If one thing is clear as we start 2019, it’s that America is changing. According to a Claritas report (registration required), in the United States today, there are 131 million multicultural Americans, making up 37.5% of the U.S. population, with Hispanics accounting for the largest portion at 19.6%.
Minority groups now represent the majority of the population in more than 400 U.S. counties. There can be no doubt that America is becoming multicultural and that Hispanics are a significant part of this change.
Although some brands are starting to face the facts, there is a still a long way to go before advertisers understand the U.S. Hispanic market and unlock its potential.
From the enormous success of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians to the rising popularity of Hispanic celebrities like Cardi B, America has changed a lot in the past year. We’ve seen advancement in film representation, a resurgence in cultural and political movements, and the continued popularity and application of technology like smart homes and streaming media. And 2019 will be no different, with these changes impacting not only the people living in the U.S. but also brands across industries that will have to evolve with the changing American landscape.
According to 2017 estimates from the Census Bureau, there are over 58.9 million Hispanics living in the United States, and by 2030, U.S. Hispanics are expected to reach more than 72 million. More than that, this growth doesn’t just mean more Hispanics, it also means a transformation of the Hispanic market.
Hispanic consumers today are not the same as Hispanic consumers from years back. They are now the youngest ethnic group in America with the median age being 28. Realizing their youth is crucial for advertisers as it influences their media consumption habits, the technology they use, their abundance in prime spending years, and much more. Hispanics — especially in the younger age groups of the U.S. population — are also increasingly more diverse than older Americans. As a matter of fact, almost half of the U.S. millennial population will be multicultural by 2024 (registration required).
To read the complete article, continue on to Forbes.
So, La La Anthony, how do you become a movie star, TV star, producer, best-selling author, and fashion icon?
You might be surprised things don’t come so easily to the self-described Afro Puerto-Rican, considered one of the most beautiful and glamorous women in the world and currently starring in the much-anticipated final season of Power (first episode is Aug. 25).
Anthony is affable. Movie star looks and chops with a girl-next-door approachability.
She’s never forgotten where she came from.
She started working as a radio DJ at 15, when she was very green and made mistakes that she learned from. Those mistakes were forgiven by radio executives at WQHT-FM, HOT 97.5 and 102.3 in Los Angeles because they saw her star power and her toil and sweat.
Also: humility, kindness, resilience and friendships.
Anthony has forged relationships with former First Lady Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, and she’s sponge-like: she learns from those who forged paths before her.
“She embodies the type of woman I aspire to be,” she said of
Michelle Obama. “I read her book, Becoming, in one day and it’s still one of my faves.”
“Renaissance Man” is a common term. Anthony is a 21st Century woman. She’s a realist when it comes to obstacles, but she’s not so big on putting limitations on yourself, and she wants other Hispanic women to think likewise.
“You can do anything you want,” she said. “But it doesn’t always happen overnight.”
And you don’t do it alone.
“Being kind goes a long way. People want to work with people who are nice and who they like.”
In an effort to make a difference in the lives of inner-city kids, Anthony formed La La Land, Inc. Foundation. Better schooling and greater opportunities for children are at the top of the foundation’s list of goals.
“I would love to continue to grow my philanthropy efforts to help inner-city kids through my La La Land, Inc. Foundation,” she said. “This is something dear to my heart. I would like to continue building the confidence of young inner-city kids by providing better schooling and opportunities that may not already be afforded to them. The youth are our future; anything I can do to help them achieve their hopes and dreams would bring me the most joy.”
Anthony, born in Brooklyn, New York, came to prominence as an MTV VJ on Total Request Live in the early 2000s. She was the host of the VH1 reality television reunion shows Flavor of Love, I Love New York, For the Love of Ray J, and Real Chance of Love, and was a dean on Charm School with Ricki Lake.
Anthony, 36, ventured into acting, landing roles in Two Can Play That Game, You Got Served, Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man Too, November Rule and Destined.
In 2011, she made her stage debut in the off-Broadway production of Love Loss and What I Wore. Anthony also starred in and executive produced five seasons of La La’s Full Court Wedding, one of VH1’s highest-rated shows, which chronicled the time leading up to her wedding to NBA star Carmelo Anthony.
