WHELM - Entrepreneur - SpreadLaLuz

Starting a business has always been a dream of mine. When they came out with Shark Tank in 2009, I was in complete awe of all the brave entrepreneurs I watched. That show was and still is my shizznit. Barbara Corcoran is my homegirl and her story inspired me. A woman taking over a male dominated industry, I AM HERE FOR IT! Did I ever think I’d start my own business? Absolutely not. I wanted to but never thought I would ever find the courage to do so. I grew up being told that college was the only option to be successful in life. I’m Asian from my dad’s side. His mom, my Grandma Leo, immigrated to the States from Thailand at nineteen. I love that woman. Her, my Nan, my Abuela Lupe, and Great-Grandma Irene will forever be the strongest women I know. In the Asian culture, you are successful if you are in the medical field, specifically a nurse or doctor, or if you become a lawyer. My Grandma Leo would tell me all the time that she wanted me to become a nurse. I never wanted to disappoint any of the women in my life, but I did not want to be a nurse. Getting my blood drawn is enough to make me pass out. There was no way I’d be able to be the one who drew the blood. Just thinking about doing it makes me woozy.

My Grandma Leo lived a harsh life before moving to the States. I would sit with her, and she would talk for hours about her childhood and young adult life. Her trauma made me feel sad and heartbroken. Her mother died in childbirth and her father sold her to be a slave to a horrible family. After years of suffering, her grandma took her in. She was very poor and lived in a shack where they all slept on the floor. Her uncle tried to rape her, so she had to sleep with a knife. When she moved to the States, she didn’t tell her family and came alone.

My Nan grew up in a full house and became a mother of four children at a young age. She struggled for a long time. My Tia Moni, her daughter, told me how there were days as a child where Nan wouldn’t know how she was going to feed them and that she wouldn’t eat so there was just enough food for her kids. She raised powerful children. My mom, tias, and unc are some of the most amazing people. So, you could say she did a hell of a job raising them.

Both of my great grandmas were beautiful inside and out. My childhood memories are filled with visiting both. They were both the sweetest women and I wish my daughter Vera could have met them. Grandma Irene had it rough. My great grandpa was mean to her and passed away many years before she did. My Abuela Lupe raised all her children alone. Her husband was also mean and abused her.

I bring these women up because they each helped shape me into the woman I am today. I think about their lives and as much happiness they bring and brought into mine, I can’t help but to feel their sadness and pain. Because of them, I was determined to start my own business. For my daughter to look at her mother one day and think “if she could do this, so can I.”

My very first business was an athletic wear business I named “Lady Lunges”. I started this to learn how to build a website, LLC, how to get customers, drop ship, and so on. I didn’t keep at it because it wasn’t a business I really wanted to get into. Then I started a baby clothing business where I drop shipped clothing and accessories. I LOVED it until I started looking into how everything was made and learned about fast fashion and child labor. The things I read, and saw were terrible. I refused to make any money with those products while people in other countries suffered. I closed the business and decided I was going to ethically source my own clothing. Little did I know how much money it would cost to have my own clothing made. I’m talking racks on racks on racks and then some. Then I brought in a business partner. Now for anyone reading this and thinking about going into business with a partner or multiple people, make sure to have EVERYTHING in writing. Create a business plan together and ensure that it is what you all want. Create a business partnership agreement. This will include each of your roles and responsibilities and if you decide to close the business what happens. Just because you get along with someone doesn’t mean doing business with them will be the same. Long story short, the partnership didn’t work out and my dream of having a baby clothing business was shattered.

I became so angry at myself for a while. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t sleep. Then, finally, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. I started SpreadLaLuz, something all on my very own. A business that has so much meaning to me. Never did I think I would’ve started a skincare business, but the world surprises you every day. This week will be one year since I launched SpreadLaLuz and I’ve been so emotional. I’m literally crying right now typing this because I can’t believe I am doing the damn thang and these pregnancy hormones are cray. I’m not religious at all but if there is a heaven where my ancestors are, I hope they are proud. I will never forget the phone call with my Grandma Leo when she told me how proud she was, “I so proud of you and you will open your own store and everything one day, I just know it” she said. Coming from her, the woman who lived the hardest life, who wanted her granddaughter to be a nurse, was proud of me.

WHELM- Wife, Human, Entrepreneur, Latina, Mother

Latina blog will be up tomorrow, 9/15 at Noon EST! 

1 comment

  • I don’t know you personally I know your mother and I will say I am very proud of you. Congratulations and I wish you the best


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