Meet the de facto ambassadors who fuel Riverside’s creative economy
Original mural by Goeff Gouveia, commissioned by Sandals Church for the town of Riverside, on the sidewalk of Bobby Bonds Skatepark. Courtesy of Goeff Gouveia.
Riverside-born artist Geoff Gouveia whose works include a huge mural at the Bobby Bonds Skatepark is fed up with people saying, “That’s cool for Riverside.” That’s because having a base in Riverside hasn’t stopped Gouveia from working with big brands like Adidas, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, and Facebook. In fact, he sees it as an advantage.
“I can deploy my capital creatively by renting office space or hiring because the cost of living is lower here,” Gouveia said. “The internet has made it possible for artists to be based in smaller markets and to continue to thrive in commerce. It gives us permission to stay and make the city even better. ”
Gouveia is certainly doing her part in creating stunning artwork across Riverside. The current goals are football, culture and employment of local students.
Gouveia is certainly doing her part by creating stunning artwork across Riverside. The current goals are football, culture and employment of local students.
“Art can influence the way people see a business. It becomes a vehicle for dialogue and change, ”said Margery Haupt, director of artistic and cultural affairs for the city of Riverside. “Supporting Creative Ambassadors is essential for the growth and improvement of our wider regional economy. “
Gouveia is in good company with entrepreneurs Miguel and Grace Manzo, owners of Manzo Press Studio. The clothing design and embellishment company started eight years ago in Miguel’s bedroom and in the parents’ garage.
“Growing up in Riverside shaped my passion for the arts by osmosis,” said Miguel Manzo.
In 2017, shortly after the arrival of Grace Manzo, the dynamic duo opened their first location. Four years later, they expanded to become an 1,800 square foot industrial warehouse. The natives of Riverside have grown their businesses to help other businesses thrive. “It’s exciting for us to provide a service that elevates the brand of a business or organization,” said Miguel Manzo.
The couple love that Riverside is full of free or low-cost resources to help businesses thrive. They experienced it firsthand when the city accepted Manzo Press Studio into its Small Business Support Series, a three-month boot camp to learn marketing, sales, operations, customer service and finance. . They are now paying it forward by offering internships and part-time jobs to students.
Owners Grace and Miguel Manzo at the new Manzo Press Studio. Courtesy of Manzo Press Studio.
Another influential ambassador is Justin Hudson. While attending Martin Luther King High School, he and his friends gave themselves titles. “I was the president of Riverside,” Hudson said.
Hudson’s pride in his hometown eventually became a lifelong mission to raise awareness of the Inland Empire with the launch of his clothing line 1LoveIE, short for “one love Inland Empire”. In eight years, the company has grown from a booth at Artswalk to multiple physical locations and deals with Champs and Foot Locker.
“It’s crazy how the stores where I spent all my money as a kid are now associating with us,” said Hudson.
Hudson calls customers ‘family members’ who feature in some 1LoveIE drawings. Courtesy of 1LoveIE.
Hudson (second from right) in Sacramento with his mother (far left), Caucus member Sabrina Cervantes and videographer at the annual California Small Business Day celebration. Courtesy of 1LoveIE.
1LoveIE was appointed 60e The 2021 Assembly District Small Business of the Year and Riverside Mayor Patricia Lock Dawson donned the clothes when she was sworn in. 1LoveIE gives back frequently through volunteerism and donations, such as their annual shoe donation for youth in foster care.
“We created a real culture, a community,” said Hudson. “The heart of Riverside’s creative economy. “
For more information on artist Geoff Gouveia, visit www.geoffgouveia.com.
For more information on Manzo Press Studio, visit www.manzopressstudio.com.
For more information on 1LoveIE, visit www.1loveie.com.