By Sam González Kelly, Houston Chronicle
Yvonne Guidry remembers the first time someone called her a “spoiled Latina.” She was working as the creative director on a music video that wasn’t living up to her standards, and after voicing her dissatisfaction, another crew member derisively said, “You’re a spoiled Latina, aren’t you?”
“Someone called me that because I was demanding perfection,” Guidry said. Rather than let a man use the label as an insult, Guidry, who has lived in Houston for over 20 years, embraced the moniker and turned it into a business empire, launching the “Spoiled Latina” blog in 2008 and expanding it into a lifestyle brand in just a matter of years.
Guidry hosted her 6th annual “Spoiled Latina Day,” on Saturday with panel discussions featuring speakers across a range of industries. Reggaeton superstar Becky G, who headlined the Houston Rodeo in 2020, flew in from Los Angeles to give the keynote address.
“What’s so amazing about what Yvonne does is it’s focused on community, and I think that creating safe places for women, for us to share experiences and knowledge and get inspired is just beautiful, and that’s really just what called out to me,” Becky G said.
A couple hundred people, mostly millennial Latinas, came out to the Madera Estates in Conroe for the event, mingling in the courtyard outside the main hall to trade business cards, sip cocktails and sample food from a variety of eateries. Local vendors were also on hand selling clothes and artisanal Latin goods.
In the parking lot, attendees lined up to take rides in a hot pink Polaris Slingshot with a decal reading “The Glow Up Es Real,” the theme of Saturday’s event. Others took pictures in front of the main stage, which was decked out in pink flowers and balloons with a sign that read “Spoiled Latina Day.”
Yubia Martinez, 37, is an administrative assistant at Roar Over Texas, a pyrotechnic company, and came at the invitation of her boss’s wife.
“We have a lot of people knocking us down, you see all this bad stuff in the news and this is just something uplifting, we’re supporting each other and our brains and our heritage. Whatever it is, we can overcome it to do anything,” Martinez said.
Guidry started Spoiled Latina to empower women and encourage them to put themselves and their needs first, she said.
“Growing up, I saw my mom hardly taking care of herself or taking me-time so that she could go out and serve others. She always put herself last, so I wanted women to remind themselves that it’s OK to spoil yourself, it’s OK to take care of yourselves before you go out and take care of others,” Guidry said.
After an initial networking hour, the audience listened to three panels touching on brand-building, content creation and goal-setting. Alekza Latte, senior brand manager for Foot Locker Women, was excited to appear on the “Content Queens” panel with Patty Artiga, a lifestyle blogger, and Estefania Saavedra, a TikTok personality who has garnered over 1.7 million followers on the video platform.
“There’s lots to be learned here, and this is a great place to, one, meet new mentors, and two, find new people to collaborate with. Whether you’re looking for a partner in business or its someone who you look up to, they might be here and you can learn from them,” Latte said.
Saturday’s theme, “The Glow Up Es Real,” is meant to celebrate the way that women push through challenges to thrive in an unforgiving environment, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Guidry.
“Looking back at all we’ve accomplished during and after, and even before [the pandemic], sometimes we get kind of caught up in ‘Oh, I’m not moving fast enough’, or ‘Oh, I’m not there yet,’ but when you really look back on it, it’s like ‘Girl, you’ve done a lot, and you should pat yourself on the back for that,’” Guidry said.
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