In 2012, she launched MOTIVES by La La, at the Market America World Conference held at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. Her cosmetic line—for women of color—consists of mineral-based products for face, cheeks, eyes, lips and nails.
In 2013, she created a clothing line, 5th & Mercer. No, you don’t have to look like her to wear her clothes. And you don’t have to be a billionaire.
In 2014, she released her debut book, The Love Playbook, in which she shares how she found love and success on her own terms. The book hit No. 1 on the Barnes & Noble Best Seller list and The New York Times Best Seller list. Anthony’s second book, The Power Playbook, was released in May 2015.
This year, she is wrapping up the sixth and final season of the critically acclaimed, StarzTV show, Power.
Any secrets about the final season of the crime drama series and what’s in store for Anthony’s character, Keisha Grant?
“Anything and everything’s going to happen,” she said. “It’s really going to be crazy.”
Power is a megahit; fans will surely be in mourning following the final season.
The show centers on James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a wealthy New York night club owner who has it all, catering to the city’s elite and dreaming big. He lives a double life as a drug kingpin.
Initially, Anthony’s character, Keisha, did not have a starring role.
Anthony has turned her character into a fan favorite. She gets involved with drug-dealing Tommy. She’s in over her head. We find ourselves rooting for her. We know in season six the bills are coming due.
Anthony, who is married to NBA star Carmelo Anthony and has a son, stresses that she is not Keisha, and Keisha is not her.
Keisha has plenty going for her—including a legion of adoring fans—but she has not lived the life Anthony has. She’s not as street-smart or as accomplished. She’s not in a position to “pay it forward.”
So take heed, inner-city kids.
Here are three of Anthony’s secrets to success, emphasized through her foundation.
—Forget “fake it until you make it.” Work until you stake it, Anthony says;
—Be kind. Hollywood is big-time, yet it’s a small town, all in all. Besides, being kind helps you live your best life;
—Never give up.
Anthony never did, despite challenges that an Afro Puerto-Rican from Brooklyn would inevitably face.
“I believe in myself,” she said. “Who else will? I never believed the haters.
There are a lot of unspoken rules in the workplace, and one of them is often how to dress. Today, fewer than half of American workplaces have an office dress code, according to a recent survey by Simply Hired. But even among companies that have published guidelines regarding apparel and accessories, the parameters can be rather opaque.
For instance, in a memo to staff about its new, more relaxed dress code, Goldman Sachs stated: “Goldman Sachs has a broad and diverse client base around the world, and we want all of our clients to feel comfortable with and confident in our team, so please dress in a manner that is consistent with your clients’ expectations.” Leaving employees to use their best judgment is the reason many offices allow a vast array of clothing choices, from jeans and sneakers to suits and heels.
What we wear to work does make a difference, even in an era of anything goes. In a recent study by Robert Half, the majority of professionals (86%) and managers (80%) surveyed said clothing choices affect someone’s chances of being promoted. And 44% of senior managers said they’ve had to talk to an employee about their inappropriate attire, while a third (32%) have sent staff home based on what they were wearing.
Luckily there are experts to guide us through best practices for how to dress at every stage of our careers. Here’s what they told us:
Entry-level to early career
When you are starting out, making the right impression is crucial. However, Alexandra Howell, assistant professor of fashion merchandising and design at Meredith College, says the old adage “Dress for the job you want” is kind of outdated in 2019.
Howell notes that if you’ve been hired, you’ve already spent time in the office and know at least a little bit about the company culture, which includes some expectations regarding what’s appropriate to wear to work there.
“Whether they require streetwear, business casual, or even formal,” says Howell, “I recommend dressing up or more formally when you first start out.” You have to keep this within reason, she cautions. If, for example, during your interview, your manager was wearing jeans, sneakers, and a hoodie, “it may be overkill to show up in a full suit [regardless of your gender], but at the same time simply replicating what your boss was wearing can seem like an overstep.” That’s why Howell advises sporting business casual. She says fitted dress pants and a button-down shirt with loafers for men and a pixie pant with a comfortable blouse or sweater and flats for women are generally safe bets. “As you become more comfortable and familiar with the culture of the company, you can reassess your wardrobe,” she says.
