aka the juicy details
We’ve already covered a lot of the basics, but for those of you jonesing for more, here are some little nuggets:
Hometown: Brownsville, TX. On the border, by the sea as our city motto goes.
Current location: Philadelphia! I’m a bit of a digital nomad this year. I’m on a lot of flights, trains, and cars.
“So like, what are you?”: Ah, yes. My roots are a mix of mostly Mexican, Iberian peninsula (thanks 23&me), and some German! 2nd generation. I’m most often mistaken for middle eastern or Italian, and I shamelessly take all the perks (a la discounts) that come with my racial ambiguity.
Favorite Instagram accounts: @hithapalepu for #5smartreads, @emmasthing for everything and nothing nonsense, @heatherkmcmahan for laughs, @eholmes for pop culture news, @thedogist for cute puppy content, @katiesturino for keeping me current on fashion inclusivity, @ihartericka - the most eye opening sex / gender / race / social educator …the list goes on!
Most used apps:
Favorite studio workout: ROWING! Swimming was my sport all throughout my adolescence, and when I moved to Austin I found rowing and fell in love. The format reminds me a lot of swim practices, and it’s a great full body challenge.
Values I live by: Transparency, Persistence, Gratitude.
Why would we be BFFs? You see silver linings everywhere. You don’t let the naysayers get you down. You’re nice, like, you don’t go out for dinner if you know you can’t tip well nice. You have a library card. You vote in local elections.
Life motto: The Second Agreement (Don’t Take Anything Personally), via The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Meat of it is this: “When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world.”
Pet peeves: People that leave hair in the drain!, and more seriously: ego and pride. There is a healthy amount of each you can have, but too much (especially in the workplace) can be the biggest bottleneck to you and the success of those on your team.
My dad is a former Army captain turned educator turned school district maintenance supervisor, and my mom is a 3rd grade bilingual teacher. They’re to blame for my slightly militant edge towards productivity x deep empathy.
I’ve been blogging since Xanga was in existence, and my first experience with HTML was in the 4th grade as a die-hard Neopets fan who just wanted her profile to be great.
Introverted extrovert. I can talk to a wall and love having a fun time, but need to recharge by crawling in a hole with my Netflix or spending a full day on my own clock in the outdoors (by a body of water, ideally).
I briefly had a side-hustle in early college where I would sit down with someone and figure out what pieces of furniture they were after, and then go to Craigslist, search, and negotiate for the item on their behalf. I’d also do delivery. Finders fee: 10%!
Something I consider a life skill of mine is that I’m great at blooming where I’m planted. I’ve made the best of friends in whichever city I’ve landed, and I work hard to maintain those relationships. I have a whole spreadsheet where I organize friend’s addresses and birth days.
In high school, I would create prep lessons for AP tests and sell them. They’d be printed on colored paper so folks couldn’t photo copy as easily, and I’d have the teacher sign the prep to up the credibility. The makings of a hustler.
My first job was teaching children’s swim lessons, and my worst job (I know, I know, everything is a lesson, etc.) was working as a glorified paralegal for a District Attorney the summer before I left to college.
One time, I gave a TEDx talk about the power of social media to a group of charter high school students in Houston. Since then I’ve done two open mic nights for friends, and really enjoy moderating panels. It’s the journalist in me.
Contracting via Cantú Creative has taught me a lot about how people view my skillset versus how I view it. Folks tend to contract me for product marketing above all else, as well as consumer-insight driven social media campaigns. I tend to enter “wild west” projects, and am most skilled at organizing, optimizing, and scaling ideas.
I workout regularly, and lead a mostly plant based lifestyle and it’s because in 2012 I was too poor to buy, what I considered - thanks to a Netflix documentary, good meat. Milk also went bad too quickly, and I needed to be efficient, so enter: Almond milk. Then in 2016 I began dating a midwestern born and raised vegetarian, and whooweeeee.
Emailing > Texting
I’m a voracious reader. Always have been. AR Star all throughout grade school! I’m a scammer and have both the Manhattan and Brooklyn library cards just in case I have a late fee within one system and temporarily can’t check out.
I’m very serious about my Spotify playlists.
I used to foster kittens through APA! ‘Twas the best of times, and the worst of times (RIP my favorite chair).