September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month which recognizes Hispanic and Latino/a/x contributions toward American achievements and culture. In celebration, today's newsletter features 5 inspirational Latinx creators and entrepreneurs who are breaking barriers in Tech and venture capital, redefining beauty, and bringing friends and family together with delicious recipes and festive decorations.
P.S. Check out this brief explainer about the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino/a/x" and tips on best practices.
Dress like your favorite TV stars using Ana Bermudez's app TAGit.
Hollywood has been setting fashion trends for decades, inspiring retailers to create collections based on hit TV shows like "Mad Men" and "Pretty Little Liars." Instead of searching around the web to find out what these stars and characters were wearing, the mobile app TAGit does the legwork for you. It even finds similar looking items for any budget.
Origin Story: Ana Bermudez launched TAGit after several successful years in the finance industry which enabled her to cover her younger brother's college tuition and buy her mother a house in a safer neighborhood. Like most Latinx businesses, Ana used her savings and retirement to fund her venture. When she began running out of funds she turned toward organizations like Accion to help find angel investors and venture capital. With little success for over a year and a half, her patience, persistence and preparation eventually landed multiple investments at once during the annual Women's Venture Summit. She also received a grant from the Eva Longoria Foundation. Today, Ana serves as a mentor and helps other women and people of color gain access to venture capital and funding though an organization called Stella Angels. She is also passionate about serving her community and promoting STEM and higher education in under-served communities. She currently serves as President of the San Diego High School Foundation, and is on the Advisory Board of the University of Notre Dame Institute for Latino Studies.
Connect with Ana on LinkedIn and Twitter. Download TAGit on the Apple App Store.
Play virtual games and read books with your young nieces, nephews, and grand children with Maxeme Tuchman's app Caribu.
Caribu is an interactive video-calling app where kids and parents can schedule virtual play dates with friends and family. The app has been included in lists like Apple's 15 "Best Apps of 2020," TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions, Fast Company’s list of World Changing Ideas, and Forbes's ‘Top Ten EdTech Companies to Watch.’ The app is available for free and includes 15 books or activities each month. The paid subscription starts at $9.99 for unlimited games, books, and activities.
Origin Story: Maxeme (Max) Tuchman is the winner and finalist of 30+ pitch competitions. She's the first Latinx founder, male or female, to raise $1M in equity crowdfunding, and was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 100 Female Founders. Max has an impressive resume. Before co-founding Caribu, Max was appointed by President Obama to serve as a senior policy advisor and White House Fellow at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Prior to her appointment, Max served as the Executive Director of Teach For America Miami-Dade. Earlier in her career, she served in Mayor Bloomberg’s bullpen where she co-created the NYC Civic Corps and managed The NYC Waterfalls art installation, bringing in $69M of economic impact to the city. Her commitment to educational equity began as a Teach For America corps member in inner-city Miami where she taught 480 high school students and led educational innovation projects with organizations such as the Harlem Children’s Zone, DC Public Schools, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Learn more about Max and Caribu in this interview by Rebel One and this feature by the Harvard Business School. Connect with Max on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Impress guests at your next celebration with Papel Picado from ¡Ay Mujer! by Yreina Flores.
¡Ay Mujer! is a family-owned business that sells hand-crafted and originally designed papel picado that are perfect for weddings, graduations, Dia de los Muertos, and any fiesta. Their banners have been featured on the Food Network's hit TV show "Giada At Home" and popular digital and print magazines like Apartment Therapy, Design*Sponge, Style Me Pretty, and Martha Stewart Weddings.
Origin Story: Yreina Flores is a self-taught artist who has been making papel picado since she was a young girl. People began discovering her beautiful designs after she created custom pieces to promote Barack Obama's first campaign for president. A campaign staff member purchased her banners and posted a picture of the banner hanging in their DC campaign headquarters. Shortly after opening her first online shop in 2008, she received a call from Martha Stewart Weddings about creating an exclusive line for the magazine.
Learn more about Yreina and her family's on their website. Follow Yreina on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Purchase original designs on their website and on Etsy.
Unpack colorism and redefine beauty with Iliana Galvez of GrowMija.
Celebrate diversity and cultivate positivity, love, and respect around Black and Brown bodies with bright-colored prints and stickers by the talented illustrator Iliana Galvez. Become a supporter on Patreon to receive exclusive access to new releases and discounts.
Origin Story: Iliana Galvez started Growmija as a love letter to her baby sister, Chachis, who was constantly teased about the color of her skin. Iliana wanted to create art that would help her little sister and others like her feel worthy and beautiful too. This work is not always easy. Iliana is queer and dyslexic and she gets her regular share of trolls who try to diminish her accomplishments. In spite of their negativity, she continues to paint and draw because it helps her escape the pain and foster confidence. She's also able to do this work with the support of her adorable pug Theodoro Joseph Duarante.
Learn more about Iliana on her website. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter. Support her on Patreon.
Create and enjoy delicious Mexican recipes by Molé Mama.
Molé Mama shares delicious Mexican recipes like pork tamales and chicken flautas, along with traditional American recipes with a Mexican twist. For anyone who prefers to visually follow along, she also creates videos to accompany many of her recipes. You can find more videos on her YouTube channel which often features other talented Latinx chefs and entrepreneurs.
Origin Story: Diana Silva (aka Molé Mama) began her culinary training when she was nine years old, on the day her mama asked her to help make flour tortillas. Since then and over several decades, her master chef and beautiful mama taught her how to make over a 100 of her Mexican family recipes. Diana shares the stories behind these recipes in a book that she dedicated to her mom, "Molé Mama: A memoir of love, cooking and loss." After losing her mother, Diana encourages everyone to preserve those precious recipes and the stories that make them special. She believes that there are plenty of recipes and traditions to share, and you just might be inspired to create your own because “Every Recipe Tells a Story.”
Learn more about Molé Mama on her website. Subscribe to her YouTube channel and podcast. Follow her on Facebook.
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Please note that while this newsletter often highlights products and services, support comes in all shapes and sizes, just like entrepreneurs. While financial support is always appreciated, you can also support indie creators and entrepreneurs by reviewing their products or services, recommending them to others, following and engaging with them on social platforms, and reading their blogs and watching their videos (with ad blockers turned off).