That’s why she says, “If you work directly with clients, take care that you’re dressing in a way that’s appropriate to meet with them, as their office dress code may differ from yours.”
If you’re still struggling to figure out what’s appropriate, Scott Young, managing director of client delivery at CultureIQ, suggests simply asking the recruiter or HR leader. “You can certainly deviate in a dress code-free office,” he says, “but you want your new colleagues to focus on your performance, not your appearance.” Young says it’s perfectly appropriate to be more formally dressed than everyone else—at least to start. “Most people will accept that you are still in the post-interview process and want to put your best foot forward,” he says. “But being underdressed may signal that you don’t care about the job.”
Moving up the ranks
Yes, your dress code should change if you get promoted, says Laura Handrick, a career and workplace analyst at FitSmallBusiness.com, “but only slightly—in subtle ways.” Handrick says clothing choices help establish authority over your former peers. For example, if your team members wear vintage band T-shirts, she suggests wearing a polo shirt instead.
“Senior leadership is watching,” she says. “They’re assessing your ability to contribute at higher levels, and likely with more clients, vendors, executives, and investors.” So, if you continue to dress like your staff, you’re essentially telling your leadership team that you align better with workers than leaders, says Handrick.
Keren Kozar, who oversees human resources and hiring at January Digital, takes the opposite approach. She believes that if you’ve been dressing for the job you want the whole time you were an individual contributor, you may not need to change much. However, “if the transition requires newly added face time with clients,” she says, “make certain to dress for the client environment. If this means keeping a blazer or change of shoes at the office for client-facing meetings, do so.”
Patricia Brown, chair of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising, believes it’s always good to keep reevaluating what you wear to work. “If suits are appropriate in your work environment, then maybe a newer suit or two would be warranted,” she says. Or you could add a jacket, topper, or, in some cases, a refined cardigan to elevate an existing outfit. “A ‘third piece’ or jacket adds polish, a little bit of perceived authority, and often that extra element of style,” she says. Bonus: They double as extra warmth when summer air-conditioning turns your office into a meat locker.
Second or third act
Really, the advice for first-time job seekers still applies no matter your age or career stage, says Young of CultureIQ. More than half of U.S. employees say they feel comfortable wearing jeans in the workplace, and over one-third say the same thing for sneakers, according to the same SimplyHired survey. “That is something to keep in mind if you are an older worker coming from a more rigid, formal, hierarchical workplace into what is likely to be a less formal one,” says Young. While erring on the side of formality may work to start, Young says it could be a signal to coworkers that you are seeking a more hierarchical structure, which runs against the one encouraged in your new workplace.
Mary Lou Andre, a coach, speaker, and corporate image consultant, believes that this is an ideal time to properly reassess your closet. “Schedule an appointment to retire the accumulated clothes and accessories that have the potential to dismiss your relevance as a key contributor to your evolving industry and company,” says Andre. Next, she suggests upping your game by updating your look with clothes and accessories that are age-appropriate, yet communicate a sophisticated and modern approach to dress. “This doesn’t mean changing who you are and what you stand for,” Andre says. “Rather, it means paying attention to workplace trends and following suit in a way that gives you clout with a multigenerational workforce.”
Brown recommends giving thought to what is flattering for your age and body type and what makes you feel confident. “Your clothing should accentuate your feeling good about your ability to do the job,” she says, adding, “You should dress to feel polished, and to earn respect, even if you are learning a new role.”
The USHCC National Convention coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico on September 29th – October 1st, is the largest networking venue for Hispanic businesses in America.
For over a generation, the USHCC has served as the nation’s leading Hispanic Business organization, working to bring more than 4.37 million Hispanic owned businesses to the forefront of the national economic agenda.
The National Convention brings together Hispanic business owners, corporate executives and members of more than 200 local Hispanic chambers of commerce from across the country.
