By Victoria Leandra
We ask guests about the concrete steps they’ve taken and habits they’ve adopted in the journey to their achievements and we talk about what in their ADN (DNA in English) makes them the extraordinary and unstoppable people they’ve become today.
New episodes every Monday morning! Follow us @eladnpodcast to keep the conversation going.
EL ADNJan 16, 2023
Let's Talk About Creating Your Own Consumer Brand, With La Gotta's Valeria del Rey
Meet Valeria Del Rey, the Puerto Rican designer behind La Gotta and professor at Miami’s Instituto Marangoni. After working at Tom Ford and Oscar de La Renta, she launched her brand in September of 2020 offering sustainable swimsuits and organic CBD sun care products.
We talked about asking for what you want, learning how to discern the right opportunities for you and getting creative with how you reach out to people you admire.
Say Goodbye to Perfection
This week, Victoria tells you all about her battles with perfectionism and how she let go of the idea that things needed to be nearly perfect in order for them to be considered great - or even good.
How to Get Rid of Your Limiting Beliefs with Shanté Cosme
Meet Mic's Editor-in-Chief Shanté Cosme. Previously at Complex, she worked her way up from contributing writer to executive director and recently turned her 10+ years of expertise in digital media into an NYU longform writing seminar called "The Power of You: Centering Identity to Tell More Impactful Stories."
We talked about identify your why beyond the money and titles people may forget what you did but not how u made them feel
A Guide to Achieving All Your Goals, According to Manifesting Coach Haley Hoffman
Content creator and coach Haley Hoffman inspires subconscious breakthroughs with EFT and manifesting. Through her platform, she encourages women to create the life they’ve always envisioned and to connect deeper with the Universe that surround us.
We talked about how tapping changed her limiting beliefs and how you can program your mind in the direction of your dreams.
Climbing the Corporate Ladder with Arianna Davis
Meet Arianna Davis, the Editorial Director of TODAY Digital, yes THAT Today Show! We met years ago when she was leading Oprah Daily as their Senior Director of Editorial and Strategy. Previosuly, Arianna had worked at Refinery29 and Us Weekly. Arianna is the author of What Would Frida Do? A Guide to Living Boldly, inspired by the life of the one and only Frida Kahlo. If you enjoyed this episode, send it to a friend or share it on social media! Don't forget to tag us for a repost: @eladnpodcast and @victorialeandra.
How Nadya Okamoto Destigmatized Her Period and Built a Business Out of It
Stigma and shame have dominated the menstruation conversation since your very first period but Nadya Okamoto is working to change that. She co-founded August, a startup reimagining periods selling biodegradable, ethical & tax-free period products. While studying full time at Harvard, she went on book tour, worked as an executive director of her own nonprofit, Period, and served as board member for a Gen-Z consulting agency. Nadya’s work has resonated online with over 3 million followers across social media.
We talked about finding the right people to open a business with, dealing with rejection and taking care of your mental health.
Travel Tips With Washington Post's Writer Natalie Compton
Natalie Compton is a staff writer reporting on travel for Washington Post's By The Way. She began her journalism career in 2015 while living in Southeast Asia and has since written for national and international outlets, including GQ, VICE, LA Times, WIRED, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Playboy and many others. If you enjoyed our conversation, send it with a friend or share it on social media: don't forget to tag @eladnpodcast and @Victorialeandra for a repost!
Tefi Pessoa Gets What She Wants — Here's How
You’ve seen Tefi Pessoa on TikTok, where she’s amassed more than 1.6 million followers by being the Internet’s big sister. Beyond her hot takes on celebrity gossip and pop culture, the InStyle host shares advice to a younger self, in a humorous way. We talk about how to stand out in a crowd of successful people and how showing up as yourself can land you more opportunities. If you enjoyed our conversation, share it with a friend or on your IG story! Don't forget to tag us for a repost ;-) @eladnpodcast and @victorialeandra.
How to Turn Social Media Into a Full-Time Career, According to Influencer Lissette Calveiro
After more than 9 years of experience in PR and social media, the Latina business owner and influencer Lisette Calveiro founded Influence With Impact™, a company that supports content creators in turning their social presence into a balanced business with community impact. Previously, she was the Director of Influencer Marketing at Ogilvy and Havas, some of the largest agencies in the world.
