One in ten Latino families cite winning the lottery as a method to pay for a child’s education

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Latinos celebrating graduation throwing hats in the air with a blue sky background and sun shing through

We’ve all dreamed of what we would do if we won the lottery. Take care of our family.  Send our kids to college.  Buy our dream house.  Travel.  The list goes on and on.

MassMutual Sudy: With many young families concerned about paying for a college education, the dream of winning the lottery is on the minds of parents who want their children to avoid student loan debt. In fact, nearly one in ten Latinos (9 percent) listed winning the lottery as a method to help pay for their child to go to college, according to a recent MassMutual College Planning and Savings study. But with one in 175 million odds of winning and raising college costs, parents should look at variety of sources to pay for their child’s higher education.

Other than winning the lottery, there are ways to help pay for college.  Here are three ‘must do’ considerations that MassMutual recommends:

  1. Apply for scholarships.  Look for scholarships available through local community organizations, foundations, corporations and nonprofit groups.   Online tools to help you:  FederalStudentAidand TuitionFundingSources.com.
  1. Fill out the FAFSA form. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is the first step toward getting financial aid for college, including aid that doesn’t need to be paid back, such as federal grant money. It only takes 30 minutes to complete online and provides access to grants, loans and work study programs. More information can be found on fafsa.ed.gov.
  1. Encourage monetary gifts (including 529 plan gift cards) from family members and friends for college savings plans for gift-giving events. 

To learn more about ways to help pay for college, contact a MassMutual bilingual financial advisor or visit MassMutual.com.   Or to help determine how much you need to save using free online tools such as MassMutual’s college savings calculator.

‘Investing Latina’ Founder Jully-Alma Taveras Reveals the Best Investing Moves She’s Made
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Investing Latina Founder Jully-Alma Taveras pictures in front of a brown backgrop while wearing a black blazer

By Gabrielle Olya, Yahoo! Finance

Jully-Alma Taveras is the founder of Investing Latina, an educational online community with over 40,000 members. She is an award-winning bilingual money expert, writer, YouTuber, speaker and educator who covers topics around personal finance, investing and entrepreneurship.

Recognized by GOBankingRates as one of Money’s Most Influential, here she shares the best investing moves she’s made, why consistency is key when it comes to investing for the long-term and how to get started if you’re new to investing.

Recognized by GOBankingRates as one of Money’s Most Influential, here she shares the best investing moves she’s made, why consistency is key when it comes to investing for the long-term and how to get started if you’re new to investing.

What advice would you give your younger self about investing?
I would tell myself, “Hey, start researching all the companies you already buy from — Amazon, Apple, Nike — and consider investing into them!”

What is the best thing you did to boost your own portfolio?
I moved away from managed funds to index funds. This is helping me save so much money in fees.

When it comes to investing for the long-term, what should people focus on?
I would tell people to focus on how much they are investing and their plan to increase the amount. You can always make adjustments to your assets in your portfolio, but building it up takes time and it takes a plan of action. You have to be consistent.

What is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to investing?
Not getting started sooner. People hold off because they are intimidated or don’t understand it. But the reality is that a two-hour workshop like the one I host is all the time you need to dedicate to education to get started. I make it simple and clear so that people can start learning and earning through compounding interest.

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Finance

These Latina Businesses Are Changing How LA Shops — Online And IRL
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Latina Business Hija de tu Madre, a clothing, accessories and jewelry brand founded by Patty Delgado.

By Eva Recinos, LA ist

It’s easy to feel cynical about companies pushing identity for profit — witness major retailers stamping feminist mottos on everything from t-shirts and tote bags to baby onesies and barware — but some local brands are the genuine article. They’re not jumping on any bandwagon. They’re Latina-owned lifestyle businesses, creating and selling items to their communities. “We’re at a time where people are craving independently made wares, handmade wares and cultural goods,” says Noelle Reyes, co-founder of Highland Park boutique Mi Vida.

As online shopping decimates mega malls and forces old school retailers to rethink their strategies, independent brands are stepping up, using social media and community connections to make their mark. These businesses represent only a few of the city’s budding entrepreneurs but they’re making an impact — both online and in the real world.