It offers the opportunity to establish strategic long-lasting business partnerships, through dialogue, networking, workshops, and more.
Matchmaking sessions are designed to provide a platform for Hispanic Business Enterprises (HBEs) to meet and engage in new business opportunities by introducing their companies and services to participating corporations. Tailored to help HBEs from across the country to meet with top corporations awarding contracts, the USHCC Business Matchmaking facilitates one-on-one meetings for Hispanic-owned businesses with procurement officials from industries ranging from energy, telecom, financial services and more.
There is no additional cost to attend the Matchmaking, a separate registration is required.
Business Matchmaking will take place on Tuesday, October 1st from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM.
New this year is the added Supplier-Ready program component to prepare all Business Matchmaking participants with educational webinars from supplier diversity professionals and helpful tips to maximize their business matchmaking experience.
View highlights from last year’s convention below:
MTV officially unveiled the nominees for the 2019 Video Music Awards (VMA) recently, including some of the hottest Latin artists and songs of the moment.
Ariana Grande and Taylor Swift lead the pack with 10 nods each, going head-to-head in categories such as video of the year and song of the year. Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, both up for best new artist, follow with nine and eight nods, respectively. Latinx artists Cardi B, Selena Gomez, and Camila Cabello are also top contenders for this year’s awards.
As tradition holds, MTV also spotlights the latest hits in Latin music in their best Latin category. Nominees this year include Anuel AA and Karol G’s “Secreto,” Bad Bunny’s “Mia” featuring Drake, “I Can’t Get Enough” by Benny Blanco, Tainy, Selena Gomez, and J Balvin, Daddy Yankee’s “Con Calma” featuring Snow, Maluma’s “Mala Mia,” and “Con Altura” by Rosalia and J Balvin featuring El Guincho.
The 2019 VMAs, hosted by Sebastian Maniscalco, will air live from the Prudential Center in New Jersey on Monday, Aug. 26, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.
One of Hollywood’s best-known villains, Danny Trejo, came to the rescue of a baby that was trapped in an overturned vehicle in Los Angeles. It wasn’t a stunt for an upcoming movie. It happened in real life.
The actor jumped into action after witnessing two vehicles crash causing one to rollover. The overturned vehicle that was sitting on its roof still had a baby strapped into a car seat inside.
Trejo said he tried crawling in through a broken window but couldn’t get the seat belt unhooked. With the help of another bystander, Monica Jackson, they were able to free the child.
“The only thing that saved the little kid was his car seat,” Trejo told a photographer on the scene.
The Los Angeles Fire Department told CNN affiliate KABC that three people were taken to a hospital. Their injuries were not life threatening.
“Everything good that has happened to me has happened as a direct result of helping someone else,” Trejo told CNN affiliate KABC. “Everything.”
Continue on to CNN News to read the complete article.
Minority-owned businesses face a lot of pressure. They are often in the spotlight as representatives of an entire community. It takes hard work, as one mistake can be a blemish on other MBEs, which make up 29 percent of businesses in the United States. As you focus on growing your minority-owned business, keep the following points in mind to ensure success.
Monitor Your Growth Rate
Receiving tremendous interest from clients or customers can be exhilarating, but taking on too much business (or too many skilled employees) too quickly can result in uncontrolled growth. That means a company can lose shape and direction, veering away from an effective growth strategy. At the same time, growing too slowly means missing out on great opportunities and sending potential clients or candidates into the arms of competitors.
The key is to find your organization’s ideal controllable growth rate. This is extra important for MBEs, which make up only 4 percent of business revenue in America. Statistically, minority-owned businesses are smaller and may find growth difficult to control, but it’s something that must be done for longevity.
Diversify Your Clientele
It’s great to specialize in a certain industry, product, or service, but it’s necessary to diversify and find adjacent opportunities in other areas. As you look to diversify in your minority business enterprise, take Sir Richard Branson’s advice and always move into areas you are passionate about when diversifying.
Focus on Your Brand
MBEs have to work harder to grow, but they also have to work harder to get noticed. In fact, minority-owned businesses are underrepresented in search engines. When we do get the opportunity to put ourselves in front of someone, we have to make it count. That’s where your brand takes on added significance.
