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Latina Disruptors Event Recap: How 8 Women in Business Are Successfully Inspiring Change

Purpose, position and POWER. As Women’s History Month comes to a close (sad, but true), we were so happy to witness a global celebration of women embodying the essence of these ideals. On a windy morning in DTLA, we were so fortunate to meet a phenomenal group of women whose journeys are worth honoring, brought together by CEO & CNBC contributor, Sandra Campos,  a trailblazer in handing out honor when and where its due …especially to our fellow Latina community. Which is why Sandra has been so successful at putting together her event series: Latina Disruptors. A series  that highlights and celebrates the Latina’s that are making fabulous moves in their industries and changing the way women are seen in business. It was an afternoon of meaningful conversations and inspiring stories from top CEO’s and co-founders that revealed anything is possible if passion persists. Topics of their support systems, upbringing, and shameless moves kept the audience intrigued all afternoon. Keep scrolling to read more about the women we met and what they told us about how they’re keeping their voices (and their brands) truly amplified.

WHO & WHAT:  The gorgeous event couldn’t have asked for better sunshine, well, with the exception of the famous Santa Ana winds. Held on the rooftop of the Proper Hotel in LA, Latina Disruptors presented by Wells Fargo was hosted by Sandra and her colleague, reporter and author, Daniela Pierre-Bravo. Guests included VIP members of the media, financial executives, entrepreneurs, friends and fellow Latinas in business. Coffee and a beautiful spread of pastries, avo toasts, and fresh fruit welcomed everyone in as we all mingled and took our seats to hear from the most brilliant business minds in our orbit.


Wells Fargo Executive Vice President & Head of Hispanic and Latino Affairs – Patty Juarez – kicked things off by zooming in Taskrabbit founder, Leah Solivan. An entrepreneur that she was most excited to see IRL, but due to the winds ( Leah was flying in from San Francisco), Leah’s flight was canceled. So in a true entrepreneurial pivot –  Leah zoomed straight into the breakfast. 

Following the Zoom session, Sandra unfortunately had to address an important issue happening outside of the hotel and, collectively, pulled at our hearts with a sense of conviction. Basically, that morning, there was an impromptu hospitality strike occurring outside of the Proper Hotel. Maids, janitors and other blue collar workers, primarily all Hispanic, from the hotel and from neighboring LA hotels were on a union strike demanding fair wages. Just another reminder to support our fellow community and to remember to be intentional on who, what and where we’re investing our time and dollars in. FabFitFun is a company we know a lot about, but bet ya didn’t know the co-founder of the billion dollar company is a Latina. Daniela took the mic to introduce Katie Kitchens, EIC of FabFitFun and Pierina Merino, founder of Flickplay, for a conversation about confidence and overcoming insecurities in business.

Up next, a super real panel with Ellen Marie Bennett, CEO of Hedley & Bennett (if you’ve seen Top Chef, you’ve seen their aprons), Jen Batchelor, CEO of Kin Euphorics, and Julissa Prado, CEO of Rizos Curls. This panel was so fun and talked about the ruthless ways they marketed their products, embraced their immediate Latino support, and how boundaries and the art of saying NO can be the greatest asset you can have in business. Definitely a fun, inspirational and lively group of Latina’s here.

Closing out the afternoon, Daniela introduced Brittany Bravo, a young and very talented  photographer (you’ve seen her work in Target for sure!), along with Patty Rodriguez, who has become an LA household name for sure. Patty is the co-founder of Lil’ Libros and you can also find her on-air, producing for Ryan Seacrest’s LA radio show. We loved this meaningful conversation about our community’s devotion to beauty and excellence and promoting the harmonization of Latino culture with luxury as a norm.

WHY:  It was so much fun to connect with these women in person and it was even more exciting to learn about their starts and their successful tips to entrepreneurship. Here’s what we learned. From Patty and Leah’s conversation, (fyi: Patty has 29 years of lending experience with Wells Fargo) ideas and needs for any business can be simple, but finding the right support is the challenge. Throughout Patty’s career, who is a proud Mexican and really good Monopoly player (something she grew up playing) , she has not only identified the gaps that exist for Latino financial support but she’s trying to close them. “My dad was a small business person, and he always struggled with finance and resources. My dream was ,well,  if I’m the banker I can give money to people,” says Patty. Since her humble “gaming “beginnings it is now been her mission to get Latinos in businesses higher levels of financial support regardless of the roadblocks they encounter. “The last 10 years of my career I’ve dedicated to ensuring to get capitial to women and minorities.” Leah, a  fellow Puerto Rican who got her start in Massachusetts learning the tech world and founded Taskrabbit from a simple need… dog food for her pup. The app is basically an Uber for minute tasks, odd jobs, even deliveries. As CEO for 8 years, Leah scaled the company to 44 cities and raised more than $50 million for it before selling it to Ikea for $$$ (just so ya know the amount was never disclosed). Leah said funding in the early stages was definitely a learning curve, but there are some key things she learned. For instance, never turn down a meeting with anyone and enjoy the world of networking because in the end you’ll have a collection of advisors that will only help propel you forward.

