Latinas in Business

Trying to follow your dreams? We took a look at the accomplishments of four entrepreneurs who are using their culture to change their field.

Sisters Claudia and Silvia Ortiz loved baking as young girls in Chicago. As adults in 2010, they turned their passion into Casa Girl Cupcakes, a much-frequented cupcake store. From horchata, to churro, to arroz con leche, you won’t find these typical Latin flavors in cupcakes anywhere else in Chi-Town or beyond.


As a working mom with three young boys, Tanya Diaz had little time to exercise. But when she met personal trainer and makeup artist Maria Barrerra, the pair wanted to help other busy women stay in shape. In 2010, they started Knockout Fitness and Beauty, a women-only beauty and fitness regime in Chicago. They offer many packages, including a 10-week boot camp with hair and beauty makeovers.


While writing an article about online wedding-planning for Latinos, Lilian de la Torre-Jiménez realized little was offered in Spanish. In 2008, she began publishing Bodas La Revista USA, the first Spanish-language bridal magazine in the country. The California-based glossy has since won several prestigious awards.


As a teen mom in Tularosa, N.M., Tina Cordova knew early on that she’d have to work twice as hard to succeed. After learning about an opportunity in the construction business, Cordova took $5,000 -- her life savings -- and started Queston Construction Inc. Despite the recession, in 2012 Cordova will celebrate 20 years of constructing and repairing roofs. A tireless advocate for Hispanic business owners, Cordova is also the president of the New Mexico Minority Business Association.

by Shirley Velásquez