I was born and raised in Mexico City where 35 years ago there was only ONE skating rink in the country and it happened to be right next to our home. Our mom raised my sister and I by herself after battling an abusive and alcoholic husband who abandoned us when we were 7 & 8 years old. This forced her to find a place where we could spend some time doing something productive, challenging and exciting while she went to work. In her mind, she thought that skating could be a past time and an after-school activity. What she never imagined; is that my sister would end up representing Mexico in the Olympics and I would be moving to Boston MA with her to support my sister’s dreams. I arrived in Massachusetts, just a couple of months before 9/11. The tragedy that changed the world, a place which impacted so many of us up to this day. My memory is vivid, I still remember Ramiro from 97.7 screaming on the radio “a plane had been hijacked out of Logan airport”, followed by the strongest airplane noise the military aircraft made while flying over my head. Mind you, I didn’t even know what HIJACKED meant. Scary times… non the less, that didn’t change my mindset and I made the best out of my time in this life and embraced the difficult times. My professional journey began as an in-house nanny of two lovely kids. An eye opener for a young woman who have had it “easy” in terms of house services and private schooling while growing up in Mexico. I went from asking our housekeeper for snacks in bed to washing the family’s underwear and serving meals. HUGE wake up call. After a full year of supporting a mother of two, I realized it was not enough and searched for an opportunity at a temp agency, where I was hired to assist a portfolio manager at an Investment firm… my lucky star made me fall under a leadership team (owner’s daughter and successor) where I learnt not only what a millionaire’s life looks like but the highs and lows of managing billions of dollars. Uff! Was that intense! Many months later… reality sunk in and understood the meaning of homesickness. I missed my family, culture and friends so much I could barely wake up with energy to keep going. Since then, I have been dealing with severe depression, which has augmented due to horrible and deteriorating relationships with abusive and alcoholic men. Remember my dad? Go Figures!
This depression encourages me to search for a safe place where I could belong, if you think 20 years ago, there were not as many Hispanics around, especially in the northeast. When I realized there’s no outlet, I decided to take action and created one myself. We called it “The Latin Embassy”. An event catered for Latino professionals, basically the 5 people I knew (including my sister) and their friends. The gathering was such a success we decided to host another event the next quarter and so on… a few months later, we were featured on the front page of the Boston Globe with over 3000 members. Sponsors chased us and that’s how I began my understanding of relationship and emotional marketing. A year later one of the sponsors offered me an opportunity to develop the Hispanic market for their products and ended up representing global wine & spirit brands. So much fun! The biggest learning of my time in the liquor industry was the lack of support for women, never mind Latinas and the importance of reaching out to consumers in a way we could engage at a deeper level. Nothing bonded more like food and family gatherings. I built such a strong rapport with my clients because I had genuine interest in their business and personal lives. After 15 years I can humbly say that my then clients, are all still my friends today.
Anyway, when I discovered the niche in multicultural marketing I was able to quit my job and commence a new era as a business woman creating an agency focused on consumer education rather than sales. Of course, it was all measured and had revenue projections. I was then leading the only Latina owned agency and had my old employer as one of my biggest clients. I knew I had everything to succeed, what I didn’t know is that I was not prepared for a quick growth and couldn’t manage the increasing expectations. Basically I chewed more than I could handle. By that time, I have had already a beautiful baby girl and was married to the man whom marked my life forever. I experience what loving deeply was, to having the most fun, to diminishing, insulting, distrusting, abusing, creating anxiety and suicidal distress, A marriage that at that time destroyed me emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically guiding me to the biggest loss and shame of my life. I went from being the boss of over 300 employees, driving a Mercedes Benz to living at my friend’s basement and finding how I was going to bring food home. I had no money to pay for transportation, diapers, never mind attorneys, and court fees. My family never gave up on me and continuously worked hard on bringing me back to life. I owe them all I am today, especially what my daughter didn’t see while I was in such low place. Years later, I’ve got to understand that it was an opportunity to take control of my life and become who I am today. I wanted to give my daughter what I always lacked, eternal love and piece in a place where she could grow up without fear. A loving environment which will make her strong and empathetic. A life full of inspiration and support. Now her father and I have a friendly relationship and left the past in the PAST.
After all the lessons learnt, I’m grateful to have wonderful full-time job where I’m emotionally and honorably valued. One that has given me the opportunity to work for a man who I’ve admired for decades (Richard Branson). A job which has allowed me to travel the globe and gives my family access to the world in a split second. I have helped developed Fortune 500 brands, I have grown sales revenue and switched over 50% market share of my routes. I’ve hosted brainstorming sessions with top CEOs and founders around the world. I have had the pleasure to develop and maintained friendships with A list celebrities and well-known business gurus. I have put Mexico at the top by representing my country at many stages where I’ve been recognized by important companies around all continents as one of the top Hispanic entrepreneurs. Today, I am married to a wonderful man whom cherishes me and my daughter, who has given me a loving stepson and step brother to my little girl. A man who’s got my back, respects me and loves me the right way. A gentleman who brings the best out of me and my family. Today I can share with you that you have a purpose, and going through rough times are only learning lessons to prepare you for your next level in life.