WHO WE ARE
GORETTI MEDEIROS - FOUNDER | OWNER
Goretti was born in Lincoln, CA, and grew up in Lincoln, San Jose & Mount Shasta before moving to Southern California. She’s the oldest of two kids in her immediate family, but has 30 first cousins and says some of them are like her siblings. Her parents both immigrated from the Açores island of Faial. While Goretti was born in the U.S. like many first-generation children of Açorean immigrants, she says she was raised with Portuguese customs and traditions. Goretti recalls learning to sew from her mother at a very young age as it was a skill her mother believed would always be useful in life; a belief that couldn’t be more true for Goretti.
Goretti’s career has been one that proved her mother right. She achieved a master tailor level and worked for the brands Guess Jeans, Abercrombie and Fitch, Fossil, and Juicy Couture, to name a few. With her knowledge of sewing that included aspects of every detail of the process, she became known for her expertise at ensuring garments fit properly with premier quality. Goretti’s career involved both the designing and the manufacturing of clothing. She’s worked for national brands in creating efficiencies for factories. She reached a prestigious career milestone for her industry by being a black box tester for software development. Whether it’s been on design end or the production end, Goretti is known for creating efficiencies while offering quality products. Rooster Camisa is the result of Goretti’s upbringing in the Portuguese community and of her years of experience in the fashion industry.
In the Rooster Camisa family, Goretti has the role of being the visionary and being a fearless leader. Because she’s worked in a very competitive industry her whole career, she knows every aspect of how to create quality products and how to forge long-standing connections that help make things happen efficiently. She feels she owes it to her customers to keep designing new apparel and to keep working with our Portuguese artisans to create new imports.
While Goretti loves the role of being the leader of Rooster Camisa, she also loves that she gets to wear many hats. As a small family-owned company, everyone wears many hats. One of her favorite things to do is to work at Portuguese festas and events. Goretti really enjoys working at a festa and talking to the customers directly; their energy inspires her. But she also loves the diversity every day brings. In addition to directing the business end of Rooster Camisa, she gets to create products. She says, “Every day, I get to work on creating products that I am passionate about. I’m always looking for upscale ways to provide our Portuguese community with the products they love, and I’m equally passionate about finding ways to share our culture beyond the Portuguese community. I’m just crazy enough to think that everybody wants to be Portuguese in one way or another.”
For Goretti, Rooster Camisa is a vehicle for her vision. That vision is building a community and spreading the good from the Portuguese culture to all who need to know about it!
Goretti wants to underscore that her vision isn’t possible without the amazing support she’s had over the years from the Portuguese community. She says, “I could not be where I am today without the support of the greater Portuguese American community. Rooster Camisa has also been very fortunate to have some very gifted and gracious Brand Ambassadors who have helped us tremendously. I also want to be sure to convey my endless gratitude for the love, encouragement, and support my customers have shown us during these hard times. Please know I look forward to seeing my customers' faces as soon as it’s safe to be back out in our community in person.”
“Sempre vá com foco, força e fé”
- Goretti Medeiros
MARGARET RESENDES PEEK - COMMUNICATIONS | SALES
Margaret Resendes Peek is Rooster Camisa’s Communications and Sales Manager. Her self-appointed nickname is “the mouthpiece” for two reasons: she loves communicating with others and she never lacks for words when doing it. She’s been part of the Rooster Camisa family for one and a half years.
She’s very proud to say she was born in Terceira, Açores, Portugal. Being raised in the United States, Margaret describes herself as living the life of a third culture person. She says her career in social work stemmed from knowing what it’s like have to struggle fit in and accept help. As a social worker, she spent over two decades fine-tuning her skills as an empathetic, clear communicator. Whether in writing or verbally, Margaret’s communication and people skills are highly valuable.
Margaret brings those skills to Rooster Camisa and they’re greatly valued. Whether she’s writing about the Portuguese culture or talking to customers, sales representatives or vendors, Margaret’s input is always professional and welcoming.
Margaret says, “finding my place in Rooster Camisa has allowed me to use my skills in a way that connects me to our Portuguese community. Nothing makes me happier than getting on a phone call and speaking Portuguese with a customer. I’m energized when I get to support our Sales Representatives and Brand Ambassadors. I feel a deep sense of gratitude that doing what I love also means being connected with so many aspects of the Portuguese culture.”
Margaret says being part of the Rooster Camisa “movement” is very personal to her. It’s a way for her to help pass on her heritage to future generations while honoring those who helped form the Portuguese culture she carries with her everywhere. Margaret’s fond of saying she’s grateful for being Portuguese every single day and that gratitude has never been more so than at this time in her life. It’s her goal to use that gratitude as a guide for how to radiate all the great things the Portuguese culture has to offer.
ERNIE AND NATALIE VELAYO OF ENV FILMS | CREATIVE CONTENT MANAGERS
Natalie and Ernie Velayo of ENV Films are officially known as Rooster Camisa’s Creative Content Managers. But they’re also known as the dynamic duo of the company’s image and video magic.
Although they come from different backgrounds, Ernie and Natalie share a positive outlook on life that can be seen in their visual content. Natalie grew up in Northern California as an only child in a Portuguese family. She and Rooster Camisa’s owner and founder, Goretti Medeiros, are cousins. Even as a child, Natalie says her passion was for visual art. While in college, she majored in psychology; art continues to fuel her creativity and joy. She currently works in advertising and marketing. Ernie was born in the Philippines and is the youngest of three children in his family. He and his family immigrated to the U.S. when he was seven years old. Growing up, Ernie says he not only enjoyed art, but he also enjoyed performing his imitations of famous singers. He currently works in sales and project management.
