Creating Your Own Lane
OKC Latina Founder, Juliana Lopez touches on what it's like to make your own space in a largely digital world.
In 2019 I traveled to Texas twice to work with the Founders of Jen Zeano Designs (https://jenzeanodesigns.com/). In Marfa, Texas I immediately bonded with a group of Latinas during a photoshoot weekend that changed my life. In Austin, Texas I was able to attend a panel during Chingona Fest (https://www.chingonafesttx.com/). Both trips showed me how tight knit the Latina Community in Texas was.
"Together we are so much stronger and can achieve so much more."
There was a feeling of wholeness when I was around this community. A sense that everyone looked out for one another. I don't know if you've ever been in a room full of Latinas who were absolute BOSSES but there's an electric feeling that pulls you in and is hard to explain. That is what I decided to try and replicate for my own gente in OKC!
Closer to Home
Instead of possibly moving to Austin in the hopes of joining the wonderful community they've already established there I decided to stay home to help create one in my own backyard. The photo to the right is from the first ever meet up I hosted in May of 2019. I had the idea for a network of Latinas who could get to know one another both professionally and personally. I knew then and I know now that together we are so much stronger and can achieve so much more than we ever could by ourselves. Staying home has proved to be the biggest blessing I could have every hoped for.
Find Your Footing
There's nothing more terrifying than being so extremely passionate about an idea or project because if something goes even slightly wrong you run the risk of being completely crushed. That's how I felt every time I met up with new people who were interested in what I had to say. I started to question if this really was a good idea after all. Impostor Syndrome is no joke and I had/have those days. Once I was able to ground myself with the knowledge that other people wanted to connect and grow it really allowed the idea to take off. The number of times folks told me that the passion I had was contagious was climbing. I wasn't the only who felt a missing connection. This made my purpose even more clear. I felt that I had finally found my footing.
That's What We Call Growth
The only way we can go is up! Regardless of what is happening in the world to keep us physically apart (at least 6ft. with a mask) we are still able to connect online. Having social media be such a large part of our community has helped us stay digitally close when we have to be socially distant. Growing together to achieve collective success has always and will always be the goal no matter what shape the concept of OKC Latina takes. OKC Latina grows as the rest of us do. The folks involved are who help shape what we will become. The future is entirely up to us!