Social Media Stars
Leah Guerrero has been making holistic skincare products — facial masks, face and body creams, hydrosols — since 2013. Two years ago, using knowledge and ingredients she gleaned from her trips to the mercados of Mexico City, she founded Brujita Skincare out of her home. She began selling her wares at Molcajete Dominguero, a now-monthly Latinx pop-up market in Boyle Heights. Her target audience? People looking for affordable vegan and cruelty-free products.

As the crowds grew, so did her social media following. Guerrero started sending products to friends and influencers. That “ricocheted into all of these people finding out about Brujita through Instagram,” she says.

To keep up with demand, she currently produces “thousands of units a month” at a rented studio in downtown Los Angeles. In April, Brujita launched a Green Collection in collaboration with Hotel Figueroa. Guests who order the Self-Care Package through mid-September get a one-night stay and a sleek toiletry bag containing four of the brand’s products.

With more than 19,000 followers, Brujita’s Instagram account features the requisite product photos, GIFs and behind-the-scenes peaks at new products. Guerrero engages with customers via DM and shares info on the account about the ingredients in each product. “With the engagement comes trust, and trust in my community means a whole lot to me,” she says.

Brujita has built a community that Guerrero wants to continue nurturing, particularly Latinx and LGBTQ+ groups. The brand’s current studio, in downtown Los Angeles, serves as a safe space for the LGBT community, with many “friends coming in and out and doing their creative work,” Guerrero says. Brujita is meant to be stylish, accessible and inclusive, a counterpoint to mainstream skincare brands built on Western ideals of beauty. Guerrero says a more formal physical location for Brujita Skincare is in the works.

Brick By Brick
For other Los Angeles brands, the IRL business came before the social media one. Reyes and her cousin, Danelle Hughes, opened Mi Vida in 2008, two years before Instagram debuted. The Highland Park shop sells clothes, housewares and art. It also functions as a gallery and a community hub, hosting poetry readings, yoga classes and meditation workshops.

“If you were a business that was a brick and mortar when social media came on, it’s almost like you automatically had to take on this new career,” Reyes says.

She began using photography to promote her products and it became a creative outlet. Instagram is also a way for her to scout and connect with new artists, some of whom have been featured in the store. Although Reyes has noticed more customers visiting Mi Vida after discovering it online, the connection also works the other way. For her, social media is a tool to supplement her store’s presence in a neighborhood where the founders have been working hard for years.

Conversations about gentrification in Boyle Heights are heated, and Mi Vida’s owners are aware of the controversy. “We hear all the time how great it is to have a space like ours on this street,” Reyes says. “That is something we don’t take lightly. We work very hard every day to continue to be a positive light in our community and offer products that bring a positive vibe.”

Click here to read the full article on LA ist.

Mexican-born entrepreneur launches software platform to help small restaurants increase online order and delivery services
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Daniel Hernandez, entrepreneur and founder of The Apptopus. Photo Courtesy of Daniel Hernandez.

By Jensen Toussaint, Al Dia

Entrepreneurship was a path that Daniel Hernandez saw for himself starting at a very young age. As a middle school student, he used to sell candy to his classmates for $0.25, embarking on a venture that would plant the seeds to his career destination today.

Whether it was selling candy, having a paper route or later working at a restaurant, Hernandez envisioned ways he could both make money and also help his community along the way.

“Ever since I was in middle school, I always knew that I was going to be starting a business,” Hernandez said in an interview with AL DÍA.

Fast forward just over a decade later, and Hernandez is a successful entrepreneur who operates with the targeted goal of helping small business owners.

Most recently, he launched The Apptopus, a startup virtual management platform that brings online orders, delivery services and prepaid phone order processes in a simple and efficient manner to help small business owners and restaurateurs maintain services and increase revenue.

The endeavor was heavily influenced by Hernandez’s personal experiences and journey.

From Mexico to Santa Cruz
Hernandez was born and raised in Mexico, before being brought to the United States when he was seven years old, settling in Santa Cruz, California.

His family held previous ties to the Bay and nearby areas, as his grandfather was one of the contracted braceros from Mexico, who worked in agricultural labor all over California during the 1940s and 1950s.

Both of Hernandez’s parents are small business owners. His mother started a house cleaning service, which at one point expanded to 40 residences and offices. Hernandez, along with his father and younger brother, would often help out.