We talked about the secrets to creating content that resonates with your ideal follower and why non-traditional education can be a game changer for your business or career.
Side-Hustle and Early Retirement Tips With Passive Income Expert Jannese Torres
Jannese Torres is the creator of Yo Quiero Dinero, a personal finance platform for the modern Latina. At 25, she was fired from a job she hated and decided to create a Latinx food blog, Delish D’Lites. What began as her side hustle grew into a 6-fig business so she quit her job to help others build their own online businesses that allow them to pursue financial independence and freedom.
We talked about why you should invest in your ideas, using your money wisely and how people's requests can be giving providing you with your next business idea!
A Beginner's Guide to Investing with Latina Financial Educator Miss Be Helpful
Yanely Espinal is on a mission to help young people learn about personal finance in a fun and engaging way. That’s why she created Miss Be Helpful - an online platform for people to educate themselves on budgeting, managing credit, saving and investing for retirement.
We talked about how to start investing and why money can actually buy happiness long term.
Why You Should Rethink What Success (and a Rich Life) Looks Like
This week, Victoria talks about how her definition of success has changed within the past two years and makes the case for why you should reconsider what your dream career looks like. She introduces the concept of a "rich life," one that is different for everyone, and walks you through how to define what you'd like your life to look (and feel) like.
How Refinery29 Co-Founder Piera Gelardi Uses Creative Play to Succeed (and Have Fun!)
Piera Gelardi isn't the typical CEO. The entrepreneur, mama, and storyteller passionate about bringing out the creativity in everyone, championing women and the power of play. As co-founder and executive creative director for Refinery29, Piera built a trailblazing brand that expanded the way media and advertising represented women. Her brand-new venture, Wild Things World, aims to combat perfectionism and burn out by delivering experiences that support creative play.
We talked about building momentum, how reframing the way you see things changes the outcome and fully embracing playfulness into your daily routine.
Meet D’Ana, the Multimedia Artist Designing for Nike, Netflix and Spotify Under Her Brand COVL
D'Ana Nuñez is a Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist and storyteller whose creations you’ve seen on and offline, especially within the NYC illustration community. Under her brand, COVL, she’s drawn a crowd of loyal fans, leading to collaborations with Spotify, Google, MOMA PS1, Instagram, HBO Max and other major labels.
Born and raised in Miami, D’Ana originally started her career in fashion show production at 21 where she worked for Oscar de la Renta, Zac Posen, and Carolina Herrera.
We talked about negotiating for what your art (and identity) are worth, the metaverse and, of course, how to build a profitable business as an artist.
Everything You Need To Know To Start Your Own Business, According to "Jefa In Training" Author Ashley K. Stoyanov
Meet business coach Ashley K. Stoyanov Ojeda, the author behind "Jefa In Training," the first Spanglish business book for Latina entrepreneurs and creative women. Endorsed by Eva Longoria, the book aims to foster the next generation of Latina-owned businesses.
Ashley's career started in the music industry in 2012, working at major record labels, publishers and venues. Post-college, she created her own network for local women songwriters, now a national organization that has been featured in The Recording Academy. She’s now fully dedicated to creating opportunities and developing businesses for the new majority through her coaching and consulting, and has become known as the Business Hada Madrina.
How To Use Pain and Pleasure To Advance Your Career, According to Founder Ana Castillo
Meet Ana Castillo, the sex coach, author and founder of Con El Verbo En La Piel, an educational platform for people of color and allies that aims to help the community enhance their self-esteem and to normalize conversations about sexuality from an inclusive perspective.
In this honest and raw conversation, we talk about the importance of pain in the process of personal growth, how to build a loyal online community and why highly achieving women should take time for pleasure.
Meet Latin Music's Top Female Executive: Billboard's Leila Cobo
Meet Leila Cobo, Billboard's VP of Latin music and one of the world’s leading experts in Latin music. She's also an author with two acclaimed novels, two top-selling biographies and a landmark Latin music industry guide.
A Fulbright scholar from Cali, Colombia, Leila has been instrumental in growing Billboard's Latin presence across all its platforms, making Billboard the first, and only, English-language media that covers Latin music in-depth. Along the way she has worked with artists such as Bad Bunny, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, Maluma, Ricky Martin, Daddy Yankee, and Rosalía.
