Creative

October 19, 2020

Female Entrepreneurs Making Strides in Miami: Coronavirus Success

Join us in learning and supporting the Journey of Entrepreneurship through the eyes of these JEFA’S!

These women are out here building empires, taking and creating space for the women in our community to feel special, feel uplifted, inspired and motivated to take the necessary steps and follow that dream. But we get real here, the clean and the dirty. Learn how you can better support and

spread love within your community.

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IG @gigidiazlive

Tell us your elevator pitch...GO! 

I help high achieving women-preneurs and professionals transform their life by teaching them how to change their hustler mindset into a CEO mindset so they can reach their big goals with less burnout, more inner peace, and living in their purpose. 

What does the word Jefa mean to you?

And how do you feel you represent yourself in that space? A Jefa is a leader, an inspiration. She’s a woman who embraces her imperfections and aims to make herself better today than she was yesterday with love and kindness. It’s easier to punish yourself (and others) for mistakes and setbacks. I think a Jefa approaches these situations with love and kindness towards herself and others. I do my best to work with myself and with my clients from love and empowerment. We’re not not meant to be perfect. We’re meant

to be happy.

How did your upbringing influence your journey as a Jefa Entrepreneur?

I was born in Cuba. After coming to the United States the pressure to succeed was ON from both my parents. My dad is the hardest working person I know. My mom is the most determined person I know. Together they launched multiple successful businesses always leaning on each other’s strengths and never letting difficulties wear them down. This is how I grew up, surrounded by resilience and determination. It definitely rubs off!

What is the inspiration behind your brand or brands and doing what you love?

My personal brand #TheConsciousInfluencer aims to use my reach through my radio shows and my social media platforms to always bring motivation and hope to my followers and listeners. Through my coaching business, Seizing Happy, the goal is to help my clients find their purpose, tap into their inner happiness, source and reach their greatest potential with less burnout. Helping my clients and seeing their growth brings me so much joy! It’s why I’m so passionate about what I do.

How do you stay motivated to keep going especially during this crazy 2020?

I don’t! And that’s ok! Especially in 2020! People confuse motivation with discipline. You won’t always be motivated, no matter how much you love what you do. It’s discipline that will get you through the days when the motivation isn’t there. With that said, rest is a MUST HAVE to achieve success.

 

I’ve always been an overachiever. A few years ago I decided it was time to get my masters degree all while I was working 3 jobs and running my first business. Long story short, I ended up in an ER, depleted and burnt out. I realized in that moment there was no accomplishment, no degrees, no happy clients or successful business that could come to the rescue of my physical and mental health at that moment. This was the day that everything changed and I learned that I didn’t want to be a “hustler” or live a hustler life. I wanted to be a CEO! So I re-assessed every part of my personal and professional life; I made necessary adjustments to my routine, developed the positive habits, learned the difference between working hard and working smart. I turned this experience into a professional skill so I could help other women stop hustling and start building a life of your dreams more successfully. I became a Certified Life Coach and also got a certification in Happiness Studies, Positive Psychology Habits Practitioner, and Mindfulness.

What do you do to escape and recharge?

No screens!! The ocean is my best friend! Fishing or just sitting by the water makes everything better.

 

How have you created a community within your brand?

One of the first things I did when I launched Seizing Happy was create monthly events for other women entrepreneurs. We’ve hosted them in Coral Gables, Miramar, Miami Beach, and multiple other cities. These events offer guided networking, speakers and workshops. The goal is to have an afternoon of connection, learning and building community amongst driven women who - like myself - believe collaboration is always the healthiest and quickest way to the top. Since COVID we’ve been working on launching our Seizing Happy Facebook Group so we can continue to build this community virtually. All womenpreneurs welcome!

 

What do you love most about Miami? Favorite SPOT?

Believe it or not... my couch! As much as I love being out and about and connecting with other amazing entrepreneurs In South Florida, my favorite place to be is on my couch with my fiancé and my dog. This is where I recharge and reconnect with the things that matter most in my life which are family and peace. Now, when I’m out and about you can find me anywhere there’s live music, salsa and/or good conversation!

 

How has the culture and diversity in Miami influenced you, your brand and your network?

As an immigrant from Cuba I could not think of a better second home than Miami. I thought I was leaving behind my culture to come to the United States and adopt American culture. Instead I have learned about Venezuelan, Colombian, Jamaican, Honduran, Peruvian, and so many other beautiful cultures that have all enriched my understanding of people and the way others do business. It has definitely strengthened me as a person and given me more social awareness as an entrepreneur than an immigrant from Cuba.

 

What's one takeaway you feel every Entrepreneur should live by?