However, while the housing cleaning business brought about success, her passion was in another area.

“My mom has always had a gift for making food,” said Hernandez, especially praising her Oaxacan dishes.

“She always had a dream about opening a restaurant and being able to get a lot of people into her restaurant and feed them, so that they can enjoy her food,” he added.

Oftentimes, Hernandez would accompany his mother to events where she’d set up booths and make food for people to buy. Experiencing that made Hernandez also fall in love with cooking, later opening the door to his entry into the restaurant business.

Eventually, Hernandez’s mother decided to sell her house cleaning business to follow her dream of opening a restaurant.

Pandemic Problems
Hernandez’s mother officially opened the doors to her own restaurant in early 2020, with her son’s help.

However, just weeks after her grand opening, the COVID-19 pandemic started making waves across the globe.

“That really kind of almost took her out because she couldn’t even get any people into the restaurant. She was struggling … [and] it was a brand new location, too,” said Hernandez.

With takeout and delivery as the only options during the onset of the pandemic, Hernandez’s mother had to adjust.

Initially, Hernandez advised her to utilize third-party delivery companies, such as DoorDash, Uber Eats or GrubHub to help increase revenue. However, it proved challenging.

Hernandez noted how these companies would often upload the wrong menu, not include the restaurant’s contact number and provide very little instruction in how to set everything up properly.

“It wasn’t a very good process,” said Hernandez.

So, he decided to step in and help out.

“I learned that she was not the only one facing these problems,” he said. “A lot of restaurants out there are also facing the same issues.”

While the third-party delivery companies were generating a lot of orders, restaurants were losing revenue as a result of commission fees, erroneous charges and other deductions.

He recalled one time his mother was charged $250 in erroneous fees alone, while only making about $1,000 in total for the week.

While working to help his mother work through those challenges, Hernandez started getting requests from other Latino restaurant owners in the community.

“All of a sudden, I kept getting calls and I think in a matter of like 30 days, I ended up getting 20 restaurants that needed this help,” said Hernandez.

After getting overwhelmed with having to do all the various tasks on his own, Hernandez began to form a team of individuals with strengths in different areas who could help him provide the necessary help to the restaurant owners.

“I managed to get a couple other people to help me build a software so that we could … manage everything from a consolidated dashboard,” he said.

“That made it a lot easier to be able to onboard restaurants onto our software and then pull and send data over these platforms, so that we can manage their restaurants and configure them in a way that would make them not lose money,” Hernandez added.

Click here to read the full article on Al Dia.

Meet The 27-Year-Old Latinx Entrepreneur Who Is Now Worth $220 Million
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aniella Pierson. who just turned 27, used word-of-mouth and referral marketing to build The Newsette into a profitable newsletter and marketing agency business. Now she's one of the richest self made women in the U.S. PHOTO COURTESY OF DANIELLA PIERSON

Daniella Pierson, who founded women-focused newsletter company The Newsette when she was 19, is now one of the wealthiest women of color in the U.S. and, at age 27, is younger than just about any self-made female entrepreneur with a nine figure fortune.

Daniella Pierson, who founded women-focused newsletter company The Newsette when she was 19, is now one of the wealthiest women of color in the U.S. and, at age 27, is younger than just about any self-made female entrepreneur with a nine figure fortune.

A Latinx founder, Pierson built The Newsette from nothing to $40 million in revenues and profits of at least $10 million last year, she says. Two weeks ago she sold a small stake in The Newsette to an investor in a transaction that values the company at $200 million. It’s the first outside money she’s taken (besides a $15,000 loan from her parents, which she repaid), and she remains the company’s majority shareholder.

She is also a cofounder and co-CEO of less-than-year-old mental health startup Wondermind with singer and actress Selena Gomez and Mandy Teefey (CEO of Kicked to the Curb Productions and Gomez’s mother). Her stake in that company, combined with cash and other investments she’s made, puts Pierson’s net worth at $220 million, Forbes estimates. (Update: on August 11, Wondermind announced on Instagram that it raised $5 million at a $100 million valuation led by investor Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures.)

Read Full Story on Forbes

A Latina’s manifesto ‘For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts’
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Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez examines how powerful forces such as racism and colorism affect women — like they did to her — and what readers can do about them in here manifesto

By Raul A. Reyes, NBC News

Latina author Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez is familiar with low expectations, the judgment of strangers and colorism — even among her own community.

