page so you don’t miss the next one.

Monica and Christine with their money mantras.

Monica and Christine with their money mantras.

My investing strategy is to invest in my own ideas.
— Monica Ceniceros

What inspired you to create atxGALS? How do I find my own thing to do?

I’d been exhibiting with other art collectives for years, but there was something missing in my opinion. With other art shows, every time I looked around the room, nobody wanted to stay. It was too sterile. A big focus of ours is to alleviate that sterility—that was a huge reason for our success from the first show.

There’s always a way to find your niche. Trial your idea and see if people find value in it. We hold ourselves back because we think our idea has to be perfect before launch, but that’s not true. At atxGALS, we’ve adjusted a lot since our first show. We’re constantly improving. Be patient with yourself!

When asked to describe money in 5 words or less, you said “I’m not me without it.” WE LOVE THAT. Can you tell us more about what that means to you? 

I wouldn’t be here today without money. atxGALS is a huge part of my life now. If we didn’t have resources to put into it, we wouldn’t have the quality of shows that we have now. My entire life has used money as a tool to get to where I am today. My life thrives on the collaboration between money and creativity!

How have you funded atxGALS?

A friend of mine who is from Mexico told me that she had a really hard time getting approved for a bank loan when she was starting her business. She ended up getting a personal loan from another woman, which was the only reason she was able to launch her business.

She wanted to support other women and pay it forward. This is why we make money, so that we can give it back to the causes we care about. Is there any cause better than helping someone achieve their dreams? 

I also put $2,500 monthly from my salary directly into atxGALS. It’s a great way to start a company because I haven’t had to go to investors and lose any creative control.


If you felt inspired reading that, imagine the goosebumps on your arms if you’d actually been there. Keep an eye on our events page (and your inbox) and join us at the next one!

And if you’re not already on the Circle waitlist…a Factora Circle is the absolute best way to invest in yourself. So…