Seek to improve your brand, what it stands for, and how you communicate it to others. Any business should sponsor events with different councils and participate in signature events to get its brand out to people.
Connect with Other MBEs
For me, the single most impactful way to grow a minority-owned business is to connect with other MBEs. If you’re an MBE startup, seek out anyone and everyone in the space. Pick their brain and soak up any tips you can. If you’re a seasoned MBE leader, it’s time to give back to the community by attending events and lifting up smaller MBEs. The NMSDC is the premier organization to connect with, boasting a huge network and many events throughout the year. No matter your location, the NMSDC can digitally connect you with the powerful MBE community.
Growing Your Minority-Owned Business
As you grow your MBE, you’ll encounter difficult days but also tremendous opportunities. Consider that some of the most successful companies in America, such as Apple, AT&T, Ford, Microsoft, Verizon, IBM, and Comcast Universal, have each spent at least $1 billion with minority- and woman-owned businesses because they’ve found the MBE work ethic and fresh perspective to be assets. Keep on growing at a healthy rate while connecting with other MBEs, and you, too, will count your company among America’s great minority-owned businesses.
Are you thinking of working for the federal government? If so, opportunities and benefits lie ahead. Check out these ten reasons to pursue a career in the field.
Make a difference The work of government employees impacts the lives of every American and the lives of people around the world. Federal employees can play a vital role in addressing pressing issues, from homelessness to homeland security. Students interested in working in government can engage in high-impact work, such as helping disrupt the laundering of billions of dollars derived from illicit U.S. drug deals.
Great benefits/competitive pay Average government salaries are competitive with the private and nonprofit sectors. Recent graduates can expect a starting salary from $32,415 to $42,631 a year. Pay can also increase fairly quickly for top candidates with experience and a strong education. Federal benefits, including health insurance, retirement and vacation, are extremely competitive with, if not superior to, other sectors.
The government is hiring The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected an employment increase of ten percent through 2018 in federal employment.
Location, location, location Federal opportunities are not only found in the D.C area. Eighty-four percent of federal government jobs are outside of Washington, D.C. If students are interested in international job opportunities, more than 50,000 federal employees work abroad.
Jobs for every major
Working in the federal government is not just for political science majors. In fact, 28.4 percent of federal employees work in STEM fields. There are federal jobs for every interest and skill, from art history to zoology.
Opportunities for advancement and professional development Federal employees have many opportunities for career advancement in government. An internal Merit Promotion Program helps ensure that new employees succeeding in their job have easy access to information about job openings within government. The government also offers excellent training and development opportunities and has human resources personnel to help connect current employees with these opportunities.
Interesting and challenging work Today’s government workers are leading and innovating on issues, such as developing vaccines for deadly diseases, fighting sexual and racial discrimination, and keeping our massive systems of transportation safe.
Work-life balance Flexible work schedules, including telework, are a major plus for those with busy schedules or long commute. Competitive benefits also include generous vacation time combined with federal holidays and sick leave. All of these packaged together make government an attractive employer for students looking to successfully balance their work and personal lives.
Government work is steady and secure, an attractive selling point, especially during difficult economic times.
The federal government can help pay for school loans Some federal agencies can help pay back up to $10,000 per year in student loans, up to a total of $60,000.
You made it to college, congratulations! You made it to college as a first-generation Latina and you’re going out of state or even a few hours away from home? Double kudos to you.
College is a wild ride for us all. Yes, you’re going to have the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll do the partying, the stay-up-all-night studying, and the bragging about both. It’s usually a fun time for many of us. While I don’t think you’ll need preparation for the fun, you will need some guidance for the things no one tells you about.
As a first-generation college student and Cuban immigrant, I left my warm sunny-side-up town, Miami, to pursue a bachelor’s degree in college-town central: Amherst, MA. There were many reasons for my decision, but mostly I wanted to explore something different — and boy, did my experience deliver. As my old literary companion Robert Frost once worded it, it really did make all the difference.