In fifth grade, fellow Latino classmates mocked her dark skin, calling her “India” in a reference to Indigenous people. She recalls her high school counselor discouraging her from taking advanced classes.

As a graduate student, she was rejected from the campus writing center because of poor English skills — and then turned away from the English as a Second Language (ESL) center because her English skills were too advanced. A cashier at a store once casually asked if she had ever shot anyone.

Now Mojica Rodríguez is out with a book, “For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts,” that breaks down the experiences that have shaped her life. Subtitled, “A Love Letter To Women of Color,” the book examines how powerful forces can affect women like her — and explains what readers can do about it.

“My goal was to democratize knowledge,” said Mojica Rodríguez, 36, the founder of Latina Rebels, an online platform with more than 350,000 followers. “I wanted to share what I learned at college and graduate school with everyone; this information shouldn’t be so inaccessible, so women of color can see what we are up against in our daily lives.”

“For Brown Girls” is part memoir, part manifesto. Publishers Weekly called it “an inspiring and well-informed call to action.”

Mojica Rodríguez hopes that her book will help Latinas thrive in spaces that were not designed for them.

Born in Nicaragua and raised in Miami in an Evangelical Christian household, she holds a master’s degree in divinity from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. “Access to information changed my life,” she said. “For years, I was so angry, and I didn’t know where it was coming from. Once I figured it out, I moved through the world with a lot more grace.”

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

Latino Businessman Empowers Communities Of Color
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Latino Businessman Empowers Communities Of Color

By Birmingham Times

Hispanic businessman George Burciaga enjoys serving on the board of directors of Chicago United, an organization seeking to empower entrepreneurs from Chicago’s communities of color.

“As a member of the board of directors, I can make a change by supporting other Latinos, other African Americans, and other business leaders of color,” said Burciaga, who also serves as the organization’s treasurer.

“Chicago United allows me to assist them. It is my responsibility to help others.”

He knows that his role allows him to give back to the community some of what he received while growing up in a poor home in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.

Chicago United promotes and encourages entrepreneurs of color to join its board of directors, said Burciaga. “I am a Latino who is not only a member of the board of directors but the treasurer. … They recognize the importance of empowering Latinos, African Americans, Asians, and other minorities.”

The 45-year-old businessman won a “Business Leaders of Color” award in 2017. Chicago United grants these awards annually. Receiving it was an honor that boosted his career, Burciaga said.

“Chicago United is taking an empowering position showcasing and highlighting business leaders of color. We are making sure that they … are recognized and more visible so that they have better chances to grow,” said Burciaga.

These entrepreneurs create jobs that help support their communities, he said.

The boost Burciaga received from the award led him to launch Ignite Cities, a consulting company designed to support mayors across the country with critical issues facing cities today. Burciaga is Ignite Cities’ CEO and managing partner.

“I’m working directly with the mayors of Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, among other great mayors. I provide them with new technology that gives all vulnerable communities of color the ability to compete. It also empowers them,” said Burciaga, who sold his software company, Elevate DIGITAL, to the CIVIQ corporation in 2016.

Burciaga hopes that with his input, the communities of color he serves can “receive funds to survive during the COVID-19 pandemic, or broadband to connect students.”

“From being poor in Pilsen and needing help, I grew up to a place where I can give back [some of] what I have received and help the city, the community, the mayors, and Chicago United,” Burciaga said.

Click here to read the full article on Birmingham Times.

How Rising Latino Artists Maria Isabel, Destiny Rogers, and Jay Wheeler Have Made Their Dreams Come True
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Rising Latino Artists Maria Isabel, Destiny Rogers, and Jay Wheeler

By Alvin Blanco, Genius

It’s all about talent, education, and the willingness to take risks. Music is meant to inspire, and a new wave of fresh, exciting, ridiculously talented Latino artists understands this fact.

Maria Isabel, Destiny Rogers, and Jay Wheeler are up-and-coming singer-songwriters with the talent and desire to achieve greatness. This next class of stars succeeded by tapping into education to make their dreams come true—and they’ve inspired their fans and followers in the process.

