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Los Angeles celebrates Latina entrepreneurs

Los Angeles celebrates Latina entrepreneurs

LATINAFest hosted its fifth annual festival in La Plaza De Cultura y Artes in downtown Los Angeles on March 19. 

Founded by Bel Hernandez and Naibe Reynoso in 2018, LATINAfest is a community-based organization that aims to celebrate unity and amplify Latina voices. Hernandez is best known as the founder/CEO of Latin Heat Media and was dubbed “The Godmother of Latino Hollywood” by Moviemaker Magazine. Reynoso also found her path in the media industry as an Emmy Award–winning journalist and the creator of Con Todo Press, a company that creates children’s books focused on underrepresented communities.

The yearly LATINAFest sheds a spotlight on Latina entrepreneurs and activists by featuring various small business owners, a live-taping of TheTRENDTalk show and hosting a fashion show. 

Mayra DeHaro, a first generation Mexican-American, owns SeñoritaMAD and makes hand painted drinkware representative of Mexican culture.

Having moved from California to Arizona, DeHaro launched her business to educate her children about their Mexican heritage and to keep it present in their home. 

“It’s really important to keep going and surround yourself with people that inspire you,” DeHaro says. 

Cecilia Torres, a middle-school teacher in Los Angeles, was inspired to launch her business in 2014.

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She is the founder of Folklor Accessories, a shop focused on creating items that keep Mexican culture alive. Most of her items — home decor, tote bags, wallets — are made of fabric that fabric and feature icons of Mexican culture ranging from Dia de los Muertos to Frida Kahlo. The idea for the business began in her classroom.

“When I was about to staple [the fabric] on the bulletin I was like, this is too pretty and meaningful to be covered — so I decided to make a tote bag for myself and eventually, I wanted to create a business out of it,” Torres says. 

Along with providing Latina entrepreneurs with the opportunity to showcase their businesses, LATINAFest also gives Angelenos a chance to represent their Hispanic culture. 

Livie Mota poses on the LATINAFest stage.
Victoria Quintana modeling for PAULINAClothing, a shop that integrates the beauty of Dia de los Muertos.
Maggie Solórzano-Muñetón, founder of Semillitas Preschool, advocates for an early education learning environment where culture and language is embraced.
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