Women Empowerment

Just 8 Latinx Creators and Entrepreneurs We Think You Should Know

Fun fact: according to CNN, National Hispanic Heritage Month, a federally recognized event, starts and ends on the 15th (September 15-October 15) to commemorate the independence day for several Latin-American countries. Since its inception as a weeklong event in 1968, it has expanded to a month and evolved as both a time to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic and Latin people, as well as a time to acknowledge ways we can better support these communities. There are so many ways to observe this holiday, from supporting Latinx-owned businesses to observing various types of art (books, museums, documentaries, etc.), to simply engaging with those of Latinx/Hispanic descent. Better yet, commit to any of these things year-round and not just over the next month.

The Latinx honorees in our annual Voices of the Year initiative are doing culture-shifting work in the world of small business, environmental awareness, wellness, and more. Here’s the 411 on some of those enterprising women, including the insights some of them shared for our first-ever digital issue.

Lazy loaded image

What is your proudest moment of the past year?:

My proudest moment is that one year after COVID, Unbound was able to keep everyone fully employed, along with expanding our team with new hires.

When you’re in a rut, how do you get inspired?

PBS documentaries. I am a 90-year-old woman trapped in a 34-year-old body. I love anything by the Burns Brothers. Their work consistently highlights the triumphs and tribulations of those who have come before us. It can be anything from the history of New York City to the Roosevelts, each has a unique perspective on perseverance. To me, seeing life depicted onscreen in such an honest and raw way reminds me to stay grounded. It reminds me that the sun is going to come up tomorrow and I’m going to make it through another day.

What is something you wish you knew at the start of your career?

You fill face endless rejection, but most of it will come from critics who deep down are just scared. Lean into that fear, own it, and never take it personally.

Lazy loaded image

Silvia Vásquez-Lavado, Humanitarian, Adventure Mountaineer & Social Entrepreneur

What is your proudest moment of the past year? 

To have the once-in-a-lifetime gift to write my memoir, In The Shadow of The Mountain, yet the ability to write it with my utmost open heart, giving it all of my heart and soul, and having the strength of staying sober while revisiting some incredibly painful aspects of my life. I can’t wait for all of you to read it.

When you’re in a rut, how do you get inspired?

A good walk, bike, or climb in nature. Watching a sunrise or a sunset is the best way to recalibrate about the immensity of natural beauty and the best way to reinvigorate our inspiration in the world.

What is one thing you wish you knew at the start of your career?

The importance of seeking a mentor and not being too afraid to ask. For too long, I stayed quiet and ultimately undermined the power of our voice and how far it can take us.

Lazy loaded image

What is your proudest moment of the past year? 

My proudest moment of the past year was being able to pivot our business model to keep our business alive. We’re an event-based floral company and had a full schedule of in-person events and workshop experiences on the calendar. Instead of canceling our scheduled workshops, we launched a virtual workshop course complete with flowers and tools delivered to attendees’ homes, then hosted it live on Zoom. We were the first to bring this experience to floral customers back in March 2020 and have continued hosting these workshops monthly ever since.

When you’re in a rut, how do you get inspired?

I’ll always turn to film or music for inspiration. Our work is inspired by cinema, music, fine art, furniture design with an emphasis on shape, texture, scent, and sound.

What is something you wish you knew at the start of your career?

I wish I knew that I could be more forgiving to myself and that I didn’t have to sacrifice my physical or mental health to advance in my career the way that I did in the beginning. I experienced major burnout over and over again, and my health suffered for it. I wish I knew that my talents and work ethic would still be appreciated without having to sacrifice my personal boundaries.

Lazy loaded image

Karen Ramos is the founder of the nonprofit Get Out Stay Out, a grassroots, Central Coast nonprofit that invites Indigenous migrant youth to get outside and discover themselves in the natural environment. GOSO works to provide outdoor programming and natural spaces to help migrant children build self-confidence, leadership skills, and community. Ramos is passionate about diversifying the outdoors and her nonprofit provides representation for people of color in the outdoor industry. Ramos is also a full-time student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo University.

Lazy loaded image

In 2018, this Peruvian-American publicist took her public relations experience and applied it to the launch of her very own boutique agency. Bridging the gap between major brands and publications, Alvarez and her team are responsible for bringing some of the hottest Latinx-owned brands and influencers into the spotlight, and “breaking barriers for bonitas all around the world.”

Lazy loaded image

Noëlle Santos is a Black and Puerto Rican venture activist from the Bronx. She owns and operates The Lit. Bar, the only independent bookstore in the Bronx that serves 1.5 million people. The Lit. Bar — part bookstore, part wine bar, part community center — opened in April 2019, after the Bronx’s only bookstore, a Barnes and Noble, closed its doors in 2016. Santos also earned both a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting and a master’s degree in Human resources management from Lehman College.

Lazy loaded image

Jen Batchelor is the founder of Kin Euphorics, an alcohol-free adult beverage company launched in 2018. Kin Euphorics uses nootropic, botanic, and adaptogenic formulas to offer uplifting effects and social benefits. The company uses the tagline “all bliss, no booze,” and can be found in more than 40 restaurants in major cities across the United States. Kin also has more than 75 wholesale partners and can be found at select grocery stores as well as health clubs, co-working spaces, and music festivals.

Lazy loaded image

Barbie Ferreira is a model and actress utilizing her platform to champion causes like body neutrality and a more inclusive media landscape. Barbie’s unflinching portrayal of Kat on Euphoria has also won her thousands of doting fans, brand deals, and beyond. She is undoubtedly a marker of a new era in Hollywood, one that prioritizes representation and relatability.

Subscribe to the BlogHer newsletter for more tactical advice, exclusive content, and timely event updates.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

six  ⁄    =  two