Isaac and Lucy Gallardo knew since their teen years they wanted to own their own business. They each grew up in families that struggled financially and they used that as their inspiration to reach for their dream.
Isaac migrated to the US in 1991, as he walked down the desert not knowing what destiny would bring him, he remembers feeling as if it was an adventure he was living.
He recalls wearing his new pair of tennis shoes and walking through the muddy desert and being devastated knowing his new shoes were getting dirty. Instead of fearing for his life, he innocently figured he was in no danger, and maintained his focus on having to go through a harsh road of nothing but desert. Isaac arrived in the US at the age of eight years old. He worked hard to master the English language and he never wanted to be left behind when it came to challenges. Growing up, things were financially difficult for Isaac’s family. His father first sought work as a gardner then worked several odd jobs during Isaac’s childhood. His family shared a single home with three other families. Isaac remembers how hard his father and mother worked for their family. That work ethic motivated Isaac and he grew even more determined to reach his dreams.
Isaac finished high school and began college in Santa Ana only to have to quit at age 19 due to his father breaking his foot, and was faced having to help support his family of five. He began working at Target doing Internet sales, then to Platinum 1 Designs where he was promoted to Production Manager. Isaac grew up watching and learning as his father and uncles worked on cars and bikes. He developed a passion for learning every aspect of the business. He then decided to go back to college and attended the Automotive Collision Program at Cypress College of Orange County. That dream of having his own business was still in the front of his mind. He never let the obstacles he faced as a child, such as trying to fit in, get in his way to make this country his new home. He managed to work hard and was driven in every way …he was inspired by his mother who was always trying something new to make money for his family.
His wife Lucy faced her own set of challenges in life. Lucy struggled through her high school years as well. Although she did well in school and received good grades, she was devastated by the divorce of her parents at the age of 14. She believed nothing could tear apart her tight knit family. Her father constantly put the children down, never took a minute to praise them for their good work and was very dominate in his marriage. One day he decided to leave the family for another woman.
With five children to raise, her mother was devastated. The children didn’t know how to feel about the situation. Each reacted in different ways but since childhood Lucy wanted her own business so she pushed through that pain to pursue a dream. She enrolled at California State University-San Bernardino with a dual major in Business Administration with concentration in Management and Entrepreneurial Management major with a minor in Human Resources. Lucy earned her Bachelor’s degree as well as a third place regional finish at the annual Entrepreneural Awards Competition in 2007 and at the Spirit Entrepreneur Awards in 2008. According to the judges, they commented “Some youngsters, you hope will make it in business; others you know will make it – and human-dynamo Lucy Gallardo is definitely one of those”. That recognition got her on the cover of Fender Bender Magazine and a video spot on PBS Biz Kids.