Elena’s Story – everything from nothing
When you listen to fashion blogger Elena (or Cheetahtalkymas as we know her) talk about her family, her voice changes. You can just tell how much she loves and admires her parents — and rightfully so. Forty years ago her parents migrated from Mexico to the United States. At the time her Mom had intended to work for a few years and then return home. Love, however, changed her path.
She met and fell in love with Elena’s dad. Together, despite language barriers and tight finances they built a wonderful home and raised four beautiful children. Elena shared that she often helped her Mom clean hotels and houses including their house. Every Saturday their house had to be spotless before they could go out to play. Interestingly enough though, her fashion sense comes from her Dad, not her Mom. He always ensured his clothes, shoes and even his belt were quality pieces. His truck too got the same attention. It helped too that he had his own personal cleaning crew — his four kids.
“Whenever I need to make a career decision, or I’m down or defeated, I look at them because they built everything from nothing. That takes a certain character and my struggles pale in comparison.” It’s so easy to understand the grit and dedication Elena brings to her fashion blogging career. A couple hundred words in March 2014 to share her stories with friends and family is now a fashion blogging business — everything from nothing. Here’s what else Elena shared with us in this week’s fashNcurious 5.
The woman behind Cheetahalkymas
Does being a Latina give you a wider reach as a fashion blogger?
I think it has given me the ability to connect to people who are bilingual or who may only speak Spanish. I also think that people who are bilingual can relate to me because it is familiar to them.
Beyond clothes and fashion how do you hope to impact Latina women?
I want to be a role model in the Latino community for youth and show them that hard work pays off and that sometimes you have to pave the way for the future. At the end of the day if that is all I can ever be, then my day is complete!
How if at all does your heritage define your style?
I am very drawn to patterns that can be found in the Mexican heritage and bright colors. Though I wear a lot of neutrals as my go to, I try to incorporate floral pieces or any patterns that remind me of my heritage into my style. I’m excited to go back to Mexico to see my family and to get more pieces to add to my every day looks.
What are 5 must haves for a fashionable closet?
- Basic tees because you can wear them so many ways
- A good pair of dark skinny jeans because they are fitting and make you look taller
- A pair or sunnies (Ray-Ban aviators) because they complete a look and you can wear them when you have a messy bun day or are going out for the day.
- Bold jewelry just because you can wear basic anything and just toss it on and you are good to go
- Comfy flats because no one wants to get blisters
Fashion blogging insight
You share the male style perspective on your blog monthly, are those well received?
20% of my audience is men and they love reading it! My 80% women also enjoy reading it because they get advice for the man in their life or tell them to read it to get a few style tips.
When did you start offering influencer marketing services?
I started offering influencer marketing services this month. It is an hour consultation with either a business or a blogger, we have a consultation to determine where they are, where they want to be and develop a plan to help them achieve their goals using influencer marketing.
How can fashion bloggers better connect with brands for collaborations?
Work on your content and make sure it is what a brand would want to work with and reach out to your dream brands yourself, don’t wait for them to come to you!
Always network! No matter how big you get there are always people who have never heard of who you are and this is your chance to put yourself on their radar.
Collaboration over competition. Work with as many people as you can, no one gets anywhere in life alone.
Don’t shy away from something you have never tried when an opportunity comes up.
Plan your content ahead of time and get in the habit of having an editorial calendar so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Invest in yourself. Take course, go to workshops, conferences to continue to learn and grow as a person.