How To Prioritize Your Goals This Year
Newsflash: You can’t achieve it all, at least not at the same time. As highly-achieving individuals, it can be difficult to focus as we want to "do it all." But that mindset doesn't serve us! In this special episode, our host Victoria Leandra shares how she prioritizes her goals in order to achieve the most in any given year.
We want to hear from you after completing the exercise! Send @ELADNPODCAST a DM or tag us + @VictoriaLeandra in an IG story for a chance to be reposted. Our team wishes you an amazing 2022 filled with health, love, success, wealth and rest!
Forget New Year's Resolutions. Do This Instead.
It's that time of the year where everyone sits down and creates a list of things they'd like to accomplish in the new year. But let's be honest, did that really work for you this past year? New year's resolutions (without a proper action plan) are difficult to accomplish. Usually, January is off to a great start but then you slowly forget about what you really wanted to achieve as the initial motivation fades away. Don't let that happen in 2022! In this special episode, our host Victoria Leandra walks you through her goal-setting process and shares the secret that fully shifted her mindset.
We want to hear from you after completing the exercise! Send @ELADNPODCAST a DM or tag us + @VictoriaLeandra in an IG story for a chance to be reposted. Our team wishes you an amazing year ahead filled with health, love, success, wealth and rest!
How Shop Latinx Founder Brittany Chavez Raised $1M for Her Startup
Meet Brittany Chavez, CEO and Founder of e-commerce platform Shop Latinx, a first of its kind online marketplace for Latino-owned businesses.
The company recently raised $1 million in its pre-seed round of funding. Since launching in 2016, Shop Latinx has gone from an Instagram account supporting Latino brands to a venture-backed startup poised to completely transform the e-commerce landscape.
We talked about how she sees therapy as an investment for her company, how to find the right investors and the importance of laying low while building your business.
Remezcla's EIC Thatiana Diaz Gives a Disclaimer to All Women She Works With
Meet Thatiana Diaz, Remezcla’s editor in chief, previously at Refinery29 and People en Español. Thatiana spearheaded the development and launch of two successful Latinx digital media brands: People Chica and Somos. The former beauty pageant queen with Dominican roots turned her passion for beauty into a full-time career as a writer and later on as an editor.
We talked about a disclaimer she gives to all women she works with, her career mantra that has gotten her where she is today and how she hopes to change the media industry from within.
How Designer Karen Perez Turned Viral Controversy Into a Saks Fifth Avenue Deal
Meet Karen Perez, the stylist who designed a chic mask that has since been worn by high-profile women like Jennifer Lopez and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She launched her brand Second Wind on Instagram and a year later, her designs can now be found stocked at Saks Fifth Avenue.
We talked about how she mentally dealt with a viral incident in which a popular influencer was accused of stealing her designs, the good and the bad of being popular and sought-after overnight and her step-by-step process of creating a product.
How Gentefied’s Julissa Calderon Manifested the Acting Career She Always Dreamed Of
Julissa Calderon needs no introduction. You may think the Afro-Latina actress rise to stardom began after her viral videos on BuzzFeed’s "Pero Like" and her most recent Netflix series, "Gentefied," but her career really began much earlier acting Off Broadway.
In 2020, Variety named Julissa 'A Latinx Star to Watch' and they were not wrong. She co-hosts a Netflix sketch comedy talk show “Go Off” on YouTube and even launched her first product as an entrepreneur, the "Manifest That Sh*t" journal after literally manifesting her entire career.
We talked about how comparing yourself to other women is completely useless, how letting your inner child guide you can help you throughout your journey and the success mindset that lands her all the gigs: working “10,000 hours.”
How Mela Pabón Created Checkinmela, the Insta-Famous Astrology Page Latinos Love
Meet Mela Pabón, the artist behind Latinos' favorite astrology page on Instagram, Checkinmela. Originally launched as a way to cope with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the project now has almost 1M followers as a result of Mela's satirical horoscopes. With a sweet cosign from Bad Bunny and Ricky Martin, the interdisciplinary artist and author uses original illustration as a storytelling tool between Latino cultures and beyond. Her style is unique: she tells it like it is, as if she was your long-time friend.