The three artists embody the spirit of the McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship, established in 1985. The goal of the scholarship is to help Latino students break barriers and make their parents and those around them proud. Over the years, McDonald’s has helped more than 17,000 Latino students—and given out more than $32 million—through the HACER program. The initiative is especially important in tough times like we’re facing now. Given the state of the world, it’s crucial for young people to keep moving forward and do more.

Isabel, Rogers, and Wheeler are certainly moving in the right direction. But they come from different places and represent the breadth of the Latino diaspora. Isabel grew up in Queens, New York, as the daughter of parents from the Dominican Republic, while Wheeler was born and raised in Salinas, Puerto Rico. Rogers, who is half Mexican on her mother’s side, held down the West Coast, growing up in Lodi, California. They all knew early on that creating music was in their future.

Dreams of rocking stages don’t always line up with the plans of parents who want more practical, and safer, careers for their children. Isabel, who dropped her debut EP, Stuck In The Sky, in October 2020, seamlessly blends her Dominican ancestry’s bachata and merengue with R&B and hip-hop and her lush vocals. She is particularly thankful that her parents had no issue supporting her aspirations.

“My parents took four-year-old me seriously when I said I was going to become a singer,” says Isabel, who attended NYU. “They never argued with that dream or told me I had to be anything different. Obviously, I had to go to school, get good grades, and all that stuff, but it was never a matter of like, pick something. I think with any first-generation kid watching your parents make sacrifices or work extra hours or whatever it may be to make it possible for you to do what you want to do, I think that was the biggest motivating force to be successful.”

While Isabel’s parents had faith in her talents, Wheeler’s classmates in school were less kind. The reggaeton crooner has spoken candidly about the bullying he faced, but he was still able to persevere and become a certified star. By posting his music on the Internet, Wheeler jump started his career. Fans dubbed him “La Voz Favorita,” and he earned praise and hands-on guidance from reggaeton legend DJ Nelson, who executive produced his two critically acclaimed albums: 2019’s Platónico and 2020’s Platónicos.

Those school bullies couldn’t knock Wheeler off his path. “I always loved music [but] I knew that it was going to be hard,” he says. “Living for something that you love is harder. I learned English in school and watching TV and movies. I knew at some point in my life I wanted to do something in the English world because [I have] a lot of respect for American music. A lot of kids [take education] for granted—I don’t know need to learn this, I don’t need to learn that—but when you get older, you realize that all the things that they gave you, you do need to educate yourself in everything, because life puts you in a different position everyday.”

Click here to read the full article on Genius.

Should Your Company Invest in Supplier Diversity Programs? The Answer is Yes.
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young female entrepreneur with arms folded smiling, blurred business background

By Yvette Montoya

When we consider the state of the United States in 2022 both socially and economically, it’s clear that our demographic is shifting and that Americans believe that social responsibility is more important than ever.

Companies that want to stay relevant in this economy need to prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs and initiatives. A 2017 Cone Communications CSR study stated that 87 percent of consumers would purchase a product that aligned with their own values, and 76 percent would boycott a brand if it supported an issue that went against their beliefs. So, it’s a good time for companies to evaluate what their corporate social responsibility (CSR) looks like and where it needs improvement.

There are four types of corporate social responsibility: Environmental, philanthropic, ethical and economic responsibility– and supplier diversity programs have the potential to achieve all four categories. In a world that’s increasingly looking to employers to create stability and treat employees fairly, supplier diversity programs not only give companies a competitive edge but also make them more likely to maintain high standards of ethics. Implementing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) positions businesses to create a positive experience for employees, vendors and the community at large.

Here are three reasons why every company should take supplier diversity programs seriously:

  1. You Get to Be a Leader in Social Responsibility

Companies that choose to focus intentionally on investing in Black and Latinx, women-owned, and LGBTQ+ businesses build trust with their customer base and inspire other business leaders to examine their own company practices. When we create transparency related to how products are sourced and/or hiring and management practices, we put our money where our mouth is, and so will your customers. According to Cone Communications, three out of five Americans believe that companies should spearhead social and environmental change. And eighty-seven percent of Americans said they’d buy a product because a company advocated for an issue they care about.