So if you’re headed toward a similar path, you’re about to enter a beautiful and transformative period in your life. Here’s what you need to know.
You’ll sound different.
This is especially true for students who come from big cities living in immigrant neighborhoods. I want you to know that you will sound different when you speak, and it may or may not be challenging in many ways, but it will teach you an important life lesson: your right to claim your space.
In Miami, I had no idea I even had an accent — everyone sounded like me. In Amherst, my accent was so pronounced, I heard it, and heard about it every day. At first, I’ll admit it became an impediment to my speaking up in class and sharing my thoughts with friends. And because I didn’t think having an accent was OK, I struggled to minimize it as much as I could. It was only until I found people who spoke like me — or with some kind of accent — that I was able to feel a little less phonetically alone. So, yes, at times you might feel ashamed, shy, or upset that you don’t sound like your average American classmate, but don’t worry. It won’t always be this way, and soon you’ll learn to use your voice as your asset.
You should find people like you, even if you don’t think you need to.
When we decide to go away for college, we generally want everything new and nothing of the old. You might not want to make friends with the same people you knew from high school per se, but you’ll definitely want to find a community of people who understand your background, because not everyone will. If you’re going out of state, a lot can become a culture shock, such as the foods you eat — yes, people will think you’re weird for eating a banana with rice and beans, but they will also love to learn about it.
One of the things that kept me warmest during New England winters were fleece sweaters. The second was my Latinx community, getting together to make foods we could easily find at a bodega in our hometown and, dare I say it, speaking the language we so resented growing up: Español.
Social status will — sort of — be a thing.
It won’t be an extremely important thing, but it’ll be more present than in the past. At least it was for me. The North Face backpack, Ugg boots, and Lululemon leggings my friend from Maine could afford were not accessible to me — not that a Miami girl really had any desire to wear Uggs, but you get the gist. It was one of the first times I saw class thrown in my face.
Continue on to Pop Sugar to read the complete article.
Foodies and beer lovers around the world proclaim that craft beer offers an incomparable and unique experience superior to the mass-produced rivals that are often referred to aswatered down.
Jai Ho Midnight is an India Pale Ale (IPA) that features a red/orange pour with a frothy white head, a smooth, citrus aroma and is currently available in numerous cities around the country, causing many craft beer enthusiasts to sit up and take notice.
“The taste of a quality, uniquely different craft beer is what consumers and foodies search for. Jai Ho Midnight IPA is brewed with all-organic ingredients and is slow brewed with crystal clear Scandinavian water, guaranteed to satisfy even the most fastidious of craft beer connoisseurs,” explains Mel Carroll, chief operating officer of NDN BV, Inc.
Five reasons why every beer lover should try Jai Ho Midnight IPA:
Jai Ho Midnight IPA is 100 percent organic, made with high-quality barley malt, hops and the crystal clear water from the Scandinavian underground. It has been expertly crafted to make any occasion worth celebrating.
IPA beers are rising in popularity, offering beer lovers something new to explore. Jai Ho Midnight IPA has a unique style and flavor, giving beer lovers and foodies alike a unique and complimentary experience.
Jai Ho Midnight IPA is unfiltered and slow brewed over 49 days. Time is an incredibly important ingredient giving Jai Ho Midnight IPA its’ balanced and perfectly rounded taste.
Bitterness in IPAs range from 40 to 60 IBUs, which is the unit of measurement for bitterness. Jai Ho Midnight IPA is rated IBU 57 therefore is less bitter than other IPAs.
Foodies who want to try something new will find that Jai Ho Midnight IPA is a great option, as it perfectly complements spicy and savory dishes from East to West.
“I love Jai Ho Midnight IPA and proudly serve it to my friends, family and guests because it is refreshing, deeply satisfying and mind-bendingly perfect!” says celebrity chef Bryan-David Scott, who has created the meals for the celebrity dinners for the Oscars, as well as the Emmy Awards, and has been a private chef for government officials and celebrities alike. “If celebrating good times and quality is important to you, then this is the craft beer you have been looking for!”
