Our Stories

Meet Soraya Thornton: Designer and Owner of La Costa Organic Jewelry

As women, our path to becoming self-made isn’t always linear. Soraya Thornton’s story is one of continual evolution, reinvention and renewal, which began at a young age when she moved from Colombia to the U.S. At different stages of her life, Soraya has begun anew, learned a new skill and embarked upon a new journey. Soraya was enjoying a successful career ...
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Meet Yalitza Aparicio Oscar Nominee and Star of the Film “Roma”

One day Yalitza Apraricio made a decision that changed the trajectory of her life. Encouraged by her sister, she decided to attend a casting call hosted near her town in Mexico. As a preschool teacher of Mixtec decent, Yalitza had never acted before in her life and was normally terrified to be in front of a camera, but she decided ...
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Meet Beatriz Porto: Co-Owner of the Family Business Porto’s Bakery & Café

To Beatriz Porto, being self-made means keeping her mother’s dreams, ambitions and entrepreneurial spirit alive. Beatriz comes from a legacy of self-employed women who shaped their own destinies through hard work, determination and even reinventing their lives. When Beatriz’s mother relocated to the United States from Cuba, she was driven by a desire to survive and see her children thrive, ...
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Meet Monica Ramírez: The Latina who Ignited the ‘Times Up’ Movement

With one letter, Monica Ramirez ignited a movement that would create a remarkable shift in culture and change the course of history for women and men across the nation. After members of the entertainment industry came forward to disclose sexual violence by powerful people in Hollywood, Monica authored a letter on behalf of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, raising the powerful voices ...
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Meet Maya Murillo: Self-Made 22 Year-old Social Media Star

Instead of a quinceañera party when she turned 15, Maya Murillo opted for a website domain name instead, and her brand Maya in the Moment was born. Ever since, Maya has been inspiring online followers to live in the moment with lots of comedy, music, body positivity, lazy girl fashion, and beauty tips. Maya comes from a family of entrepreneurs, including ...
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Meet Alejandra Campoverdi: A Multi-Dimensional Woman who Transformed her Pain into her Superpower

Rising from a difficult childhood to attend Harvard, work in President Obama’s White House, and run for Congress, Alejandra Campoverdi’s SELF MADE story is a winding journey that’s always had a guiding light –  her passion for community. A proud Mexican-American, Alejandra grew up in Los Angeles, CA where her family often needed to rely on public assistance to get by, ...
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Meet Dolores Caffaro: Furniture & Staging Maven to the Stars

When Dolores Caffaro’s father sent her to live in Los Angeles from Argentina she was outraged. But she was even more outraged when he made her come right back a few months later. Infuriated, she hastily sold her apartment and returned to the the US, where she joined forces with her step-father to launch a furniture business. The last thing ...
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Meet Kathy Cano-Murillo: Career Crafter and Social Media Superstar

Kathy Murillo has a personal mantra: I do my best when I’m happy, which means that she chooses to make a living doing what she loves. That’s what she calls “the magic formula to life.” Her a-ha moment came when she made a pair of earrings off of one sheet of watercolor paper, which she took to a boutique on ...
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Meet Dr. Yasmin Davidds: Turning Tragedy into Triumph

Imagine the trauma of being shot at with a gun—by your own father. Would you ever be the same again? Yasmin Davidds not only recovered, but actually used the very pain of this experience to propel her forward as an inspired survivor, educator, businesswoman and author. It was by no means an easy road for her, one that came with ...
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Julissa Arce: From Undocumented to SELF MADE, Part One

The odds were always stacked against Julissa Arce in America. She didn’t speak English. She was apart from her family for most of her life. She couldn’t apply for financial aid as a senior in high school ready for college. She was alone in the world with a giant secret—the unfortunate fact that she was undocumented. Yet despite every obstacle, ...
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