Katie is also Puerto Rican and began her career in content writing before finding to FabFitFun. ICYMI: FabFitFun is a lifestyle membership box that includes a selection of full-size products across beauty, fashion, fitness, wellness, home, and tech – delivered each season. She said the ideas behind it was for it to not only allow  be an outlet and access to and for many brands but an opportunity to uplift and tell the stories of smaller brands too. Katie says FabFitFun fun will never stop evolving (a pet box is finally here, yay!) , and as far as where she’ll take it next, Katie says, “as we really scale the business  we are now able to use FabFitFun as a resource to other brands.” So expect event more boxes, like a Team Box and a Men’s Box and Refills. “We launched refills which is very much the antithesis to FabFitFun, which is all about surprise and discovery. You can actually subscribe and see our top tier brands then ship them along with boxes which is kinda fun.”

Pierina shares Katie’s forward-thinking mindset, foreseeing future trends before they become apparent to others. Flickplay‘s focus on immersive gaming, delving into augmented reality, avatars, and the concept of crafting identities beyond reality, aligns perfectly with this vision. In spite of encountering investors who struggled to grasp Pierina’s ambitions, she fearlessly drew upon her Latinidad, leveraging it when necessary to navigate the challenges. She also said something that really stuck. She said as a Latina our  passion, authenticity will always come through no matter who we are talking to, and we need to recognize that and use it as a superpower when the time is right.

Up next – three remarkable women who have truly revolutionized entrepreneurship. Julissa, Jen, and Ellen share a common thread: their brands emerged out of necessity, birthing innovation in the process. Julissa shared how her journey to begin Rizos Curls stemmed from her own beauty need (taming and embracing her natural curls), knowing that there were other women who shared similar hair experiences. She went on to develop her personal formula for bouncy, frizz-free curls and the rest is history. We can tell from this conversation that Julissa’s dedication and integrity to her brand are unparalleled. She is a genius in marketing (just see how she celebrated her culture when Rizo Curls launched at Ulta) and has keen understanding of when to say “no” to things that just aren’t a fit for her brand. 

Jen from Kin Euphorics is also a proud Latina. Raised in a vibrant Cuban household, she also embraced her culture and the people around her to inspire her entrepreneurial story. Recognizing that traditional alcohol didn’t align with her wellness goals, Jen set out to find like-minded individuals, and find a way to create a beverage to fit those needs. Enter Kin Euphorics, a alt functional bev rooted in Ayurvedic medicine and designed to offer an entourage effect by using natural ingredients that nourish the mind and body. Jen’s foresight into this particular wellness market was impeccable. She understood that Gen Z prioritizes wellness over the allure of alcohol. Her intuition proved right when Bella Hadid, an early on supporter, reached out and eventually became an ambassador for the brand ( Bella even penned a glowing 30-page convincing pitch to Jen and her partners). Now, Kin Euphorics has skyrocketed to success, becoming the fastest-growing non-alcoholic beverage available at Target. Jen’s unwavering belief in her product and of course its quality has led her here,  proving that sometimes, all it takes is that strong (Cuban) passion to achieve greatness.

For Ellen of Hedley & Bennett , it was passion and a little scrappiness too. Ellen is half Mexican, half English, born and raised in LA and has cooked at the Michelin-starred restaurant – Providence. While there she recognized a crucial need within the culinary world: high-quality aprons that could endure the chaos of a busy kitchen. So, Hedley & Bennett was born. Spotting this gap – and as many Latinas do – she seized the opportunity. Over the span of 8 years, including navigating the challenges of Covid era, Ellen diligently built her apron empire, which are now the top choice for renowned chefs everywhere, including those on the hit Bravo show Top Chef. Her company has blossomed into a multi-million dollar enterprise which we learned that Ellen’s candid admission of occasionally resorting to shameless self-promotion kickstarted it. We love that! I mean, why not amplify our own worth, especially when we know it’s well-deserved. True that at times, it feels the Latino community has to force the hand to give us a break, but in the end, we’re reaping the rewards.


Rounding out the afternoon’s discussion, Patty and Brittany shared insights on empowering our community through avenues such as beauty, literature, advocacy and photography. They emphasized the importance of everyone feeling beautiful, no matter what culture barriers, and for everyone to have a seat at the table. Additionally, Patty highlighted the significance of being deliberate with our spending, as investing in Latinos and giving back to Latinos can uplift future generations. She also reassured us that it’s okay to feel awkward or cringe sometimes when celebrating ourselves; it’s essential to pursue our desires without seeking permission. As a young Latina fashion photographer (only in her 20’s), Brittany recounted moments of misunderstanding on set, where clients mistook her for an assistant due to her age. However, through her remarkable photography, Brittany has demonstrated her rightful place in the industry. She’s worked with major brands like Target, Rare Beauty and Nike and has been featured in prestigious publications, showcasing beauty in its various forms. She passionately portrays women authentically, ensuring their true beauty shines through. Brittany said that her work is about creating from love never for love. Talk about a great mindset to lead toward optimal success.

FINAL THOUGHTS: We had a fantastic time learning more about these remarkable women and connecting with them over our shared Latinidad. They are true disruptors, exuding confidence and bringing valuable inspiration to the table. We thank these women for identifying and addressing the gaps, ensuring that all Latinas have to have a place at the table. We’re excited to see where their paths take them next and the disruption they’ll positively bring to their industries. 

Feeling inspired? Check out some more Latinas crushing their game.