Tag Archives: inspiration

OH MY!…Mama told me there’d be days like this

OH MY!…Mama told me there’d be days like this

Whoa is Me

Well July started out rough. I was feeling really low and quite like a failure – in life.  I had to take a few days to really figure out what the heck was going on with all my self trash-talking and I figured out that what was really bugging me was that I was not in a position to give or buy my husband and family the things I would like to at this time in my life and their lives. Waa waa waa. Image I know someone out there might be saying, “Is that all? That’s what you are crying  about? Walk in my shoes and then you will have something to cry about.”  I realize that things could be so much worse, but these are my shoes and for me giving to those I love is a really big and difficult thing when I can’t do it.

I do know that it was my decision to be self-employed four and a half years ago and not to work for someone else and draw a paycheck, but man this has been quite an experience in being patient and content and determined.  Yup, if you want to have your own business and be your own boss be ready to take the good with the bad.  Be ready to tough it our and keep your eyes on the ball and continue believing in your vision no matter what comes or doesn’t come your way.  I bought a book years and years ago titled, “Do What You Love and the Money Will Come.” I didn’t even realize at the time what that truly meant but I do now. Don’t do it for the money, do it because you love it and that love and passion for what you do will get you through no matter how tough it gets. (that was my entrepreneur advice : )

Bootstrapping It


I am extremely grateful but I need to remind myself often to be patient and content.  Since we started the business three years ago, everything we make has gone right back into the business. We would like to draw a salary but we intentionally have made the choice to put it all back into the business. The business label for this is Bootstrapping.  So glad it has a label.

We realize that we are both very fortunate not to have to worry about a paycheck at this point but still it wears on me, at least, not to have “my own” mad money like I did when I was not self-employed.  Oh the days, of just walking into any store and making a frivolous expensive buy for myself, my hubby, kids and grandkids just because I could.  I dream of having those days again, and I will have them – of this I am determined.


On the up side, me and mom went to the Access to Capital Business Expo put on by VEDC ,(Valley Economic Development Center) a couple of weekends ago.  This really helped to lift my spirits. We got some good information and learned about FREE resources for business owners. Yes, FREE!!! And we got to meet some great people and make new friends. I highly recommend this Expo, for anyone looking to start a business or looking to grow their business.  If you see it being advertised next year around June take advantage and go! I believe this was the 9th annual and it was held at the Sheraton in L.A.  It will really give you a good idea of the resources available and how to access funding for your business.  For more information on accessing help, counseling and financing info for your business needs check out http://www.VEDC.org or SBDC’s (Small Business Development Center) seven office locations through the web or www.SBA.gov as well as SCORE and the SBA.


Next great thing was going up to my parents in Northern California to see my dad (he’s been VERY ill). It was good to see dad and mom and spend some quality time with them. I was also able to have a few days to strategize and plan with my business partner, my mom, and work on our new projects for Latin Inspired Designs. As the holidays get closer I will talk more about it and make the big reveal. Hope you like what we are making : ).


All I can say is that we are very excitedImage because we have not seen something like what we are creating. Or at least,  If it exists I haven’t found it.  It’s always exciting to create something new.  We will see what people think about it. Hopefully it comes out as nice as we are trying to make it and that people like and buy it. Good goal, don’t you think?


We are busy busy girls and very ambitious, that’s for sure. Also on our list of things to do is to prepare our plan to raise funds so that we can award a student with an educational scholarshipImage to help them pay for their school expenses. This has been a goal since we first started the business.  Being on the CSULA Alumni Scholarship Committee for a number of years now has given me such a bird’s eye view of the struggles students have in paying for their educations.  We have all heard about and might have even experienced how expensive it is to pay for a college education, and it is totally worth the money, but still it’s a beautiful thing when a student can get some help based on their hard work and efforts.  What a boost of confidence to know that someone notices your efforts.