Your success begins in your mind before you even take any action, so always work on your mindset because this is where it all starts. Your thoughts and beliefs- especially the ones you’re unaware of - determine everything.

IG @odalysqwriter

Tell us your elevator pitch...GO!

I am a branded content writer who helps small business owners create and enhance the look, language, and feel of their brands. From website content to social media and blog posts, I create quality written content for my clients. Alongside my graphic designer husband, we have created custom websites for entrepreneurs all over Miami.   

How did your upbringing influence your journey as a Jefa Entrepreneur?

My parents are Cuban exiles who made a family in the United States. To them, family always came first, and they believed that with hard work, you could create a life that would make you happy. From an early age, they instilled the values of hard work, pursuing higher education, and strong family ties. My mom taught me to be independent, and my dad taught me to be tenacious in the pursuit of my dreams. My father passed away in 2011, and I got married in 2012. It was hard for me to get in the headspace to do therapy with patients as a psychotherapist working on her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. So I took a break to finish my thesis, and explore different career options. In 2013, I finally got my Master’s, and in 2014, I had my daughter. When she was almost three, she needed the stimulation of school, so we put her in daycare. I wanted to use this newly found time to work and thought of returning to psychology. But I, soon, realized that it wouldn’t be an option for me because that would severely limit the time I would spend with my daughter after she got home from school since most therapists see clients after 5 pm. That’s when I started to blog. At first for fun, then with an eye for making money. In 2019, after 2 years of blogging, I had learned enough about writing for internet readers, and creating a genuine personal brand, that I felt confident enough to begin a career in copywriting and branding. I used the values of prioritizing family, and tenacity in the pursuit of your dreams, to create a career that allows me the flexibility of making my own hours to spend time with my family while doing what I’ve always loved - writing.     

What does the word Jefa mean to you? And how do you feel you represent yourself in that space?

A Jefa is a woman who takes care of business. Whether it’s in her home, or in her career, she’s a mover and a shaker. She shows up and gets things done. I believe I fit this exact definition because when I set an intention, I move toward it with every fiber of my being. I show up, and I not only get things done; I get them done with panache, precision, and gusto. I make sure that any interaction with me - in business or in life - is enjoyable and enriching. I am the embodiment of La Jefa. 

What is the inspiration behind your brand or brands and doing what you love?

The number one inspiration for my brand is authenticity. I always show up as myself. Because putting on a mask, and presenting yourself or your business, in a way that does not align with you, will only end in disappointment. In essence, you are your brand, so make sure you present yourself as you truly are, and that your business aligns with you and your values.

How do you stay motivated to keep going especially during this crazy 2020?

My kids. They keep me going. On days when I don’t want

On days when I don’t want to get out of bed, I remember that my daughter has remote learning, and I need to help her catch up with her first-grade peers. I remember that my son will only be two years old for 365 days of his life, so I have to cuddle with him while he’s still small. The thought that I want to set an example for my daughter that women can have a family and a career, and be great at both - if that’s what they want. I want to show my son that with hard work and determination, you can create a life that makes you happy. 

Also, right when the pandemic started, I co-founded the Virtual Mom Collective - a community that helps moms cope with #thisnewnormal. Since March, we have been getting together for monthly webinars to discuss all kinds of topics related to motherhood and self-care during these times. I look forward to the webinars every month and watching the community grow. We just launched a membership program that will facilitate mothers in connecting with each other, and feel more supported in their businesses and beyond. 

So to sum everything up, my children and supporting other women are what have fueled me in 2020.  

What do you do to escape and recharge?

For me, my work is an escape. My husband is able to watch the kids while I work, so that allows me to fulfill my desire to be independent and earn my own income. Then, I go back to being a mom in the evening. I get the best of both worlds. I also schedule virtual happy hours with friends, attend webinars, listen to podcasts, and watch shows or movies with my husband after the kids go to bed.  

How have you created a community within your brand?

Other than co-founding the Virtual Mom Collective, I have made a lot of connections throughout my career as a branded copywriter. By networking and working with clients, I have created a strong enough network that I now know a person that can help with almost anything you can think of. Do you need to run social media ads? I know a person for that. You can’t cook your own meals for a week? I can connect you with my client who’s a personal chef. You don’t know what to wear to your pitch meeting next month? I know a personal stylist. My network is my community. 

What do you love most about Miami? Favorite SPOT?

I love Coral Gables. The restaurants, the coffee shops, the bookstores, all of those places on Miracle Mile make my heart go pitter-patter. My absolute favorite spot right off the Mile is Books & Books. It combines all of the things I love about the Gables. The food is phenomenal, the live entertainment in the evenings is soothing, and the books that fill the shelves make me feel right at home - no other spot in Coral Gables contains this much charm. 

