Karla Gallardo is the co-founder and CEO of Cuyana, a San Francisco-based women's clothing and lifestyle brand. She and her co-founder Shilpa Shah founded the company in 2011 with the concept of fewer, better things. Born and raised in Ecuador, her story is one of immigration, determination and family. With an immigrant mentality, Karla put her all into achievement and traditional definitions of success: an Ivy League education, a STEM degree, a coveted career in investment banking.
But, she always had an urge to build something bigger, a company that would impact the bottom of the pyramid. Now, since starting Cuyana with a $20,000 loan, and a hat, of all things, as their first product, the company's attracted tens of millions of dollars in investments.