Susana Mariach Face close upMy mom and I are both alum of Cal State LA, and we are passionate about education and we want to give back in some way. For this reason we are so excited to be making a special “Silver” edition Mariachi nutcracker doll to be auctioned off and the funds we raise awarded to a lucky college student in March 2014. I will provide more information about this in the coming weeks and months on how you can purchase a ticket and put your name in a drawing to win this special creation.  I can tell you that this nutcracker doll will be made with real silver accessories and will be a one-of-a-kind edition. This is just a sample of our female Mariachi nutcracker in honor my grandmother and our inspiration for our mariachi nutcrackers.



I will leave you with this tidbit of good info that you might know about already but I have just discovered and am so excited about. Podcasts! Yup, never really knew how great these are.  One in particular that is soooooo INSPIRING is the Eventual Millionaire, by Jaime Tardy.  Sooooo awesome!!!!! I highly recommend  – it is great listening, very INSPIRING, and you will learn tons that you can apply to your business – if you’ve got one. Otherwise there are some great podcasts on leadership, spiritual guidance, health and oh so much more. I’d love to hear about your favorite podcasts.

Well until my next adventures of being an “INSPIRED” Latina entrepreneur.


Susana #inspired_latina




OH NOOOOOOO!!!!! NOT Another Blogger?


ImageAghhhhhh!  Yes another blogger, that’s me. But, I’m also another “Latina entrepreneur/business owner” blogger too. Does that make a difference? ; > 

But seriously folks. I’m sharing a very big decision today. It’s big for me because I consider myself a mostly private person and this is gonna hold me accountable.  I don’t particularly like posting on Facebook (sorry my Facebook friends : – /.  I still do love you, your friendship and love seeing your posts), because I don’t think people want to know what’s going on in my life and how I’m feeling. Actually its pretty embarrassing   Image most of the time and unless I can enlighten or Inspire someone with my words I don’t want to post to FB, Twitter or any other social media outlet.  I heard someone say many years ago, “Unless you have something good to say, don’t say anything at all.” Maybe that’s why I feel that way.

But, going back to today’s decision, I decided today that as we, we meaning me and my mom who is my business partner, enter the 3rd year of our business – Latin Inspired Designs – actually selling our unique Latin-style Maderas™ Nutcrackers and upon entering my 55th year on this earth (Happy Birthday to me!) I am giving myself this challenge to be more open, if it means helping someone else.  Image (Drats!! Now everyone knows my age), by posting on this blog, “Inspired Latina”, what it is that this particular Latina entrepreneur goes through as an entrepreneur and business owner (not to mention being a wife, mother, grandmother of eight and volunteer at a couple non-profits.)

I guess it doesn’t make a difference that I’m a Latina because the struggles and triumphs, confusion and growth, the question and answers, the tears and laughter, the profits and losses that are part of being an entrepreneur and business owner are not color blind. So please disregard the Latina part of it if you want to. All entrepreneurs go through these things while starting, growing, and sustaining a business.  How do I know this?  Because I have listened to countless experts and seasoned entrepreneurs say so and share their experiences on countless videos, CDs, podcasts, TED Talks, and audio books. I have read, a gazillion books and business magazines it seems, and gone to lots of wonderful workshops and conferences where entrepreneurs have all shared the same struggles and triumphs, doubts and passions, wins and losses, questions and answers, setbacks and growth. And I know because I have gone through many of these things – some good, some I would rather have avoided, but hey I learned some valuable stuff. Surprise, surprise – I’m not special. It’s a part of the game!  And if anyone tells you different they are not telling you the whole truth. I’m telling you the truth – It’s hard work!!!

If I haven’t bored you to tears yet or scared you away read on.

So this is what this blog will not be:

  • Perfect – I am not a perfect writer. I can spell most of the time but my punctuation will not get me a English teacher’s position.

This is what this blog will be:

  • Truthful
  • Sincere
  • Sometimes emotional
  • Sometimes very short – maybe one word will sum it up
  • Confidential – I will also not divulge any names (mums the word)
  • I will share my stories, my INSPIRATIONS, experiences, lessons learned, books read, tools that help, good quotes that have helped me, advice, and feelings as I go through the days and weeks ahead.

