US Business News

The Colors of Life: Anna Gomez’s Daring Quest to Bring More Diversity to the Literary World

Anna Gomez is a woman of many talents. Born and raised in the bustling city of Makati in the Philippines, she attended an all-girls Catholic school before finishing her high school years in Vancouver, B.C. She then went on to pursue her college education at De La Salle University in Manila, where she earned a degree in Economics and a minor in Humanities.

But Gomez’s education and career trajectory don’t end there. With her background as a certified public accountant, she went on to work for seventeen years at Leo Burnett, rising to become Chief Financial Officer of Leo Burnett Worldwide, a global advertising agency. Today, she serves as Partner and CFO of No Fixed Address, a network of advertising agencies in Toronto, New York, and Chicago.

Gomez is not just a successful businesswoman but also a champion for gender diversity and social justice. She was selected for the 2020 HERoes Women Role Model Executives list, has sat on several boards, and currently serves as treasurer for Breathe for Justice and The Jensen Project, organizations that work to address socio-economic issues such as violence against women and human trafficking.

But what truly sets Gomez apart is her passion for writing. Under her own name as well as the pen name Christine Brae, she has written books that promote diversity and challenge the norm. In an interview, she shared that when she started writing her first book, she changed her name to sound more “American” and wrote stories that were more palatable to her audience, trying to fit into the mold of what was expected. It wasn’t until she built a strong fan base that she realized people from all walks of life could relate to her stories. Love and emotions are universal.

Gomez decided to write what she knew and began with multicultural novels inspired by personal experiences and interactions with people from different backgrounds.

“Most people say that reading is a form of escape. And while the definition of ‘escape’ to me means different places and cultures, maybe it simply means escape from our daily lives. But wouldn’t it be great if it were both?” she insightfully shared.

Despite not fitting the typical mold of what readers may be looking for, she remains fearless in her writing and continues to share her perspective with the world. “Writing about your life makes you vulnerable. It’s like handing your heart out to the world on a platter. But the people who have read my stories, those who have reached out to me to talk about the lessons they have learned or identified with, gives me the courage I need to stay authentic. When you write for the right reasons, the journey is what matters. And it’s been an adventure like no other!”

When asked what lesson she wants to impart, she says, “Sharing our stories opens a whole new world to those who may never get to experience it. Our differences bring color to life that make us richer in every sense of the word. The blending of cultures and the understanding that we gain from looking at humanity from every vantage point brings us closer together and creates an empathy that makes us kinder and more tolerant. Love is love—its universality is the same thread that binds us no matter where we’re from. All our colors, when mixed together, become brighter, bolder and louder.”

Gomez’s writing is a true reflection of her passion for exploring the nuances of different cultures. Her upcoming novels are sure to captivate readers with their vivid sceneries, relatable characters, and powerful messages. The themes of love, empathy, and understanding are woven throughout her work and will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact.

With co-author Kristoffer Polaha, Gomez has created a unique world in the From Kona with Love series that is not only entertaining but educational, tying in socio-economic differences, historical references, events, and nuances that both Filipino Americans and Hawaiians experience. 

Following the recent success of her second book in the From Kona with Love series, Where the Sun Rises, Gomez’s next novel to look out for is My Goodbye Girl, coming in June 2023 from Rosewind Books. She is currently writing One Day Like the Rain and Match Made in Paris.

Escape Hotel: Hollywood’s Haunted Haven for Adventure Seekers

Imagine a labyrinth of rooms, each one a riddle waiting to be solved. A hotel where the walls are adorned with clues, and every door holds a new challenge. A place where the excitement never ends, and the puzzles are always one step ahead. A hotel where families and friends can bond over the thrill of solving the ultimate mystery. Welcome to the ultimate escape experience, where the adventure never stops.

Escape Hotel, located on the iconic Hollywood Boulevard, offers adventure seekers an unparalleled escape room experience. Co-created by Ivan Leon of Colombia and Lara Herczeg of Hungary, the venue opened its doors in the summer of 2016 and quickly established itself as a must-visit destination for escape room enthusiasts. 

As visitors step through the threshold, they are welcomed by the ghostly staff who usher them into a haunted hotel straight out of the 1920s. With 11 spine-chilling games to choose from, each immersing players in a unique nightmare, Escape Hotel has teamed up with some of the biggest names in film and television, such as Warner, Fox, Paramount and Sony, to craft custom games and experiences, featuring beloved franchises like Tomb Raider and The Exorcist.

“We saw a lot of potential for a big development in a rapidly growing industry that limited itself to a couple of games inside the venue and zero experience or uniqueness outside the games,” the creators said. “This is unbelievable, and we can make this much better. Somebody is going to make this big, and that someone better be us,” was our idea,” they added.

Escape Hotel has become a haunt for the rich and famous, with celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Shia LaBeouf, Machine Gun Kelly and Megan Fox all visiting. With a customer base as varied as the games on offer, the hotel caters to everyone from thrill-seeking youth to families with kids and grandparents seeking an exciting escape.

Escape Hotel is the ultimate destination for thrill-seekers, not only for its spine-chilling games but also for its prime location on the iconic Hollywood Boulevard, making it a landmark in its own right. With the theatrical flair of its undead staff, state-of-the-art special effects, and an unforgettable check-in process, it’s no wonder Escape Hotel is the talk of the town. With its success in Hollywood, plans are in motion to expand to even more cities and countries and give more crowds a chance to experience the ultimate escape. 

Empowering Moms and Celebrating Faith: Kingfolk Co. on Faith-based Gifts

Kerri King, a female entrepreneur and stay-at-home mother, is the creator and founder of Kingfolk Co., a Faith-based gifts company that offers custom-printed Bibles, Bible covers, and more. The company has grown from strength to strength and now has hundreds of thousands of customers, thanks to King’s hard work and determination.

