As I begin this series, I look forward to sharing with you the gains and struggles of successful women that have touched my life in one way or another. As a fellow entrepreneur, I’m in a constant search for motivation and inspiration to surpass the not so fun parts of this entrepreneurial journey. We all know it’s a looove-hate relationship. (Please tell me I’m not the only one)
I couldn’t have thought of a better person to be my first Mujer en Tacones Exitosos than my good friend and fellow colleague, Eve Rodriguez Montoya.
Eve Rodriguez Montoya is the President & CEO of Rodriguez Media Communications, Inc., a firm established to assist clients looking to expand their brand, product, mission or service in the Latino market and beyond. Most recently, she expanded her family’s business, the Dulcelandia Candy Store brand by creating a new line of healthy frozen yogurt in Latino flavors and establishing Yogolandia Yogurt and Botana Bar in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood offering unique flavors known as Frozen Yogurt with a Mexican Twist! Eve, has also worked for more than 15 years in communications and public affairs in the public sector.
Her drive and dedication has not only inspired me, but also hundreds of young women as she has participated in diverse panels and keynotes with a message of empowerment and leadership.
Tell us 3 things you are most proud of.
Eve: Launching a brand. (Yogolandia Yogurt and Botana Bar), Becoming an entrepreneur. (Rodriguez Media Communications, Inc.), and being asked to join Boards and volunteering my time on them while utilizing my communications skills to make an impact. (the National Museum of Mexican Art and the Little Village Chamber of Commerce.)
You worked for more than 15 years in the public sector, how was your transition from working Monday to Friday to becoming an entrepreneur?
Eve: Pretty simple. I’ve always had my family business in my life, entrepreneurship runs in my blood. There isn’t really a clear formula, just give it your all!
What has been your biggest challenge?
Eve: Working with my Millenial brother who still needs to figure out how to work with others. But I have hope.
Who do you admire and why?
Eve: My Parents. Because they are the definition of the American dream. They immigrated to this country from Mexico as young teenagers, learned the language, became US Citizens, opened several businesses people were nostalgic for (Centro Supermercado - Grocery Stores, Dulcelandia Candy Stores and Lobo De Mar Restaurant), and have employed hundreds of people throughout their careers while creating a life for themselves and my siblings and putting us all through well established universities, Depaul, Northwestern and Loyola. It was my parents dream to give us all and education and we all have degrees from top universities in the area. I admire their determination, their vision and their tenacity.
What keeps you awake at night?
Eve: My ideas. I have to calm my mind to go to sleep. Try not to bring my laptop to bed.
A moment when you felt a sense of defeat...
Eve: I can’t remember because I find the positive in everything and focus on that.
What is the best and worst decision you've ever made while venturing on the Entrepreneurship world and what did you learn from it?
Eve: Best was to try it.
Worst was to wait so long.
What was your dream job as a kid and why?
Eve: To be a TV Reporter. To me, they were always so well informed. I always wanted to be well informed.
What advice do you have for the next generation of latina entrepreneurs?
Eve: To be bold.
I delivered a keynote for the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) at the US Capitol in DC. I advised all young Latinos, Latinas, LatinaX to embrace their culture, to experience the power of YES, and to inspire leadership.
What’s your favorite pair of heels to wear when you really mean business?
Eve: I love them all.
Anything you would like to add?
Eve: As such a growing population nationally, Latinos, Latinas, LatinX - we need to elevate one another whenever possible. Whether it be shopping at a Latino-owned business, volunteering/supporting a Latino candidate or mentoring a young Latino student. We have the potential to make a real impact in the coming years, let’s not be an invisible majority, let’s be an influential one!