What I hope this blog will be:

  • Enlightening
  • Inspiring
  • Entertaining (hopefully ; >)

If you hate it and have no interest in reading about what I as a “Latina entrepreneur” go through, I totally understand. Just don’t read it. That simple.  Please don’t be cruel. Although I am trying to develop a tough skin for business, I can have a soft underbelly that’s vulnerable and sensitive at times. My husband tells me, “there’s no crying in business”,Image and so I am learning to be less sensitive. I’m still a toughy though – I’ve had to be to get this far in the game. Image

If on the other hand you agree or feel like it helped you, you can tell me it did and that will make my day, but you don’t have to. I am not writing this to get high-fives or kudos.

I am simply writing this because I really hope that any little tid-bit of information I give helps someone, a fellow entrepreneur or a future entrepreneur, not feel like they are weird or alone in their thoughts and feelings, and hopefully helps a new business owner keep on going in their business when they feel a little out of it or under-enthused.

I will write about my mishaps, ah-hah moments, times when I have spent too much time doing things not pertaining to my business and feeling guilty about it, when I don’t feel good or nice. I am a believer so I will share things about how my faith helps me and other times when I have to ask for forgiveness. (I promise I will not impose my beliefs on you 0: ).

If you know me personally you will be able to look at me when I am all dressed up and trying to look like I have it all together and say, ah Hah!, I know you don’t always feel like a winner or successful.


So now you know the reasoning and next you’ll know the silly truths. Why I am putting myself through this I still don’t know. Maybe I just want to see myself squirm, but mostly I just want to be a help to someone know that it’s all a part of life and starting a business a and survival and putting one foot in front of the other, even when you don’t feel like it (and sometimes I don’t cause I don’t feel like it). Share with you soon – but probably not as long as this first introduction.


Susana – Inspired Latina




This is version 2 of my vision board.

As I sit here at my worktable painting the bodies of our nutcracker dolls I am able to see my vision board.  Every now and again I will notice it as if suddenly someone put it there without my knowing and then I remember.  I remember that when I am working hard and putting in endless hours into my work that I have a dream and vision for my life and my work.  If you look at my vision board it screams SUCCESS.  And isn’t that the idea?  I don’t think anyone would have a vision board with symbols of failure.  My board has words and pictures cut out of newspapers and magazines that say, “leader”, “author”, “entrepreneur”, “grow, lead, succeed”, “winner”, “believe it”, “you will be rich”, and so on and so on.  I think you get the drift of my vision.

I remember when I first made it I was kinda embarrassed to even make it, let alone put it in open view where anyone could see it who walked into my home office.  What would my husband and my children think if they saw it?  After all I was exposing to the world, or so it felt, my innermost desires and dreams for my life and my business.  Embarrassed or not, I was INSPIRED to make one for myself.  I chose to believe the stories of success people, even Oprah, who said that when they made their vision boards, years later upon finding them, low and behold the things they had put on their vision board had come to pass even though they had long forgotten they had made one.

And on the other side I have pictures that represent the vision of my personal life; what I will wear, what I will drive, where I will live, what it will look like inside and outside my home, what I’d like to look like as I age, where I will travel, etc, etc.  Again, you get my drift.

Late last year I went through a rough patch and while I was going through it I took it out on my original vision board.  I crumpled it up and threw it in the trash. But not the house trash where somebody might see it, I threw it in the big trash bin away where no one would see that I might possibly be giving up on my vision, my dreams and my aspirations.  After all, I thought, aren’t I the one that proclaims, “Make a vision board.  It’s good to make and have one to look at every day. It gives you focus when the rough times come to remind you of what you are working towards.”  How could I let on to anyone that I was “trashing” my dreams, in the literal sense of the word?

