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Conversations with Bessy Martinez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bessy Martinez.

Hi Bessy, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Little did I know that when the pandemic hit, it would flip my world upside down both personally and as a small business owner. I currently run a social media management & marketing agency based out of my home office. You would think that for being an online service-based business I had it made, but that wasn’t always the case. When the pandemic hit, my family and I were living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. As a family, we had to adjust to having everyone under one roof. Two school aged boys now learning virtual while running a business and staying safe. My husband works for the airline industry, and as I’m sure everyone read they were one of the industries hit the hardest. He was given the option to “retire” early or move to their selected city. Boy did we get lucky when we found out it was Austin. We’d always loved the areas but never thought a pandemic would place us there as our new home. As part of the cuts that were made throughout our nation, marketing for small business was no exception. After our move then came the adjustment. I missed my friends and meeting people. I longed for it. So I began my search to find communities with woman just like me in the area. Primarily Latina woman. I was looking for a form of community…but I found nothing. I searched Google, Instagram, Facebook and I must of not been looking right because I kept hitting a dead end. So something inside me said, “if you can’t find it, create it”. And that is how the Austin Latina Bloggers was born. I wanted to change the perception of what being a blogger meant. Blogging is an online written form of sharing your lifestyle, travel, insights, experiences and struggles. Whether it was for business or personal you were still sharing this online. This included mothers, entrepreneurs, creatives, influencers of the digital space and anyone who is out there sharing. But what better way to share than with a community that identifies with you. The Latin culture in it’s self already makes us unique. And as Latina woman, our bound is different. I wanted a space where you came out of your element to met others just like you and created a sense of community and friendship. I knew if I was looking for this there had to be others just like me looking for the same thing. And why not represent our culture and share our passions, but in our state capital…Austin, TX.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Nothing in life is ever easy. Especially when you’re getting ready to open something that you yourself aren’t considered a native to. I was the outsider creating something for an area with already established sense of community. But one thing I knew, that even if I wasn’t from the Austin area, many weren’t either. And when you yourself are getting acclimated to the area sometimes you don’t know where to look for help.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I founded the Austin Latina Bloggers to give back all that I’ve learned as a mother, wife, Latina, and business owner. I know what’s it like to move to an area and not know anyone. I know what it’s like to start a business and not have a clue on how to start or what to do. Community is needed during these times. It’s hard on everyone and we shouldn’t feel alone. ALB shares other businesses on our social media, we host pop-up shops for Latina owned/co-owned businesses, workshops to learn about marketing & growing your business, brunches to meet fellow ALB woman or meet other new Latinas in the Austin area, photoshoots for content, and the list goes on. Anything we can do to support these woman so they can be the best versions of themselves every single day. I’ve been told I’m known for having a heart for community. For doing what hasn’t been thought of. For nudging a movement that was much needed. I’m so proud of the response and open arms we’ve been received with. The community has stepped up for each other and has been vocal about needing an organization like this. This isn’t about me. I happen to be the face of the organization but it’s about them. The Latina woman I see day in and day out doing what needs to be done to make a difference in this world.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
We would love to continue spreading the word about this community through events, media outlets, magazines, podcasts. We’d love to partner up or collaborate with other like-minded businesses and organizations for future events. Or sponsor event space, products and however they wish to partner with us. It takes a village and we are just looking to be part of it.

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