Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Cattolica International

Making Waves with Galia: A Story of Family Love and Creativity


Ideas come and go. They are elusive and sometimes, appear at unexpected moments. They play hide and seek with us just to make an appearance when we need them most. Sometimes ideas arise as a solution to a problem, other times to give us something to think about when we are in the middle of a tedious activity, but many times, ideas arise from love, from an event that was meaningful to us. We have ideas that become dreams, others that come from wanting to innovate, to create something new. They come out of connections, of what could have been and will be. Bianca had the idea of making “Galia,” from the place that for her was the most beautiful of all: family.

Bianca established Galia in 2020, a sustainable online family business founded in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The inspiration for the business came from a precious family gift personally handcrafted by Bianca's grandmother for her grandparent's 40th wedding anniversary. The treasured gift is a shell decorated on the edges with gold paint and adorned with intricate paper technique designs on the inside. Immediately after she saw it, Bianca fell in love with the soft colours and the unique shape of the shell but was even more enchanted by the thoughtfulness and love behind the little oyster. Motivated by her grandmother and with the help of her mother, Bianca took off with Galia. She performs the entire creative and production process of designing and renovating the shells and manages everything related to the digital business that is available all over Ecuador.

The name “Galia” means wave in Hebrew and these same waves of the sea are the ones that bring the oysters to the shore. The oysters are cleaned, and their soft and peculiar shape emerges. It’s no coincidence that the entire process of creating a "Galia" begins back near the water. After being used and before their disposal, Bianca's grandmother obtains the shells from fishermen near the coast and brings them to Bianca who, after cleaning them thoroughly to eliminate any odour that the oyster residues may leave, begins the part that allows her creativity to be the protagonist of the rest of the process. With dedication, Bianca chooses the designs that she will put on the shells and with soft brushstrokes adds golden touches to the edges to turn an oyster into a beautiful craft, inspired by the meaningful gift from her grandmother.

For Bianca, this became more than just a new business, for Bianca this project “…created a special bond with my grandma and my mother, it got us closer.” This venture further developed a connection, an inexplicable complicity. From these connections, we learn many things and apply them to ourselves, to our thoughts and ideas. For Bianca, something as beautiful as a family gift has become a way to let her creativity and imagination run wild was one of her most surreal ideas.

Bianca mentions "I never thought I would have an entrepreneurship, but you never know what life has for you." As it happened to Bianca, sometimes these ideas arise unexpectedly intending to teach us lessons. Bianca not only learned that she could get out of her comfort zone and create something wonderful, but she also realised that perhaps letting herself go by these turns that life sometimes takes with its different ways and paths, can lead her to places that she would have never imagined.

One of these paths led Bianca to Milan, to Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore to study a Bachelor's degree in Communication Management. Researching the different classes and topics that the university offered like the storytelling class, she thought “...that's a key part of the business: to show its story and the what? the why? why is it special?” she decided that the best thing for her would be to embark on this new journey, to learn from her ideas and her creativity and how to better communicate them for her business back at Guayaquil. 

Whilst in Milan, Bianca had to navigate this new phase of her life. Away from her family and the environment she knew, sometimes it was a little hard to look on the bright side of things. But Bianca is perseverant, and she fondly remembers what her grandmother always instilled in her "I can do anything that I want, that I set my mind to. If I have faith and I work hard, I will achieve my goals." Being in a city where art and creative ideas come out through the showcases of the stores or through the vibrancy of the people who inhabit it, Bianca understood that she was in the right place. Walking through the halls of the university, she met new people with whom she formed new connections, new bonds of friendship that would later become, as she expresses “her new family in Milan.” For Bianca, family is the most important thing and regardless of where you find it, in it, you will always be in a safe place.

Bianca, young and tenacious has already many goals, dreams and ideas ready to be conquered at the palm of her hand. Working and smiling at life, Bianca has not only been able to find a lot about herself, but she has also undertaken another type of project, one in a place far from her hometown, one that will stay with her for life and that has taught her so much in the process of building it, one that helped her find new ideas, new connections, and new ways to be creative and imaginative. Exploring a new city, and learning new ways to create, communicate and innovate constitutes this project that’s still alive every day that Bianca walks out of her dorm door and heads to the Gemelli campus to continue her creative and learning journey in the city of Milan.