I don’t know if anyone even noticed that it was gone for a few months. It sits in clear view in my office.  But I noticed it was gone. It was as if an old friend had moved out.  It was if I was now proclaiming to the world and the universe I don’t have vision.  I am just living for today.  I do not have faith in my future and in what I can accomplish.  As days and weeks went by I knew that I would have to put the focused and dedicated work into once again finding words and phrases in newspapers and magazines to make another vision board. So I did. I gathered up all that I could fit next to me on my bed and I went to work reading and searching and clipping words and pictures that still continued to represent my dreams and my visions. Once again, I made one side to represent my business and the other side to represent my personal life.  Well, it’s not quite like the first one but at least I am admitting openly to the universe, I haven’t given up on my vision and my dreams.

I often think about my old vision board and I miss it.  It was so packed with pictures and words that visually represented my dreams and vision for the future.  Even my new board cannot compare with what I had on the old one.  I wish I still had it, even if it was tucked away in a dark hidden place in my closet where I could find it one day when I am moving to the home of my dreams that I have designed myself. I wish that I could look at it one day and say, “yes that has happened, and this came true, and look this picture of a house I pasted here looks just like the one we are moving into.”

Can I now INSPIRE you to make a vision board? Do you have one? Are you one of those people that think it is a silly thing to make a vision board?  Test it out.  After all what can it hurt or cost.  Put on a good movie.  Prop yourself up on your bed or couch and snip and glue away.  Display it proudly. Let the universe know I’m here baby and my dreams are gonna come true.

I wish you an INSPIRED life!





Does Your Country still INSPIRE YOU?


I cried the other day – not that that is anything very unusual for me because I am a BIG cry baby. I think sometimes I should have been given the neighborhood nickname “La Llorona” (The Crier). Anyways,to continue and set the scenario. I cried on Sunday while in church as we sang America the Beautiful. It was a beautiful thing. The room was filled with hundreds of people all singing this wonderful song, while in church.  Not at a baseball stadium, in church.  It was glorious!  And then our Pastor followed that with songs representing every military armed service – the US Army, US Navy, US Air Force, US Coast Guard, US Marines – with the words to each song on huge screens in the front of us so we could sing along, as our military church members took turns walking up on the big stage as their respective song was sung, to be honored for their service. I didn’t even realize there were songs for each military service but as I sang them I recognized them.  “From the halls of Montezuma to shores of Tripoli…”. That is the Marine service song. Did you know that? I never realized it till Sunday. While we sang these songs I cried even more as I saw brave men and women walk up to the front to be paid a small homage for the great sacrifice they made.  As they stood before us I was reminded, by seeing these real everyday people, that they risked their lives for our great country and for us who are the members of this country. Forget the politics, forget the politicians, forget the elections, forget the budget deficits for a moment, just think about our great freedoms and the benefits we have from being a US citizen. And I cried again just thinking about those parents, children, brothers, and sisters who are not able to see their family members stand before them or beside them because they did not come back.  They truly paid the ultimate sacrifice for us.  As the Word says, “Greater love has no man, than this, that a man  lay down his life for his friend.”

I say all this because I was so INSPIRED and so filled with pride as I sang and realized again for another year, because of the upcoming celebration of the 4th of July, that I am blessed to belong to something so great and so valued by so many that they will risk life and limb and family to come here.

I ask now. Does your country still INSPIRE you?  I hope so. It’s a great feeling to be grateful for who you are, where you live, what you represent, and what freedoms you enjoy. And I hope you are INSPIRED to be the best citizen you can be because if everyone one of us ASPIRES to be a good citizen and an asset to this country we live and work in, this great country will continue to be just that, GREAT, and probably INSPIRING as well. HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!

I wish you an INSPIRED life!





Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
Ronald Reagan
Read more athttp://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/freedom.html#lw6f7ejFB8UQ6pEd.99

Cultural INSPIRATION is Like a Warm Ocean Current


And so it continues…INSPIRATION!  It has been an exciting week of INSPIRATION this past week.  When I began my INSPIRED Latina blog post a few weeks ago I started by explaining that I would be writing about the things that INSPIRE me and that I hope will INSPIRE  you.  Well that is exactly what I am hoping to do now. INSPIRE you to embrace your culture, whatever that may be.