How has the culture and diversity in Miami influenced you, your brand, and your network?

I was born and raised in Miami, so I’m used to this beautiful melting pot we call home. I’ve met people from all over South America, the Caribbean, and the world. Having grown up in such a diverse environment has helped me expand my understanding of the world, so I can relate to just about anyone from anywhere. My palate has enjoyed foods from places I’ve never been, and I’ve met people from all over who I have helped with my content writing services. I live in Miami, and Miami lives in me.

What's one takeaway you feel every Entrepreneur should live by?

Always show up as your true self, then take care of business with gusto.

IG @karinemelissa

Tell us your elevator pitch...GO!

I empower leaders to build strong teams and bring their dreams to reality.

How did your upbringing influence your journey as a Jefa Entrepreneur?

My father is an entrepreneur, so I believe it’s in my DNA. Growing up I watched my father work so hard to build his dreams from scratch. I saw the blood, sweat, and tears that he experienced. I also saw it bring joy to him and our family. My mother taught me to live on purpose – encouraging me to go after my dreams. That’s exactly how I want to live. I want to live on purpose and impact lives.

What does the word Jefa mean to you? And how do you feel you represent yourself in that space?

Jefa is a call to greatness. Being a boss babe is more than just saying it. It’s a call to live a life worthy of purpose, greatness, and impact. A jefa mindset is like fuel to a car. It’s the driving force behind our work ethic. This is the space I live in – to serve others with my gifts and give my loved

ones my all.

What is the inspiration behind your brand or brands and doing what you love?

My brands exist to bring dreams to reality in the industries that align with my gifts. Boss Babes of Miami focuses on empowering

How do you stay motivated to keep going especially during this crazy 2020?

I stay motivated because I know the source of which my motivation flows. Everyone I love is the source of my motivation. Everything I do is because they inspire me to be great. As a result, I will always keep striving to be the best version of myself.

What do you do to escape and recharge?

I go to the beach! Whether near or far, I love to get away from my typical everyday activities to an open space with a fresh ocean breeze. It helps me to take in the moment and trust the process.

How have you created a community within your brand?

I believe that’s a part of a brand’s strategy; to build a community within its particular industries. This is how a brand can serve its target audience directly and more effectively.

What do you love most about Miami? Favorite SPOT?

I love the beaches! The beach, any beach, is my favorite spot.

How has the culture and diversity in Miami influenced you, your brand and your network?

I was born in Jamaica but raised here in Miami. Its cultural diversity is a big part of why my brands have an opportunity to serve. Miami is beautiful because of the people. We are full of life and flavor!

What's one takeaway you feel every Entrepreneur should live by?

Live your truth. Don’t be scared to share your failures with your team and others. There is strength in vulnerability. In every situation, extract the good and toss the bad. We move forward in wisdom when we learn from our experiences – and when the people we lead know we’re human just like them and can trust us to be real and driven by true purpose.

IG @networkingmaverick, @women4successnonprofit

Tell us your elevator pitch...GO! 

I strive to provide education, motivation, confidence, and e-mentorship for female professionals and entrepreneurs to overcome self-doubt and build their Queendoms, and I’m on a mission to empower 100,000 women to launch six-figure businesses!

What does the word Jefa mean to you?

Having lived in Miami for the past decade, “Jefa” is something I learned meant the equivalent to “boss”. But it’s also more than that. When we call each other and ourselves Jefas, it’s like how I use the word Queen: To remind us that we are all worthy, that we are all in charge of our lives, our businesses, and our destinies. So go out there and be the confident Queen you are, Jefa!

How did your upbringing influence your journey as a Jefa Entrepreneur?

Growing up, I moved around the country 15 times because my father ran hotels and resorts. I grew up learning business from my Father, and because I was constantly the “new girl,” I also made a choice to get out of my shell and learn how to make friends. Despite the bullying (that many of us go through) and other obstacles, I always tried to keep the PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) that my mom taught me, and I was able to make some wonderful friendships and become the Confidence Queen I am today. Now, I combine that confidence journey and my business knowledge (which includes my experience as a business law attorney for corporations and small businesses) to empower other Queens on their own journeys to build their

Queendoms.

What is the inspiration behind your brand or brands and doing what you love?

My passion is to see other women succeed and to lift each other up. Whether it’s my law firm, Marsicano + Leyva PLLC, my Networking + Business Growth brand, Networking Maverick, or my nonprofit, Women for Success Inc., I want to empower women, create a supportive community, and allow each of us to define success on our own terms.

