Monday, June 21, 2010
Lizbeth Cardozo > www.LaCosmopolatina.com
What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
You need vision, persistence, discipline, a level and calm head, a sense of humor to endure the tough times, and the gift to be able to inspire your employees, vendors and investors to work with you and share your dream. But most of all, you need a goal in mind and plenty of passion. If you do what you love those caffeine filled late nighters or weekends you mostly likely will pull won't ever feel like work.
What did inspire you to start your business?
My business partner and I are proud, bi-lingual and bi-cultural Latinas of Colombian descent. We noticed there is very little Internet content that caters to English dominant Latinas who embrace their Latina roots. We decided to fill that void and provide a voice for aspirational and trendsetting US Latinas.
We also noticed that the face and perceptions of Latinas is evolving. They're more educated. They're becoming entrepreneurs. They're climbing the corporate ladder. They're mothers and full time employees. And while they balance all the things that they feel make them successful, they have very little time but they still worry about their beauty, health, their finances, their love lives, etc. We offer fast and funny tips written in English with Spanish language words that hit the cultural heart strings.
How did you finance it?
We financed it ourselves.
Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
Absolutely. I'm the target market. My business partner and my backgrounds allow us to see the world with a Latino perspective. We cull our surroundings for tips that we think our readers will find novel. Then we write them in a way, that all women will understand, but will have a more special meaning to a Latina.
In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
What drives us is putting Latinas on the map and painting them in a positive and sophisticated light. With the growing and under served Latina market, we are the first movers in this segment. According to posts from our followers on Facebook and Twitter, we are uniting proud Latinas in the US.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
We write mostly in English and pepper the tips with words in Spanish that Latinas can culturally identify with and that evoke nostalgia. Many offered their opinion and attempted to sway us into writing more in Spanish or in Spanglish, but we decided we didn't want to be like other Latina websites. We stuck to our guns. Our readers have done nothing, but praise us for understanding and entertaining them.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
would have launched this website earlier. I have wanted to be the eyes and ears of the US Hispanic market for years; a sort of Latino Ambassador, if you will.
What was your childhood ambition?
I wanted to be an artist or writer, so I could express myself and evoke emotions and understanding among my followers or readers. I also wanted to right any wrongs or injustices in the world. I still do.
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
My business partner. She is relentless and has amazing discipline and focus.
My parents. They are one of the hardest working people I know. They came here as immigrants to the US, with very little money, young 20 somethings, but with big dreams and aspirations. They have endless energy and still continue to educate, improve themselves and take on new business ventures and personal challenges, but with a passion and joie de vivre that is unequaled to most. I have complete admiration for them.
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Lunch. Typically energy is still high for positive discourse and great ideas!
What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
Leisure time and personal relationships.
What is your favorite quote?
All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.
Is it difficult to be unconventional?
No. Not at all. It's fun and challenging.
Biggest mistake made?
Not launching my business earlier.
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes. We're first movers in this market. We haven't seen any websites like ours that caters to the English speaking Latina market.
About the Company:
Launched by two Colombian-American Latinas in late 2009, LaCosmopolatina is daily newsletter of lifestyle tips for the sophisticated chica on the go; who can walk a mile in her designer shoes, but comes home to her arroz con pollo. We are devoted to bringing Latinas daily tips on everything that’s cool, hip and new in beauty, style, technology and la vida. And since we’re all busy chicas we do it in a fun and fast way infused with our distinct sabor Latino and nostalgia that tugs at our heart strings.
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