My INSPIRATIONAL week started with the Mariachi USA Festival at the Hollywood Bowl last Saturday.  Talk about being INSPIRED by your culture.  I have a Pinterest board that is titled “INSPIRED Culture” because my culture INSPIRES me in so many areas of my life.  In fact it is my culture and our family’s roots – my grandmother was a mariachi singer in Mexico – that are the very INSPIRATION for starting our business, Latin Inspired Designs.  Through our family business we make the only authentically designed Latin-themed Nutcracker dolls making our doll designs to include the Mariachi, Ballet Folklorico, Frida, Dia de los Muertos, Adelita The Revolutionary Woman, and many more, making them as authentically and as beautifully as we possibly can in order to show the beauty of our culture through a fun medium, a Nutcracker Doll.

We love and appreciate all that our culture represents to us – family, children, our Faith, hard work, traditions, history, music, art, dance, and let’s not forget food. Being at the Mariachi USA Festival I had an overdose but a good overdose of INSPIRATION.  It was like being immersed in a warm bath, no, on second thought, it was like being immersed in the waters of an enormously beautiful warm ocean, my body moving and swaying to the sounds without control the way an ocean current effortlessly moves your body with its every movement.  I sang and danced without inhibition to familiar songs I sang as a child with my grandmother.  It was as though I was being transported to another time, another world where there is only pride and celebration of who you are and where your relatives originated. I had not been to the Mariachi USA Festival for a few years and had forgotten how wonderful a feeling it is to be in the Bowl with thousands of people who all love and appreciate the rich culture and tradition of the Mariachi and the amazing music they bring to us. I was so filled with joy to know that I belong to such an amazing group of people that share my culture and I am INSPIRED to continue working hard in our family business to honor that very culture.

We invite you to visit our website at http://www.LatinInspiredDesign.com so you can see what has resulted from the INSPIRATION of our culture, my grandmother’s influence even though she passed on many years ago, our culture’s traditions, history and beauty.

I wish you an INSPIRED life!



INSPIRED To Be A Person to be Remembered


I am INSPIRED by my neighbor who passed away  this month of June.  I had not know him long and I did not know him well but what I do know is that he has left a lasting impression on me and my family.  I cannot forget the image of him in his front yard either washing his car or mowing his lawn waving to anyone that passed by.  I would not be surprised if most every neighbor on our block knew him as the nice guy that took the time, interest and energy to wave and say hello to them and talk to them if they took the time to talk to him. I don’t know if my neighbor knew what a positive lasting impression he left but I guess it doesn’t matter because I don’t think he did it to get acclaim.

I am so saddened at the loss of this man for his family and for myself and all our neighbors. Our block will not be the same.  He made walking or driving down the street and passing his house special. Who knew that such a small gesture that doesn’t cost a penny could make such a difference.  I still look at his house as I pass and imagine him waving hello.

Despite this sadness it made me hope that when I pass on that I would leave a lasting and good impression for the people in my world – for not only those that know me well but also for those that do not know me well.  I hope this because if I can do for others what this nice man has done for me – INSPIRE me to be more giving of even a few seconds of my time to say hello to someone then I believe I can INSPIRE others to do the same and then the chain of giving and kindness will get longer and the ability to make a difference in people’s lives lives on.

I knew an older gentleman close to thirty years ago that passed on some words of wisdom that I will never forget.  I remember him telling me that in our lives we will meet people that will be good examples and bad examples.  He said that the reason we are allowed to meet “bad examples” is because it give us an example of how not to be and the same goes for good examples – they provide us with living examples of what we can aspire to be. That’s what my neighbor did – he left me a living example of how I want to live my life.  Who’s your example of both good and bad and most important of all whose example of good and bad are you?  That’s a good question to ask yourself don’t you think?  I’d love to hear a good example somebody left you that inspired you.