Mexican- American, Mental Health Advocate, Media Personality, Best Selling Author & Editor in Chief at The LA Girl. Erika De La Cruz has beat the odds in her profession. Though her parents knew no English when they arrived in California, they built a business lasting 30 years (a Mexican restaurant called Las Margaritas.) Unfortunately, the economy crash of 2009 drastically changed their lives forever. Erika and her family were left with nothing. The dream home her mother designed and built was foreclosed, their items were sold to the state and repurposed across flea markets and her mother chose to voluntarily live with the homeless community, where she still resides. “It was all shocking. I had just finished my first year of college, I was home for the summer when all this happened. So with no money, I’m like okay, I can figure out how to go back to school and make something of myself, or I can try and pick up these pieces now. Ultimately, I just knew deep inside, that if I declared that my dreams would not be compromised by these events, I could eventually help my family from an empowered place, rather that drowning under the circumstances at the moment.” – De La Cruz.
Hispanic Heritage Month
This month, we are celebrating with Erika as we champion her mission to redefine existing stigmas & traditional Latin stereotypes of what it means to be “Mexican in America.” Hispanic and Iconic are synonymous according to her platform. Her desire is for the world to add “CEO’s, bosses, media moguls, chic, entrepreneurial world leaders” to the list of what they think of when they think of Latinx. She aims to be an example for little girls who don’t often see this type of role model in main stream media. She looked for a version of it growing up- “all I saw was either the help, or over sexualized ‘firecracker’ type Latinas on TV. It didn’t help that terms like ‘beaner’ and ‘border-hopper’ were the labels I grew up hearing from my class mates who’d tease each other using them. I felt a bit lost when it came to my heritage and especially when it came to being proud of it.” – De La Cruz.
Her Best Selling Book:
Erika De La Cruz is the co-founder and author of Amazon #1 best-selling book: Passionistas, Tips Tales & Tweetables From Women Pursuing Their Dreams. Here to help women see themselves from their most empowered perspectives, Erika and her business partner (Chicken Soup for The Entrepreneur’s Soul Series publisher) created the book as a compilation of women’s true (messy and real) tales of what they’d been through to establish their perceived “success.” It ranked #1 in womens entrepreneurship & personal development categories and Erika found a topic she felt aligned with: developing ones self, personally. “The circumstances we as people live through and the opinions we receive through out our lives can muddy our view of ourselves and the world. But, by practicing perspectives that cheer us on, rather than tear us down, our realities, our quality of life and even our opportunities can literally shift!”- De La Cruz. She is an Inspirational Speaker and content creator, helping passionistas everywhere gain personal power over their lives. Since the release of her book, Erika has spoken along side Oprah, Katie Couric and Whoopie Goldberg on the importance of mental fitness, practicing mindfulness and living optimistically. She regularly shares manifestation methods and positive thought practices on platforms like her Tik Tok, FYI’s hit series, Dream Life featuring Deepak Chopra and her most recent celebrity chapter in Think Big, a book about thinking big!
Her Background in Media, TV & Fashion
After loosing everything, Erika returned to college with a drive she had never experienced before. Though the trauma of abruptly loosing everything that had been familiar to her for nearly 20 years was harsh, she found that what she was left with long term, was actually gratitude. She was grateful for the people around her encouraging her to keep going. She began working on a Morning Show in the San Diego market and became the youngest ever female Promotions Director at Entercom Broadcasting just 3 days after graduating college. After her time there, she moved into reporting for a Late Night show on The CW and became the host of San Diego Fashion Week. “Fashion is my affinity, I never intentionally integrated clothing into my brand, but it was something that took off on my social platforms because I just loved it.” She moved to LA before beginning her book publishing journey and found herself on red carpets for People en Espanol and The Hollywood Punch Report and leading sold-out entertainment conferences called Passion to Paycheck, that combined TV Personalities and Personal Development in Los Anegles. The pinnacle came when Erika was named Best Dressed at the Primetime Emmys along side powerful women like Regina King and Alison Brie. Shortly after, her work was featured in Vogue, Glamour and Today to name a few. So how did she become the Editor in Chief of The LA Girl? Well, with The LA Girl ranking #1 for shopping in LA, Erika was already actively contributing to the brand for fashion and her media & entrepreneurial background allowed her to create pieces that resonated with The LA Girl Community.
How did she Come to Own The LA Girl?
Latina-owned & Philipina founded, The LA Girl was originally founded in 2014 by one of the young women who shared their story in Erika’s book, Gwen Lane. “When I first met Erika De La Cruz , I could not imagine how one had so much energy. She’s such a bright light and exudes positivity in everything. Whenever we chat, I can’t help but feel encouraged and inspired. I’m so lucky to have met Erika because through her, I was able to fulfill my dream of becoming a best-selling author. That’s how we met. Eventually, when I began thinking about shutting down The LA Girl because I was moving to Minnesota, I immediately thought of her. She was the perfect person to acquire and re-launch the brand. It already fit so well with the many facets of her career– Gwen Lane, OG Founder of The LA Girl: Watch their Launch Video.
LA Q&A With Erika:
What’s your favorite thing about LA?
The LA Girl! Okay, also the LA chic “hustle.” I feel like LA is filled with people wanting more for their lives than the circumstances they were given, which is what my life and brand is all about. I see futures being created all around me here and so much courage! I always wonder what it would be like if a majority of the world said “YES” to pursuing their ultimate dreams and desires and I think LA is a tiny microcosm of what that would look like.
What is your favorite LA neighborhood?
WEHO! I love West Hollywood. The pace is un-matched anywhere else in the city. I do live there, so maybe I’m a bit bias, but the streets are alive with the latest openings and events- there is always something to do! Oddly enough, I don’t always take advantage of that like I should, but I take humorous comfort in knowing if I “REALLY” wanted to, I could just walk out my front door.
What has been your favorite LA experience?
Our LA Girl Gratitude in The Park Meet Ups. I’m so happy that The LA Girl community is thriving and living their most inspired lives. Big lives require taking a moment to re-center and focus on your personal goals, your intentions and the routes to manifesting your desires quicker. So I love that I get to share my personal development practices in a setting of boss company. Our next meet up is September 25th.
Any Closing Thoughts?
I’d say I really think of my personal career path as an evolved life-style and what inspired me to begin was watching other presenters and personalities turn their names and favorite passions into a revenue-generating business that actually influenced and helped their audiences! Once you say “yes” to pursuing what you know you’re put on this planet to do, the world, your atmosphere, your relationships- will all evolve to match the decision if you let them. It’s exactly like tuning a radio dial into the right frequency- if you’re looking for pop music, don’t tune your dial to the county station, tune it to the POP STATION! It’s the only frequency that can deliver you the music you’re looking for. Does that make sense? I’m diving into theory a little bit, but if you grasp it, it’s life-changing.
Anything you Wish You Had Done Differently When Starting Your Career?
For the longest time, I let fear of judgement and questions like “will they laugh” and “am I doing it right” prevent me from speaking up! It was the most freeing thing when I just started sharing my message PUBLICLY.