The journey of being a Latina entrepreneur can sometimes be a lonely road. And that’s why when I first came across #WeAllGrow Latina Network I knew immediately these super mujeres were mi gente!
#WeAllGrow Latina is a community of jefas “using social influence collectively to empower each other and grow.” Who can’t get behind that message?! To further support their mission to help Latinas empower each other and grow, #WeAllGrow launched a membership-based online community called Changemakers. I leaped at the chance to connect with fellow Latina entrepreneurs. And it has been so valuable connecting with other jefas, sharing resources, and supporting one another.
I was honored when Claudya Martinez from #WeAllGrow reached out to do a member spotlight on me for Changemakers. The interview below was published on Changemakers Collective on July 31, 2018.
Describe what you do in 100 words or less:
De Las Mías is a bilingual healthy lifestyle community built for Latinas by Latinas. My mom and I founded De Las Mías to help positively impact the lives of Latinas and our community. We provide evidence-based information to help Latinas help themselves, their comadres, friends and family lead healthier lives. We are body positive, food positive and love being Latinas at any size.
Why do you do what you do?
We all know the prevalence of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions among our comunidad. We see first hand how these lifestyle diseases negatively impact our families. My mom and I want to change that story.
With my mom’s expertise in bilingual and bicultural health communications and my business know-how, we are determined to create THE go-to community for Latinas, where we find like-minded women, striving for healthier, more joyful lives for ourselves and our families.
I hope someday when my daughter is pursuing and achieving her dreams that she’ll look back and see what I saw in my own mom: a badass #chingona, being her own boss, following her passion and applying her skills to help her community, all while creating a better life for herself, and the next generation.
What inspired you to become a Changemaker in your own life and start your own business?
Simple. Mis padres. Growing up I had a different example of how to be a working parent. For as long as I can remember, my mom had her own business and worked from home, and my dad for many years was self-employed. I know this approach came with other challenges and sacrifices, but looking back I remember one of my parents always being there.
After more than a decade in a traditional 9-to-5 job, I saw people around me sacrificing time with family, ignoring selfcare, being overworked and overbusy, and I wanted to do it differently.
De Las Mías presented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from and work with one of the wisest women I know–my mom. And I knew that with our powers combined we could accomplish something truly special and create lasting impact for Latinas.
What is your heritage and how does it impact your work?
I’m Mexican-American–my parents are from Ambos Nogales. My mom was born on the Mexican side and my dad on the American. Growing up in Santa Fe, New Mexico I was surrounded by people with strong cultural pride–from the old Hispanic families who can trace lineage to the conquistadores to the Native people who were here before any of us.
At De Las Mías cultural pride is a central value. It’s connected to everything we do. For instance, we don’t just think you can make Mexican food in a healthful way. We KNOW our food IS healthy. Or when it comes to body image, there’s something in social science called a protective factor and our cultural identity can protect us from the distorted body images that are portrayed in the media.
My work with De Las Mías has allowed me to share my cultural pride in a way I never imaged.
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
We have now embarked on the harrowing journey to find investors so that we can continue to grow De Las Mías and achieve lasting impact for Latinas. The best advice we’ve received is to ask potential investors for advice not money. Our mentor said, “If you want money, ask for advice. And if you want advice, ask for money.”
What’s been your biggest accomplishment so far this year?
Incubating a baby and a business! At the start of 2018, we launched the De Las Mías Android app, our bilingual website, we joined two different incubators AND I was 7 months pregnant. A LOT has happened in the last seven months!
If you could host a dinner party with three of your Latinx role models who would they be and what would you serve?
The women in my family are pretty incredible. They’re ambitious and they get stuff done! My Tía Sally was a political appointee in the Obama administration, she got her Phd in her 50s, and recently ran for a congressional seat in Arizona. My godmother is a spiritually evolved human, master teacher, and scholar. And last but not least my mom who is an entrepreneur, small business owner, and an independent, strong, opinionated, and funny woman. I’d serve mole poblano, black beans and green rice with chocolate cake for dessert (you can never have too much chocolate).
What’s one small thing we can all do to help move you forward today?
If you have an Android phone, please download the De Las Mías app and let us know what you think! Honestly. We’re always looking for feedback and ways to improve it. We built it for you and we want it to meet your needs!