Jai Ho Midnight IPA is currently available in restaurants, bars and fine dining establishments in the following cities and states: Los Angeles, CA – San Francisco, CA – Las Vegas, NV – Northern Virginia and New Jersey.
Coming soon: Jai Ho Midday, a full-bodied lager that features notes of fruit and hops.
Follow on Instagram (@jaihobeer), Twitter (@jaihobeer) and Facebook.
About NDN BV, Inc.
The NDN BV, Inc. mission is to create premium, organic alcoholic beverages made with the highest-quality ingredients. The company’s flagship craft beer brand is Jai Ho, with two SKUs, Midnight IPA and Midday. For more news and to learn more about Jai Ho or investing in NDN BV, Inc. please visit: www.ndnbv.com and www.jaihobeer.com.
Israel “Izzy” Battres owns multi-million-dollar construction company Battres Construction in the heart of Orange County, California. But it did not come easily for him—he learned how to work hard at a young age, and it paid off.
Eight years ago, his reputation and impeccable work ethic opened doors for him to star on the HGTV reality show Flip or Flop. He has worked alongside Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead for eight seasons and is ramping up for more. Battres is set to appear on the network’s new show, Christina on the Coast, premiering this month.
HISPANIC Network Magazine caught up with Izzy to talk about his journey from day laborer to HGTV star, as well as his secret to success.
HISPANIC Network Magazine (HNM): You run a very successful construction company. Where did you get your work ethic?
Izzy Battres (IB): As children, we were taught to be contributors to our household. My dad would take us to work and assign us two small tasks. When I was 9, I was a paper boy for the Orange County Register. I would wake up Sunday mornings at 4 am to deliver to my customers. I was even entrusted to pick up monthly subscription fees—it taught me sales and what I know now is accounts payable. I realized quickly that I was only getting a portion of the fees so it gave me the idea to make my own money, I started a second job that was more of a side hustle.
HNM: At the age of 9, you were working two jobs! Tell us more about that.
IB: My grandmother used to pick lemons from her tree and have me sell them for 25 cents; she would then give me a small cut. After I was done working for her, I would go pick my own lemons off the same tree. But instead of selling them for a quarter, I decided to make lemonade and sell it for 50 cents a cup. I would sell it to people playing soccer at the park by my house.
HNM: So, you were an entrepreneur from a very young age. Let’s fast-forward to the start of your business. How did it come to be?
IB: I have two brothers, and we all followed my dad into the construction trades. If my current boss had no work for me, I would stand in front of Home Depot looking for day labor. We never had a problem with working hard, but sometimes there wasn’t enough work to go around. I decided to start a business so I would be more in control of the workflow. Instead of working on someone else’s construction site, I decided to bid for my own jobs.
HNM: Ten years later, you are now on television and own three companies. How would you say you became so successful?
IB: I believe we as Latinos have a natural instinct to survive. It develops at a very young age when we begin to understand that nothing will be handed to us. I learned very young that whatever I earned was to be used to help my family and community. Today, I employ 43 local families—I have a responsibility to make a difference for others.
HNM: Can you expand on what you call an “instinct to survive?”
IB: Latinos are very hard workers; they are innovative and passionate about what they do and have a stellar work ethic. But even then, they have to stay on the cutting edge. Eight out of ten workers are going to stay average, but I look for the 20 percent who are fighting to survive and have the “eye of the tiger,” as I call it. I employ anybody who has that motivation. Whether they are purple or polka dot, race does not matter to me, but that survival instinct does.
HNM: How does your ability to speak English and Spanish help you as a business owner?
IB: In my geographical area, 80 percent of the construction workforce is Spanish speaking. It can be a barrier, so I try and help them by speaking Spanish on the job sites. I will also make it a point to speak Spanish to my work crew when we are filming the TV show. I always want to put out a positive image and help keep Latinos on the map.
HNM: What advice would you give a young Latino entrepreneur who is starting his own business?
IB: I would tell them to never let the environment dictate your success. People will read into your mentality about life, and that creates a culture in your business. So, you need to stay away from toxic people and conduct business with gentleness and humility. Don’t be arrogant or prideful, because people will read into that.