"Parties in Japan don't stop until 10 a.m.," Gabby Hizon asserted. "It's nonstop drinking, nonstop shots." Technically, the parties she throws as the CEO of The IMAGE, an event coordinating company, end at 5 a.m. followed by after parties that keep on trucking just as breakfast ends. And at 23, Hizon admitted she is nearly partied out. So while her firm is based in Japan, this Dededo resident has planted herself back home on Guam, where she plots her next move at expansion. UNO recently caught up with her and learned more about this young entrepreneur.
Tell us something more about yourself.
I grew up on island, and graduated at St. Johns School in 2011. I had my sights set on law school. After a stint at the University of Guam, I moved to Japan to attend Temple University. I got accepted into Harvard, but I deferred the admission until 2018 to stay in Japan. It's still on my mind, what I wanted when I was younger. But going to college in Japan, I explored my options."
Gabby Hizon went from local island girl to international career woman
We understand that you have been in quite a few international party scenes while in Tokyo.
At first, I didn't think it was a big deal. I didn't see any business aspect of it. This was a way for me and my friends to get in for free, VIP drinks, meet celebrities, famous people.
How did it become a business for you?
I finally saw the opportunity for business. Specific club parties were drawing all kinds of CEOs and COOs, people in the fashion industry, etc. I eventually took over a firm called Volume. I'll be honest. I made a lot of mistakes in that company. I wanted to start anew, especially with my own name. I began as a small club promoter and it grew from there."
And that’s where The IMAGE got started?
I began anew with The IMAGE. It's where I saw the opportunity to funnel upscale clientele and the international crowd to parties [we organize]. There's a lot of competition in Japan. But I feel like that's what drove me to do what I do to keep one-upping them. There are like 10 other event companies that compete against mine. But they essentially throw events to support their brand. For me, I want to bring foreign brands into the Asian market and expose them.
You have achieved a lot at such a young age. It’s probably in your DNA.
Well, you could say business is in my blood. I’m part of the Del Carmen family, which runs Inland Builders Corporation and Del Carmen Investments. I admire my family, and at the same time, I want people to see who I am. I grew up in the business, and I've obviously changed to the entertainment side of things. I can teach people to manage my company while I'm on Guam. I trust my assistant, who is from Guam, because we all know that Guam people stay close to each other. Right now, my main goal is to keep expanding my business, make it known.
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About the Author
Guam born and raised, this contributor has an affinity for island life, people, food and culture. Got a story idea? Email her at email@example.com.Follow on Twitter More Content by Lacee A.C. Martinez