It's Natalie and Ernie's passion for travel and food that inspired them to start ENV Films. During their travels, they documented their adventures. Natalie’s gift of drawing people into her photos' mood is a natural fit for what she does in the Rooster Camisa family. Ernie says he loves the technical and complex aspects of video editing. Much like anything else he's taken on in his life, Ernie has the gift of being self-taught and intuitive. His talent as a videographer is also a natural fit for what he does in the company’s family. It's no exaggeration to say that Natalie and Ernie are perfectly matched for how they do life and how their gifts align.
Ernie and Natalie make the perfect team to help convey stories through imagery and videos. They do a beautiful job of helping customers visualize how apparel looks and feels. They highlight the beauty of the products imported from Portugal and help tell the story of how important the Portuguese culture is to Rooster Camisa.
Natalie and Ernie say that they really enjoy the freedom to be creative and to be a part of a local start-up. Natalie says she and Ernie feel “it’s truly exciting to see a brand come to life and then evolve with the ever-changing market." Ernie and Natalie believe that it's important to capture the vision of Rooster Camisa through high-quality content to tell the meaning and stories behind the products and designs. That belief is what makes ENV Films so valued by Rooster Camisa and why Natalie and Ernie are called the dynamic duo of the company’s image and video magic.
HEATHER BLAIKIE | DESIGN DIRECTOR
Heather was born in Birmingham, Alabama for the first 18 years of her life. Heather says that she was fortunate enough to spend time with two grandmothers who both loved to quilt. She credits her love of fashion design and sewing to those two women who gave her access to their quilt fabric remnants. Heather says she has many good memories of sewing clothes for her dolls while they created their beautiful quilts around her. But Heather gives credit in equal measure to the family tradition of tinkering for her love of industrial design. She believes tinkering started with her Scottish great-great grandfather. This great-great grandfather immigrated from Scotland with the dream of designing and running an underground dairy farm. This was something he’d accomplished in Scotland. While his dream didn’t come to fruition in America, his love of building and designing lived on for generations and It’s this family tradition that adds love for industrial engineering to Heather’s passion for fashion design.
While Heather earned a degree in Industrial Design from Georgia Tech, she has just as much passion for fashion design. She says that she spent the first year of her time there pursing an education in fashion design. Heather’s career has been focused product development where she has been instrumental in brand development for Michael Kors watches, ModCloth, and Steve Madden. Heather’s passion is for brand building and thrives working as part of a team. It’s in that spirit of brand building collaboration that she and Goretti’s path’s crossed years ago. And it’s with that same spirit that has made Heather an important part of Rooster Camisa.
Rooster Camisa has been fortunate to have Heather contribute towards the company’s apparel designs for over six years. Heather’s contributions have been pivotal in the continued success of building the Rooster Camisa brand. But Heather’s role as Rooster Camisa Creative Director isn’t just about doing what she loves, it’s about being part of a community. Heather says one of the things she appreciates greatly about Rooster Camisa is that she sees evidence that “the brand provides identity, family, and community” For Heather, being part Rooster Camisa fits right into how she loves to work-as a collaborator, team member and supporter of a brand that brings others together. Heather says she loves what she currently does with Rooster Camisa. She dreams of a time when she can also facilitate crafting/meditation retreats along with leading creative teams in product development and design. One thing is obvious to those who know Heather and her work ethic, no matter what she does, she’s an asset to those who are fortunate enough to be on her team.
APRIL HOPKINS - CREATIVE | SOCIAL MANAGER
April was born in central Wisconsin, where her family has resided for over 100 years. Originally from Germany, her family began a successful sausage company when immigrating to the United States. April is proud to say that their company, Wenzel Farm Sausages, still exists today. April is the oldest of two children in the family and has always had a passion for drawing. She says she started drawing as soon as she was old enough to hold a pencil; doing anything else seemed unnatural. It is this passion that has been a constant in April's life.
April has a Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and has been practicing design for over 15 years. She's worked for major corporations such as Michaels, but her favorite work, April says, is designing for small businesses. This makes April a perfect fit for Rooster Camisa.
In the Rooster Camisa family, April creates social media content and is instrumental in bringing Goretti's creative vision to life. Goretti is the company founder and owner. Amongst the many facets of April's talent is the ability to pivot quickly. This talent has been instrumental in the company's growth because she provides a variety of creative support that's critical when growing a small business. With April's history of being raised in a family-owned business, it's no surprise that she understands how important that is. It's only one of the many reasons she's so appreciated by Rooster Camisa.
But her creative talents aren't the only thing that makes April such an excellent fit for the company. April has a sensitivity that shines through her work. That ability has made it possible for her to tune into the Portuguese community without being Portuguese herself. She has a real appreciation for people's heritages and cultures. She says that "I have found that working with the Portuguese community has revitalized my appreciation of my own German heritage." One of her favorite things about the work she does is connecting people through art and creativity. She's now studying classical painting techniques, something she's set aside for a long time but is happy to say is something to which she's found her way back.
No matter where her talents lead her next, April says supporting a small business is important to her through her work and own purchases. As Rooster Camisa's social media content creator, she has one ask and thats, "please comment and share our posts! We love to hear from you, and it makes our work so much more meaningful when we can interact with our customers!"