Although there may be some challenges in finding minority-owned vendors that comply with a buyer’s procurement requirements, there are two solutions to this. One being creating mentoring and training programs for diverse suppliers to help them meet the standards of the certification process. The other is to partner with relevant councils and chambers of commerce that provide these support systems. When value is created through tangible solutions, everyone wins.

  1. Investing in DEI will Foster Innovation and Sales

Treating DEI like an option or something that isn’t deserving of attention means that customers will see that you’re not taking your CSR seriously. Corporate social responsibility initiatives can be the best public relations — as well as marketing — tool. Gen Z and Millennials are experts at spotting inauthenticity. A company that positions authentically with real company-wide efforts and accountability will be viewed favorably in the eyes of consumers, investors and regulators. Honest initiatives attract opportunities and employees that match an organization’s convictions.

CSR initiatives can also improve employee engagement and satisfaction — key measures that drive retention. Finally, corporate social responsibility initiatives by nature force business leaders to examine practices related to how they hire and manage employees, source products or components and deliver value to customers. All of these things create happy employees and customers, which lead to innovation, sales and a good reputation.

  1. You Get to Make an Impact on Structural Inequality in America

Supplier diversity programs are a catalyst for true social impact because thriving small businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy. Strong local businesses create jobs and higher wages, which put money back into the community and drive economic growth. Another plus of supplier diversity is the impact it will have on the company at large and the economy overall. Supplier diversity promotes healthy competition by increasing the pool of possible suppliers. This can lead to potentially lower costs and a better product quality. Not only that, bringing in people from different backgrounds or from backgrounds that reflect the community your company serves can result in better marketing, unique solutions to old problems, as well as innovative ways to meet your customer’s needs.

With midterm elections underway, it’s a good idea for businesses to be on the right side of key issues, including racial and gender equality and environmental sustainability. This gives corporations the opportunity to work collaboratively with businesses in a way that combats racial discrimination, all while empowering the public, creating economic opportunity and enhancing their business.

Yvette Montoya is a Los Angeles native and journalist who is equal parts content creator and writer. She covers everything from issues of spirituality and politics to beauty and entertainment. Her journalistic work has been featured on Refinery29, Teen Vogue, ArtBound, HipLatina, Mitu, and she’s a regular contributor for POPSUGAR.

5 California colleges recognized for boosting Latino college completion
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Students walk back to their dorms with takeout breakfast from Gastronome at Cal State University, Fullerton, on Aug. 21, 2020, in Fullerton, Calif.Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images file

By Edwin Flores, NBC News

Five California four-year colleges and universities are among ten higher education institutions that have been recognized for implementing programs and strategies that are helping more Hispanic students attain college degrees.

The nonprofit group Excelencia in Education, aimed at the acceleration of Latino students in higher education, singled out the institutions through its 2021 Seal of Excelencia.

In California, the institutions are: California State University, Fresno; California State University, Fullerton; San Diego State University; University of California, Merced; and the University of California, Riverside.

Fresno State, located in the agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley, was recognized for its paid internship program with engineering, construction management and industrial technology companies. It has resulted in substantially higher graduation rates — 72 percent compared to 48 percent of all students in the school’s College of Engineering.

Fresno State’s student body is 55 percent Latino, and 67 percent are first-generation college students.

Cal State Fullerton, the second in the state to award the most bachelor’s degrees to Latino students and the third in the country, was recognized for its Center for Scholars program, giving wraparound services to students, along with scholarship aid.

At the University of California, Riverside, Chicano/Latino graduates have tripled in numbers from 2009-10 to 2019-20, with the 6-year graduation rate at 73 percent for Latino students, compared to the national average of 54 percent. Excelencia touted its community college transfer program and a Mentoring Summer Research Internship Program.

Click here to read the full article on NBC News.

20 Latina Business Influencers to Follow Today
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collage of multiple latina influencers

Originally posted on Hispanic Executive

There are countless Latina influencers out there who have cultivated passionate followings on social media, but it takes a special type of influencer to build both a brand and a business.

And here at Hispanic Executive, we love nothing better than celebrating entrepreneurship.

Meet the Latina business influencers who are transforming their communities—and the world itself.

 

 

 

Retail

1. Ada V. Rojas, CEO and Founder, Vecina Couture

Ada V. Rojas is a mission-driven entrepreneur: all of her business efforts have reflected her desire to celebrate her Dominican American heritage and uplift other ambitious women. Her latest endeavor is Vecina Couture, a luxury loungewear line that’s been spotlighted by Oprah DailyEssenceRefinery29, and other top outlets.

