Story by Amazing Perspective @amazperspective
Meet Debora Balardini and Sandie Luna, Co-Founders of Punto Space
Punto Space co-founders Debora Balardini and Sandie Luna have taken the stale idea of an event venue, and breathed new life into the industry.
They’ve created something so unique and something so special, that their 2-year old business is something we’ll be talking about for years to come, because it is a concept that will set a new standard for the way venue owners will operate moving forward.
Inside Punto’s walls, it’s more than just your average venue. Punto was created out of love, out of passion and obsession, integrity and autonomy, and a need to build up communities and bring communities together. You feel that listening to their story about how they went from “running around New York City trying to find themselves”, to creating this business out of a “deep desire to have sustainability, and not wait for someone to present them with an opportunity” to step into their truths.
It started with just a simple idea: to have an office space and a small performing arts space – and Debora and Sandie are no strangers to theater arts. Debora is a Brazilian native who made New York City her home, and traveled as a teacher and performer to Japan, Argentina, France, and Chile. Sandie is an Afro-Latina who was born in the Dominican Republic, raised in Miami, but has deep roots in New York City. She studied Theater and Sociology at Florida State University, and cofounded the Nettles Artists Collective with Debora.
Between the two of them, they’ve both received numerous accolades and have been recognized for countless awards for their outstanding productions and performances, and will be honored again this coming March by SheROCKS.
Their simple “office space” idea happened to turn into 4,000 square feet, including three levels with four distinct studio spaces all under one roof located right in the Fashion District, in the heart of Midtown Manhattan.
But before they made it there, they were turned down by one realtor after another, doors closed, and they were met with confusion when explaining the vast scope of their idea: to converge all of their artistic passions into one fresh and unprecedented venue. They failed forward, and they failed fast. They picked themselves up and they stumbled before they were finally able to see their vision come alive.
They channeled all of that wisdom and knowledge they learned along the way into this one interview. Because they certainly have some of the best advice I’ve come across about how you start a business, what to do when you have a myriad of ideas bubbling inside of you, and how to take a step back to get a fresh perspective that will lead you in the right direction.
These women embody what it means to be changemakers and social entrepreneurs. As the first Latina women to own and operate an event space in New York City, they are innovators and pioneers. They are laying the foundation for Latinas and all women of color who need the motivation, an icon, and the boost to break ground in a new or existing industry. They are doing what’s never been done before, and are putting their own stamp on what it means to be an artist, slash philanthropist, slash venue business owner in New York City.
They share copious amounts of wisdom on life and finding yourself, finding your voice in a world that may not always support or understand what you’re doing or what you’re trying to create, and doing what it takes to make your own rules, and carve out a path that fits your mold. Watch their amazing interview – this is for sure, one you do not want to miss.
“There comes a time in your life where you have to take stock of your abilities and your talents, and how you’re using them. So yes, I’m an artist, but I also was like, ‘Wait a minute, but there’s also these other things that I do really well that I’ve been ignoring business wise.’ And I was like, ‘How can I bring that all together?’ And I think that as you mature and you become a little more wise, you say, ‘Wait a minute, there are other aspects of myself that I’m not using, and how do I bring all these together to make a concrete plan for myself?'” ~Sandie Luna