Forty Under 40

Rebecca Barborak


Written By: Business Magazine


Name: Rebecca Barborak

Birthdate: 09/12/1984

Where were you born? San Jose, Costa Rica

What are your community activities? (church or faith-based involvement, local, regional and national professional organizations, non-profits, etc)

Corks & Colors Studio is active with many nonprofit organizations in the form of donating supplies, donating art work, making silent auction donations or assistance in fundraising.  We’ve worked closely with the Center for Independent Living’s High School High Tech Program by assisting them with an art show and hiring Summer interns from their group. We donated supplies to the Senior Recreation Center for the creation of their mural.  We donate our finished paintings to Archer Elementary School for the “Archer Buck Store” where kids trade in tokens of good behavior for our paintings.

List any awards you have won for community service:
I was honored to win Minority Business of the Year in 2012 for my achievements with Corks & Colors Studio as well as our commitment to be not only a business, but a part of our community.

What is your definition of success?

My definition of success is not giving up.  Most define success by achieving a final goal, but to me, every single part of the process of achieving that goal, and all the stepping stones, failures, happy and sad moments involved are part of the success.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest professional accomplishment is to see a business that I started with the bare minimum of financial resources grow to having 3 separate, fully functional locations.

How do you exemplify the spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional?
Most people under 40 are going through the typical stages of life; finishing college, launching their careers, starting a family and becoming a parent, etc.  While growing my business I was in the middle of most of those stages.  I think balancing all of our aspects of life and excelling at some is the spirit of a Forty Under 40 professional.

Businessperson who has most inspired you:
The first book I read that truly made a dent in my growth as an entrepreneur was “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling” by Frank Bettger.  I read that book in 2007, and didn’t open Corks until 2010. To this day I use the lessons I learned from that book.  I would say Frank Bettger taught me a lot .

Best advise ever received:
Kill them with kindness.

Greatest professional challenge:
My greatest professional challenge was finding revenue to keep my business going during the tough times.  It meant I had to work full time for the first two years of Corks & Colors Studio and sacrifice a lot of material things to keep my business afloat.

First job:
I started babysitting when I was 11 years old  and The Flower Shop at the Oaks Mall (back in the day!) was my first paycheck job when I was 14.

What color crayon would you be? Why?
It’s bold, feminine, and it’s a little of blue and a little of red.

Favorite after-work drink:
A glass of red wine in our (almost) Licensed Collegiate Glassware.

If I had a magic wand, I’d:
Make everyone have a great day, every day.

What is your favorite Gadget?
My phone has allowed me to stay connected to my business in ways I could’ve never imagined.  The access to apps, social media and email is very helpful.

How long have you been in Gainesville?
I moved to Gainesville in 1994, so I’ve been here for almost 20 years!

What do you love most about Gainesville/Alachua County?
I love the spirit of innovation in this city.  My ideas were welcomed and supported not only by customers but by community leaders.

Three things people would be surprised to know about you:
I didn’t study art, I studied psychology J
My dream car is an International Scout.
I was a Spanish/English interpreter and translator for most of my professional life.

Advice you would give a younger you:

Time heals all wounds.  Things aren’t as big of a deal as they seem to be in the moment.

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