Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ana L. Flores >

Ana L. Flores, Founder & Ceo, Latina Bloggers Connect

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
A vision and the desire to really, really want it. It is that desire that will keep you going through the inevitable bumpy moments.

What did inspire you to start your business?
It was a series of events that lead to it. My first enterprise was, which I co-founded in February 2009 with Roxana Soto. SpanglishBaby was born out of the need to fill a void that existed back then of blogs and online content that spoke to the experience of being a Latina mom in the U.S. Through the online and social media experience acquired with SpanglishBaby, I started to be sought after by both brands and bloggers to help them connect. Through the encouragement of colleagues and fellow bloggers, I decided to launch Latina Bloggers Connect. The heart of the vision there was to create a space where bloggers could connect with each other and with the brands that matter to them, as well as to provide resources for our community to continue to grow. Our motto is: “If one grows, we all grow.”

How did you finance it?
Both of my ventures have been self-financed, making it an even bigger adventure and learning process. I’m proud to say both are self-sustainable and growing at a steady path. I do plan to seek capital soon, though.

Being Hispanic…Does it have any influence on your business?
100%. Both SpanglishBaby and Latina Bloggers Connect are completely based on the Hispanic/Latino experience and culture. We are creating content that honors our language, heritage and culture.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
It’s now always easy, but I keep reminding myself that everything does happen for a reason. Years ago I decided, because it is a decision you can take, to see obstacles only as opportunities to grow. Once you change the way you see and react to situations, you let go of having those potential “problems” control you. 

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
The biggest challenge is definitely being self-financed and bootstrapping it along the way. I’ve always been both a connector and a content-creator, not a business-minded person. I take pride in the fact that I do have great ideas and I have a knack for being ahead of the game and at the right place, at the right time. However, the lack of financing slows down my pace since I can’t easily execute those ideas with out the proper resources and team.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
I would have a real office and not a virtual one! The idea of working from home is a romantic one, but in reality it’s much more conducive to creativity to be in a room together with like-minded people.

What was your childhood ambition?
Hahaha! To meet Menudo! And I did, then many years later I ended up working with several of them and becoming friends when I was a producer at Univision. Aside from that, my ambitions were always to be independent and self-sustainable.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Willa Shalit, founder of Fairwinds Trading.
Jeannette Kaplun,

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Breakfast. I’m usually in less of a hurry at that time.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I’ve had to sacrifice time with my 4 year-old daughter and with my husband. I keep reminding myself that even though I travel more than I’d like, I still have created a life for me that allows pockets of time when I need them for my family without having to ask permission from anyone. I have set limits on myself and will not work when my daughter is home with me. What gets difficult is the traveling.

What is your favorite quote?
“It´s always darkest before dawn.” It´s a proverb.

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
I can´t have it any other way, so I wouldn´t know. Maybe it´s difficult when trying to make more traditional people, like family, understand why you would go through all the trouble of living a seemingly chaotic life when I could be successful in a safe office environment with a regular paycheck.

Biggest mistake made?
Talking to the wrong person about my next move.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I do, yet I realize that ideas belong to all of us. Having an idea doesn´t make you an innovator, realizing it does. The concept behind Latina Bloggers Connect wasn´t new; yet back in 2010 I was the first one to apply that model in the Latina blogosphere. That was innovative enough that many soon followed.

About Latina Bloggers Connect, Inc
Founded in November 2010, Latina Bloggers Connect, Inc was the first brand/blogger network catering specifically to Latina bloggers, the fastest growing group online.
A women-owned and operated boutique agency, LBC specializes in crafting brand alliances and campaigns for bloggers and brands to connect in meaningful and effective ways. is the site to visit to find out what’s happening and who’s who in the influential Latina blogosphere, as well as a place for our community of Latina bloggers to keep learning and growing as professionals and reap the rewards.

Don't miss Ana L. Flores speak at our 2012 Marketing to Latinas Conference, followed by Business Networking Event, on June 14th in NYC. To register click here

1 comment:

Charles George said...

Thanks Ana for taking the time to tell us about your entrepreneurial endeavors. Always interested in what other entrepreneurs are doing.

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