2. Paola Alberdi, Founder and Creative Director, Blank Itinerary

Paola Alberdi knows fashion. She’s worked with the likes of Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Coach, and Dolce & Gabbana, not to mention lifestyle and beauty brands like Sephora and Givenchy Beauty.

Today, the Mexican American serves as founder and creative director of Blank Itinerary, a bilingual fashion and lifestyle platform that’s earned Alberdi recognition from ForbesVogue México, and Harper’s Bazaar.

3. Julie Sariñana, Founder, Color Dept.

Julie Sariñana created clean nail care company Color Dept. to be a one-stop shop for nail art aficionados “who love to be different.” All Color Dept. products feature bold, vibrant colors and are made with wheat, potato, manioc, and corn rather than chemicals and plastics.

In addition to her work with Color Dept., Sariñana runs a popular fashion blog called Sincerely Jules.

4. Julissa Prado, Founder and CEO, Rizos Curls

Afro-Mexican Julissa Prado spent years fighting her curly hair. She was never happy with how it looked, and she never found any hair products that helped.

In the years since then, she’s not only embraced her hair but created a clean, high-quality line of products designed for all curl types. Prado and Rizos Curls have been featured in People en EspañolPopSugar, and Forbes.

5. Cyndi Ramirez, Founder and CEO, Chillhouse

A serial entrepreneur with a background in fashion, marketing, lifestyle branding, and hospitality, Cyndi Ramirez has been featured by Refinery29Martha Stewart Magazine, theSkimm, and Hispanic Executive.

Her latest venture, Chillhouse, is a “multi-point retail concept” that has revolutionized the spa world. Chillhouse offers a wellness-focused self-care experience that includes a workspace, nail art studio, and massage boutique—a true getaway for those in need of deep relaxation.

5. Camila Coelho, CEO and Founder, Camila Coelho Collection

Beauty and fashion influencer Camila Coelho has not one but two businesses: her eponymous clean clothing line Camila Coelho Collection and a clean beauty brand called Elaluz. Her entrepreneurial spirit has earned her features in both Elle and Forbes.

The Brazilian American is also passionate about destigmatizing neurological disorders—she’s been battling epilepsy since the age of nine.

6. Irma Martinez, Founder and Creative Director, Trendy Inc.

A true icon in the fashion world, Ima Martinez has worked with celebrities like Sofia Vergara, Ricky Martin, Shakira, and Enrique Iglesias, to name but a few. Her company, Trendy Inc., specializes in lifestyle services for the production and entertainment industries. Martinez also offers advisory and coaching services as well as courses on the business of personal shopping and styling.

Read more about her career in Hispanic ExecutivePeople en Español, the Miami New Times, and Poder magazine.

Consulting

1. Eva Hughes, Founder and CEO, Adira Consulting

Eva Hughes was a huge name in the luxury and media spaces—she served as editor-in-chief of VogueMéxico y Latinoamérica and as CEO of Condé Nast México y Latinoamérica—before she struck out on her own in January 2018. Her company, Adira Consulting, offers brand strategy advice to clients that primarily come from the luxury sector. She also offers group and individual coaching services.

As noted in her Hispanic Executive feature, Adira is Hebrew for “strong, noble, powerful.”

2. Victoria Jenn Rodriguez, Founder, Dare to Leap Academy

Victoria Jenn Rodriguez is a business coach and serial entrepreneur who left her high-powered career in the corporate world to start a company of her own.

Her newest business is called the Dare to Leap Academy: it’s an online learning platform where Rodriguez teaches other women how to leave corporate America behind to follow their passions—without giving up their financial stability. Learn more about her in her Hispanic Executive story.

Fitness and Health

1. Michelle Lewin, Founder, One0One

Venezuelan American Michelle Lewin is one of the biggest names in the fitness world: she is a model, bodybuilder, and cover star for magazines like OxygenPlayboy, and Muscle & Fitness Hers.

Lewin is also an entrepreneur. She sells health supplements, clothing, and gym accessories and equipment through her website and has her own personal training app.

Continue on to Hispanic Executive to view the full list.

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