How to Grow your Brand

¡No More Chichos! Recaps the Summer Business Panel

The first Saturday of summer started with a bang thanks to the Summer Business Panel: How To Grow Your Brand! organized by Yanil Maldonado of Popupshoplatino and Isabel Amigon founder of Soloishop. This intimate event served to provide information and resources to women (and one man) of color on how to start and run their own business. The panel was both an informative and inspiring way to spend the afternoon.

The Summer Business Panel began with an introduction of the event organizers, Yanil and Isabel, where they candidly shared how they met (social media) and what inspired them to organize the event. After introductions began the MC for the day, Lisa Velazquez, started off with a bang, firing questions to the panelists about their challenges, words of advice, inspirations much more. The panel included a team of paralegals, a makeup artist turned business woman, food photographer, brand designer and a love coach. 

Each woman on the panel brought such important pieces to the conversation along with such inspirational stories: Angelique starting her business Breakups to Makeup who started her makeup line after a bad breakup; the sisters behind Parallegals For The Communitywho started the company after the passing of their father who they visibly love and admire, to name a couple. The rawness of each panelists “coming of age” story set the tone for an intimate and honest discussion. 

After the question round of the panelists ended each panelist shared a 20ish minute talk on their area of expertise. I’ll try to summarize each panelists session in brief. 

NYC Food Muse

Rosanna gave tips on how to create visually appealing content on your feed. At one point she even asked the group what their businesses are to provide an on the spot visioning session to share techniques to help your brand stand out from the crowd. For @zarigeemadethat she suggested I bring food into my items and product placement while also creating a vintage feel through editing. For @redscake she suggested she put her cakes and sweets in unusual space to help them pop and create it’s own hype. This on the spot “vision consulting” (I think I just made that up) gave us a glimpse of her creative mind and was truly an invaluable experience.

Vicky Ayala brings the spiritualty into designing your brand. She gave a great presentation where she shares how she got into the position where she’s in and how she became successful in it. When discussing brand Vicky started with a bang with a powerful statement. “Your brand is your legacy, established the moment you were born.” Wow let that sink in. Vicky continued by briefly going over how to create your brand by finding out your purpose, passion and use it to work (this reminded me of our vision board worksheet). In building your brand she discussed three branches to your brand: alignment, using your voice, and cultivating. With these things she emphasized the importance of saying what you want to say in your own way. One of the many things that she said that was useful was creating a brand dictionary. This is a wasy to categorized words (and phrases) that make up you, and your brand. (I found this very useful for us to adapt since our brand is shared with two people). Overall Vicky’s tips were great and if you’re looking for help with your brand I would recommend her. 

Angelique had a beautifully fun approach to her presentation by going over her “confessions of an entrepreneur” In this she stared statements such as “I am scared” “ I don’t know what the hell I’m doing” “I am the only me, I am unique” ending with “What if I fail?” Between each statement she spoke about her experience with this sentence and how she allowed her serlf to grow and work through those feelings. It was during this discussion where the host reminded her to share her reality. Angelique was talking about doing these IG live stories and was worried about her son coming in the frame and Lisa told her to embrace that part of her life and share her reality, in Angelique’s case,  if your kid comes on your live let them. The reason being? If another mother sees this she can feel comfortable in herself and her ability to dream. 

This trio was very inspiring. Not only because of their moving story of how they came to be. (It really go to me because my father and how much my sister and I are trying this entrepreneur thing because of how much he did it for us, but that’s a whooole other story). These women came to share the resources they have in helping entrepreneurs get the right answers to legal questions, helping to guide them to make choices that works best for them. They cannot give legal advice but they can help you understand the legality of things like how to solidify your idea, how to obtain articles of organization. They also are able to connect you to resources as needed, like the SOBRO initiative which helps POC and Women get into business. As well as being able to notarize documents. The Paralegalistas as Lisa named them also provide services such as immigration support and divorce prep.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to hear all of Lisa’s presentation. At this point the event had run past an hour and I was late to another engagement. But what I got out of the short time I was listenting to her was how it important it is to know who you are. Knowing who you are makes all the difference. It makes the difference in what you can do and what you can offer. 

Overall the event was great I am really looking forward to the next one. From the event I learned the term “multipationate entrepreneur” and I really resonated with that. Sometimes we get stuck with the idea that we have to do one thing and purspsue that one thing but in reality some of us have all these ideas and things that inspire us that we can truly bring together if we just allowed them to be. This also made me think of a book I just read Magical Thinking, you should check it out!

At the end of the day the thing that stuck out the most was that we have everything we need to do whatever it is that we want to do. We as a collective should stop looking for outside validation to do the thing we are looking to do. Instead we need to act (ponte las pilas) with what we got, and learn as we go. You never know what’s going to happen. Also we shouldn’t lead in fear, if we want to reach out to that person on insta or we want to connect with someone for an interview, whatever the case may be. Don’t let fear rule you, instead let it give you passion. 

Thank you to Yanil and Isabel for putting this event together, it was a beautiful celebration of empowerment and education and just the spark I needed to hit the ground running. 

Make sure you follow everyone on the gram before you leave! 


Isabel Amigon @Sololishop

Yanil Maldonado @Casadereveurs(CDREVENTS) creator of @popupshoplatino


Lisa Velazquez from @lisatalkslove@latinaentrepreneurs

Guest speakers: 

Angelique Velez @breakupstomakeup

Vicky Ayala @vickyayala

Lisa Velazquez from @lisatalkslove@latinaentrepreneurs

Swannie Batista, Elaine D. Castillo and Rachael Batista @paralegals_ftc  

Rosanna Anil @nycfoodmuse