Kingfolk Co. is unique in the marketplace as it is the only company to custom print Bibles. King’s goal was to provide a repeatable and quality product that could be produced faster than hand-painted Bibles. This has made Kingfolk Co. stand out from other Bible accessory companies.

During the recent pandemic, the company saw a significant increase in Bible sales, which King attributes to people seeking comfort and solace in their faith during an uncertain time. “I think the pandemic affected everyone differently. For us, we saw a major uptick in Bible sales. My guess is that folks decided to dig into their faith either because they suddenly had more time on their hands or because it was a fearful and uncertain time,” shared Kerri.

Kingfolk Co.

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Balancing her role as a mother and business owner, King loves being able to provide an income for her family while also employing other stay-at-home mothers. As multitasking is second nature to mothers, King has found that they make excellent employees, allowing her business to run smoothly and her family to thrive. “So far, I’ve been well pleased with all the stay-at-home moms that I’ve been able to employ over the years. They help my business run smoothly so that I can enjoy my kids and they get to do the same. It’s a win-win!” she said.

King’s entrepreneurial journey has been shaped by her upbringing and the lessons she learned from her parents about working hard for what she wants. She advises aspiring entrepreneurs to be willing to put in time and effort, be open to failure, and never give up. “I was taught early on to work hard for what you want. My parents raised me in a house that allowed me to dream and be whatever I wanted to be. I can remember working at a very early age to earn money for the things I wanted. As an adult, these same principles have guided me to where I am today,” she explained.

King believes that the USA is still the best place to run a business today, due to its ease of starting a business and the wealth of resources available. The company has expanded its product range by partnering with Harper Collins Publishing and now offers a range of Bible translations to cater to customer preferences.

Kerri also confidently talked about how she started and utilized online marketplaces like ETSY. “I have utilized Etsy and various other marketplaces for the past 15 years and I’ll definitely say, they’re a great resource,” she explained. “It’s always been my motto to not never put all your eggs in one basket, so I would never put my company’s future in the hands of just one online marketplace. But being able to spread out amongst several different online platforms has been an awesome supplement to my shop.” 

In 2022, Kerri partnered with Collins Publishing at the end of 2022 to bring some fresh, new designs to the King James Version of the Bible. “Our customers have loved them and we love being able to sell multiple translations of the Bible so that we are catering to our customer’s preferences,” she mentioned.

This year, Kingfolk Co. is focusing on developing resources to complement the Bible, helping people dive deeper into their faith. The company’s motto is, “I have a Bible, now what?”, and King is excited to see what the future holds for Kingfolk Co.

You can find Kingfolk Co. online through their website or follow them on Instagram.

OLYRA, the Fastest-Growing Natural Breakfast Biscuits Brand in the US, Expands Reach to 5000 Stores Nationwide

Olyra, the first organic and nutritious breakfast biscuits brand, has announced its rapid growth in the US market, and is now available in 5000 stores nationwide, including popular chains such as Sprouts Market, Whole Foods, Publix, Kroger, Fresh Market, Stop & Shop, Giant, and other independent stores.


Born from the ancient Greek values of nourishment and sustainability, Olyra is a family-owned business that has been passed down for five generations. The founder of Olyra, Yannis Varellas, wanted to bring the wisdom of ancient Greek diets to the modern world, through the use of ancient grains that were the basis of the ancient Greeks’ diet. One of their biscuits, Filled Breakfast Biscuits, is made with four Ancient Greek grains, including Spelt, Lupine, Oat and Barley.


“We have worked hard to offer a product that promotes a balanced nutrition and lifestyle,” shared Varellas. “It is very important to us, to give our customers a tasteful, good-for-them snack, that is convenient and makes their busy lifestyle more balanced. It’s the perfect solution for their modern, energy snack needs,” he added.

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With a focus on providing a balanced and convenient snack, Olyra offers 5 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and only 6 grams of sugars in every pack. This commitment to health and wellness helped the company thrive during the pandemic, as customers increasingly seek out nutritious snacks.


The transition from a company based in Greece to the US market was not without challenges, but the founder’s unwavering belief in his vision and hard work have paid off. Starting in NYC, Yannis went door-to-door to independently owned grocery stores, and soon after, Olyra’s first big P.O. came from Stop & Shop. The company has since expanded its reach to its now 5000+ stores nationwide.


Now with their products reaching the US market, Yannis shares his insight,  “US offers a lot of opportunities and allows you to expand in a stable environment as it leads the world in many key industries.”

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The company has always had a remote-first approach, even before the pandemic, due to its team being mainly based in Greece. However, with the pandemic forcing the team to work from home, they had to optimize their strategies and find the best way to collaborate efficiently. This resulted in a more efficient way of working from operations to production and execution. “Our products are mainly sold in retail, in which there were great difficulties during the pandemic, so we took advantage of this time, to develop our e-commerce channel, and better understand our customers’ needs.”


Yannis offers advice to others looking to start their own companies in the US telling us in a statement, “Believe in your dream and make it work. If you have a product or service that will provide a better and convenient lifestyle to the people it targets, with hard work and people who believe in you, you will succeed!”


OLYRA never stops brainstorming and is always looking for ways to innovate and bring new products to the market. The company is constantly looking for new ways to meet the changing needs of its customers and is always on the lookout for new market opportunities.


“We are always looking for ways to innovate and bring new products to this category,” said Varellas. “Our goal is to always keep our customers’ needs in mind and to bring the best possible products to market.”


For more information, please visit their website.