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Grit & Virtue: An Interview with Founder Charlena Ortiz

We recently had a chance to chat with Grit and Virtue founder Charlena Ortiz, and hear the heart and vision behind her organization. Every year we partner with friends like Grit and Virtue to provide you with goods and opportunities that make an impact on our world. You may have seen their “Well Done” journals at one of our events (aren’t they cool?!), but we want to give you a chance to get to know more about this company and its founder who’s working to equip you for a life well lived.


Q: “Grit and Virtue.” Tell us the origin story of that powerful title.

Oh gosh! It was a journey for us to land on Grit & Virtue. It was September 2014, when I shared the vision God was brewing up in my heart for women with my husband, Roberto. Soon after, we scheduled our very first strategy meeting. The nomenclature, and the significance of it, was a top priority. I knew this vision was beyond me, and it needed to represent women who are on a mission in every season, while also communicating a sense of strength and dignity.

The genesis of this journey is that we actually started with a different name, one that we loved, and one that we launched. After creating a buzz, cultivating thousands of followers, and filming a short film, we ran into a trademark issue.

At first, it felt like a complete roadblock. However, in actuality, it wasn’t a show-stopper but one that made us pause and reconsider before launching to a broader audience. We could have continued with the name, but we would have likely been limited in where we took the organization in the future.

So, after lots of prayers, we decided to pause everything and rebrand to what is now Grit & Virtue. It was the best decision we’ve made because we were able to acquire trademarks across multiple sectors, which allows us to expand without hesitation.

What looked like a setback, was actually a setup that God was orchestrating all along. Ever since then, we’ve been able to pause at moments that seem like a setback and consider what God is up too!

Our name, Grit & Virtue, captures the true essence of femininity and an identity that every woman can own for herself. It’s about embracing courage and perseverance in the journey of becoming, while operating with integrity and high moral standards as we rely on God’s grace through it all.

Have you observed any recurring roadblocks to casting and pursuing one’s vision?

Absolutely, there are many roadblocks.

First and foremost, there is no greater battle in life than the one against our sacred identity. The enemy loves to throw fiery darts at us to make us believe his lies. Believing we’re not enough, not qualified, not worthy of the call, and so forth can cause us to feel completely paralyzed or to move forward with unwarranted anxiety.

What I found is that the battle intensifies when you’re on the path of discovering and pursuing the vision God has called you to. So, learning how to practically take every thought captive, rewire your mind, amplifying the Truth of who you are and who God is to you is the most important work you can do to overcome any roadblock on the journey.

Secondly, when it comes to pursuing a vision, I believe God-aligned visions are birthed in the secret place.

Once you begin the pursuit of your vision, you must clearly know your why, a deeper meaning and purpose. Pursuing a vision requires you to wake up, dress up, and show up no matter what! Let me tell you, the challenges that are before you on the journey towards your mission absolutely require you to have conviction and constant alignment. Without it, you’ll most likely throw in the towel when the going gets tough.

How do you differentiate between constructive and destructive criticism in coaching?

Coaching at its core is designed to help people on their journey of growth. It’s about helping them identify where they are today, align to where they want to be in the future, and mapping out a strategy to get there. Then, actually walk with them towards accomplishing their milestones. So, when it comes to criticism in a coaching relationship, it’s often times self-inflicted.

A coach becomes the constructive champion in the relationship, the voice of Truth. As a Grit & Virtue coach, we believe that every client we work with is creative, resourceful, and whole. Therefore, it’s our job to guide them on their journey of becoming the best versions of themselves. As humans, and particularly as women, we tend to be very hard on ourselves. We default to negative thoughts, especially when our capabilities, accomplishments, and dreams are on the examination table.

I like to think of constructive criticism as a self-actualized reality check instead, simply because it’s only when a client can embrace problems as growth opportunities that the journey toward breakthroughs can begin to unfold.

How do you discern God’s voice as you make decisions?

I love this question! Every day awaits us with a multitude of decisions, so having many different tools in my arsenal has been my strategy and extremely helpful. I look to be lead by sensing God’s peace, even when the path seems risky or full of unknown factors. There are multiple ways to confirm that peace, which fall into three categories, self-awareness, spiritual practices, and an inner circle.

1. Awareness of how you are wired is key. For example, knowing that I am a number nine, The Peacemaker, on the Enneagram helps me to understand my state of mind under different circumstances. Another tool we love is the Yes or No assessment by Jeff Shinabarger. It helps you identify your decision-making style.

2. Trying out different spiritual practices. My go-to is journaling, which is the main reason we created The Journal Collection by Grit & Virtue. Writing out my prayers has cultivated my relationship with the Father the most. For me, it makes my conversation with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Abba Father so real and tangible.

Reading scripture is important. The more we read it, the easier we can understand what He’s saying to us. Worship is just everything, and fasting takes your discernment to the next level.

Also, personal retreats have been huge for me. I actually discovered Lectio Divina, a practice of scriptural reading, meditation, and prayer intended to promote communion with God, at a retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains in California.

3. Having an inner circle of Kingdom-minded friendships. God often uses a text message from a friend or a listening prayer to speak to me. Being able to gather with a small group of people that you can trust your heart to makes all the difference.

Ultimately, it’s about intention. Intentionally positioning my heart and mind toward what the Father is saying, and doing, at any given moment.

When you fail, what Scriptures do you lean on?

Isaiah 26:3 (NLT) – You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Using only a GIF, describe yourself.


We are so grateful for partners like Charlena and the whole team at Grit and Virtue who are using their gifts and talents to serve the kingdom. Go check out what they’re up to and shop their store at!