Bianca de la Garza has the best of both worlds when it comes to her work life and her personal life. Before launching her own production company Lucky Gal, De la Garza had years of experience as an entertainment, lifestyle and news reporter, even earning an Emmy Award nomination for her work.
She is now the host of her own late-night show Bianca Unanchored, which has allowed the single mother to spend more quality time with her 9-year-old daughter Danica.
We got a chance to talk to De la Garza and she shared some advice for women and mothers, and she even dished on her favorite guest on Bianca Unanchored thus far! Check it out below:
When did you realize that you wanted to leave your position as an anchor to pursue your dreams? Was there a particular moment?
I wouldn’t say it was one moment, but I had been in journalism and then a news reporter and then an anchor for 17 years. I would say it was a few years ago after covering many major events — local, national and even global. I sort of took stock of my career and thought about what the next chapter would look like. I really felt that growing up in New England I wanted to react to what was happening here and I saw that there was a market place — a void — in the type of lifestyle and entertainment stories that viewers wanted to see and that was sort of my inspiration.
Why was creating your own production company [Lucky Gal] so important to you?
Well, I definitely felt like I got bit by the entrepreneurial bug when I was ready to make a move. I knew that I had been doing mornings for about seven years and we had created this wonderful morning show with a fabulous team and had reached a great number one status in New England. To leave that it would have to be something really special and really unique, so I felt like the only way I could create what I wanted was to do it myself. I’ve always been more of a risk taker when it comes to getting out of your comfort zone so for me, it was very logical to do something that I wanted to do and do it the way that I wanted to. There was really no other way except to create my own company and start from scratch.
There are a lot of women, and men, out there right now who are too afraid to leave their current jobs to pursue other careers. What would you say to them?
This is not for everybody. Stepping out and leaving your comfort zone is really scary. But I really do encourage people, no matter what point in their career, to just fight through that first little fear. If they fight through that and get to the other side, you'll really see all the doors that open. And I think that a lot of people have a lot of dreams and aspirations and I would say to them, “Yes it is scary, yes it risky, but the reward can be so great and I think that no matter what you do taking that first step and making that jump — as they say then it will appear it really does.”
You seem so busy, how do you find time to be with your daughter?
[Laughs] I’m with her right now! I find now that I have my own company I’m actually managing my time much better because I schedule things when she’s in school, when she’s at extracurricular events so no longer am I working at someone else’s time frame, I’m working on my own time frame. So it actually has allowed me so much more playtime with her. And for example, we’re going to Mexico in April for April vacation where before it might be hard for me to get all that time off but now we’re gonna hit the road.
What advice do you have for women who are trying to raise a family on their own and have a successful career as well?
I don’t want to see any woman have to make a choice [between] family or career. I know that a lot of women are faced with this struggle. I live it daily myself as a single parent. I think the first piece of advice that’s so critical to being able to go after your dream, but also be there for your family, your kids, your parents, is to create a really strong team — be it friends you can lean on — a lot of times you don’t even realize that your friends would love to have your child over for a play date while you are doing something and you can reciprocate another day. And don’t be afraid to ask for that help. And I think also, it’s a great role model for your children. Kids look at their moms and dads and really take their cues so if you’re a mom and a single mom and your child sees you working hard I think it’s not necessarily, “Why isn’t mommy home right now?” It’s like, “When mommy gets home she can tell me what she did today.” And it just sort of sparks their interest and sparks their work ethic at a really young age. I think nothing wrong can come from that.
And we know your daughter is still really young but has she mentioned anything about what she wants to be when she grows up?
My daughter Danica just turned 9. You know, she kind of grew up in TV stations — you know being my child. For her it’s just another job. Mommy just goes to work in a building and it happens to be a TV studio. She’s shown a lot of different signs for different things she wants to do. She definitely is artistic and definitely — she just started a love for violin with music, and seems to really like drawing so I think she expresses things that she wants to be — she wants to be a fashion designer or sometimes she talks about being an actress but I just want let her go after what she wants to go after. I think that’s the beauty of this — our generation we have careers now that our parents couldn’t have gone after — our moms couldn’t have been this. And the roles now are expanding for women and I would like to see that expand so much more and I encourage her also to follow her math and science because she is pretty good at that as well. I think she’s young but she’s definitely not pigeonholed into going into one career and that’s kind of the most exciting thing about it.
What has been a career defining moment for you?
Well, I’ve had a few. I think when you get the big break which everyone needs to get in their career — you know it happened when I got my first job in broadcasting. You get your big break — that’s defining right? And then it’s what you do with that. Are you going to work as hard as possible to make sure that the person who hired you is happy and knows that they did the right thing to give you that big break? I think it’s a matter of jumping right in and really surpassing goals and working harder than you’ve ever worked. So that was career defining was my first job in Albany and then I think probably the past couple of years. I want to be a part of what I see as new media. I see now that television is an industry that is changing before our eyes and people are getting their information online and in so many different ways. I want to be able to communicate with my viewers in that new media way so I think defining what that is and defining my career in new media has really been sort of a break through moment.
Read more on page 2 >>>