How do you stay motivated to keep going especially during this crazy 2020?

PMA!! No matter how dark a time might seem, we always have something to be thankful for. Start by writing down one thing you’re grateful for right now, then another, then another. Soon you will have a list of gratitude and positivity. This little shift allows you to reframe your thoughts and keep a Positive Mental Attitude!

What do you do to escape and recharge?

Well, I used to reward myself with travel and fun trips. Now, however, it’s more about time off, spending more quality time with friends and family in small groups. I also purchased a Peloton and joined an online boot camp with BComingU Fitness to get back into a wellness routine!

How have you created a community within your brand?

It started by posting motivational messages and networking tips on Instagram, and it turned into live events focused on connection and business building. And this year, it became a nonprofit, Women for Success, whose mission is to provide the tools, education, community, and support for women everywhere to define success on their own terms. The community we are building is founded upon the principles of collaboration over competition and lifting each other up, and we provide a safe space for women to connect with likeminded Queens while leveling-up their lives and their businesses.

What do you love most about Miami? Favorite SPOT?

I love the Miami culture and community! As someone who loves traveling abroad and experiencing other cultures, Miami is the closest I’ve found in the US to living in another country and having the same amazing experiences here that I’ve had abroad. There is something here for everyone, as long as you’re open to the experience. I love Wynwood and the Design District as well as Little Haiti because they have amazing food, nightlife, and vibrant small businesses. But I also LOVE exploring and brunching my way around Miami (especially Zuma!).

How has the culture and diversity in Miami influenced you, your brand and your network?

When I came to Miami for law school, I fell in love with it immediately. The culture, the food, the people; everything about Miami (except the public transportation) allows you to find your own favorite places and hidden gems. Even now, I’m constantly discovering the city. The missing piece for me was a community that was business minded with a focus on facilitating connections and emphasizing collaborations for women of all backgrounds and professions. So we created it!

 

What's one takeaway you feel EVERY entrepreneur should live by?

H.O.P.E. - Help One Person Everyday. I’ve heard this several times throughout my life, but it’s even more important for entrepreneurs to keep in mind today. For me, I combine the HOPE mentality with my personal motto, A.B.C. - Always Be Connecting, to remind myself and others to focus on adding value to everyone you meet and serving others. Time is our most precious commodity, so make sure to over-deliver on someone’s investment of their time in you.

IG @evahartstudio

Tell us your elevator pitch...GO!

I’m a fashion and advertising photographer & filmmaker. I’m also one half of DUPLA Studio, a creative boutique.

How did your upbringing influence your journey as a Jefa Entrepreneur?

I grew up in an advertising family and we had our own agency. I’ve only ever known being self-employed. So when I grew up I made my own hustle.

What does the word Jefa mean to you? And how do you feel you represent yourself in that space?

I get to decide how to use my talents, efforts and time. I have the freedom to create for myself, and collaborate with my clients to fulfill a common vision.  

What is the inspiration behind your brand or brands and doing what you love?

a. EVA HART is my professional photography & filmmaking work and represents my original talent and craft for agencies and clients.

b. DUPLA Studio is a creative atelier with my husband/partner that focuses on branding, design, and products. DUPLA allows us to more fully a more complete creative vision and message beyond the photography.

How do you stay motivated to keep going especially during this crazy 2020?

Using creativity as an outlet has been the best way to keep balance. I’ve begun painting portraits of people I miss and completing small commissions. I’m also creating objets d’art from found items. Our home has really become our canvas. We also stay productive with our studio and are producing a new cookbook that combines our photography and design.

What do you do to escape and recharge?

Since moving to Miami Beach I’ve become a committed practitioner of ashtanga yoga under the guidance of the Miami Life Center. I practice daily before my day starts to ground myself.   

How have you created a community within your brand?

@EvaHartStudio is where I share my on-going work and finished projects. It’s a chance to show my process and encourage others who may be interested in pursuing their own work.

What do you love most about Miami? Favorite SPOT?

I love Miami’s people, culture and food. I’m constantly inspired by everything I see. Through my documentary series, DOBEDO, I seek out and get to know people in Miami that interest me and share my excitement for this city. My home city of Miami Beach is my favorite place. It has everything I need to feel fulfilled.

How has the culture and diversity in Miami influenced you, your brand, and your network?

I started my career in the Dominican Republic. My style and influences fit well in the Miami creative scene. There’s an element of home for me, but it’s also so far from the reality I grew up in.

What's one takeaway you feel every Entrepreneur should live by?

Entrepreneurs have to battle a lot of doubt. From outside and from within. Never forget your “Why”. Your reason for doing this. Whenever in doubt, come back to your “Why”.

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