Ana L. Flores worked in the television industry for over 15 years, as producer and creator of content, specializing in the Latino community. The co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the online community for those of us who are raising bicultural children, she is also at the helm of Latina Bloggers Connect, which connects brands with bloggers. Ana received the 2011 Latism Award for Best Latin@ Social Network Leaders in a tie with Rebecca Aguilar from Wise Latinas Linked.
The mami of 4 year-old Camila, she carved time out of her busy life to talk to Mamiverse.
Ana was behind the scenes for 15 years at some of the most important media companies broadcasting to Hispanics. “I have to admit I was asked many times to cross over in front of the cameras,” she says now. “But I never really felt compelled to do it. I enjoyed the feeling of making things happen behind the scenes, and I was also too shy to allow myself to do it.”
With SpanglishBaby, however, she is regularly required to represent in front of the camera, and admits she loves it. Her partner, Roxana Soto, is behind-the-scenes, a place with which she is quite comfortable. Ana is in charge of the marketing, advertising, social media presence and publicity. “The marketing of SpanglishBaby is closely tied to us, we are the face of it, so I can’t afford to be shy,” Ana says. “It’s different when you’re putting yourself out there for something you passionately believe in.”
LATINA BLOGGERS CONNECT
Latina Bloggers Connect is her second passion project, but also one she says she knew she could pour all of her skills into and be able to make a living. She launched it in November of 2010 when she realized there were several blogger/brand networks in the general market, but none yet for Latinas.
“I was already toying with the idea of it,” she recalls, “when Jennifer James, founder of the Mom Bloggers Club and a person I had followed since I launched SpanglishBaby, invited me to lunch during BlogHer and flat out asked me if I was going to be the one creating this [necessary] network for Latinas. She gave me the final push I needed and then I spent another four months developing it with my own scarce resources and time. I was still coming out of the recession black hole and was working freelance TV gigs to survive. The juggle was not easy, to say the least.”
Ana was at the right place and at the right time: a Latina blogger part of the group that launched in early 2009 and later shaped the boom of Latina bloggers. “We have grown because we realized we needed to work together, teach each other what we were learning along the way and build community that way.”
Ana says they were lucky enough to position themselves as a valid medium by the time the Census results came out and validated the current influence of Latinos on- and offline. “This has caused marketing and advertising dollars to shift, and brands are recognizing the value of engaging with Latina bloggers as a cost-effective way to get their messages across.”
“It means more than I thought it would mean,” Ana states. “I mentioned during the acceptance speech that this was my first award ever, and that was probably due to the fact that I had never been so passionate about what I do.”
Latina Bloggers Connect was something she created on her own. She says there was zero investment or capital. “Just my know-how and support from my community. Receiving this award just a year later is a total validation. It goes to show that you can never put yourself as a victim of any situation. We all have resources within ourselves that belong only to us and no money or power can compete against you when you are on your path. All Latina women need to feel that empowered every single day.”
Where Does She See Herself in the Next 5 Years?
“I’m always really, really bad at answering this question, not because I don’t have goals, but because I am such a dynamic soul. Every span of five years in my life has been drastically different from the previous one. I set goals for myself, but then I remain open to listen to where life needs me to be.”
“I simply don’t have a balance right now. I dedicate all of my time to my blogs, my daughter and my husband. Note that I didn’t mention my house, kitchen or body!”
Favorite Mami Moment.
“The one moment that always comes to mind first is the first time my daughter said: ‘I love you.’ ” It stands out because it really was unexpected. She wasn’t even two years old and I was giving her a bath. We were playing and making funny places when all of a sudden she stopped, looked at me and said it. Like that, with no prompts. It was real!”