We talked about why every creative should take an improv class, how to price your art and her future plans, one of which she shared exclusively with EL ADN Podcast.
Meet Actress Jearnest Corchado, Netflix's Rising Star To Keep an Eye On
Jearnest Corchado's success in the big screen didn't just happen overnight. The actress and singer from Sneakerheads, Little America and The Real Housewives of the North Pole (launching on December via Peacock), began acting in Puerto Rico when she was just 8 years old. We talked about what she calls "the jearney": the high and lows of her career, including how she landed her breakout role on Netflix months after the initial audition, and how she reconnects with her inner voice through music and journaling.
You can follow Jearnest on Instagram @jearnestcorchado. Enjoyed this conversation? Go watch our full video interview with some extra gems on Victoria Leandra's YouTube channel and join the online conversation by following @ELADNPodcast and @VictoriaLeandra. Make sure you're subscribed to our podcast on your favorite streaming platform, we drop fresh episodes every Monday!
Lilliana Vazquez: From Rejection to Making History as E! Entertainment‘s First Latina Host
Emmy-winning host and TV personality Lilliana Vazquez is a trailblazing interviewer, style expert and one of the OG fashion bloggers. In 2008, she launched Cheap Chicas, a brand that has evolved into what we know today as the LV Guide.
Born and raised in Texas to a Puerto Rican father and Mexican mother, she’s been a host and contributor at NBC’s TODAY show, Extra, The Talk, Rachael Ray, The Wendy Williams Show and Steve Harvey.
Lilliana made history at E! Entertainment's daily morning shows E! News and Pop of the Morning as the first and only Latina to hold the role in the show's 30 year history.
We talked about the “No” she received that made her think her career was over, how she goes about creating opportunities for herself in the media industry, and she opens up about motherhood - both her relationship with her own mother and the relationship she has with her newborn, Santi, and how they’ve both impacted her life as a career-driven woman.
You can follow Lilliana on Instagram @LillianaVazquez. Enjoyed this conversation? Go watch our full video interview with some extra gems on Victoria Leandra's YouTube channel and join the online conversation by following @ELADNPodcast and @VictoriaLeandra on Instagram. Make sure you're subscribed to our podcast on your favorite streaming platform, we drop fresh episodes every Monday!
Meet Juleyka Lantigua, the Latina Revolutionizing the Podcasting World
Juleyka Lantigua is the Founder and CEO of multi-million dollar media company Lantigua Williams & Co., a Peabody-nominated studio whose mission is to support and amplify the work of creators from the margins in digital audio and film.
Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in The Bronx, she’s a journalism veteran with 20 years of experience. Prior to launching her own business, she was Senior Supervising Producer/Editor of NPR’s Code Switch and before that, she was a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she became the first dedicated criminal-justice reporter.
Juleyka has been the recipient of several fellowships and grants, including the MacArthur Foundation and Fulbright Foundation.
We talked about embarking on a new career later in life, her networking strategy as a shy individual and how she made her work match her purpose in the world.
How Serena Kerrigan Became the Modern Day Samantha Jones
Serena Kerrigan, better known as SFK, is an entrepreneur and Internet personality who’s primary goal is to make women aware of their potential in all aspects of their lives, including dating and sex.
After almost 4 years as a producer and host at Refinery29, she quit the company to fully focus on her personal brand. At the moment she didn't have a set plan, then the pandemic hit. That's when she decided to entertain her online community by dating a new guy every single week, that’s how "Let's F*cking Date" began - the first ever Instagram Live reality show that amassed over 5 million views over several seasons.
With 400K followers on TikTok and almost 140K on Instagram, Serena launched a set of card games to help in intimate settings with a friend or a date.
We talked about feeling invisible when no one else sees your potential, how to build online momentum for your business and practical steps to become more confident.
How PR Expert and Marathoner Lissette M. Rios Gets It All Done — on Her Own Terms
Meet Lissette Rios, one of the most influential Latinas in the public relations industry. After 15 years of working at global PR agencies with major brand clients including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Nintendo, General Motors and others, she founded Chic Influence - her very own PR and talent management agency.
Prior to founding her own company, she left the corporate world as a Senior Vice President of a global PR firm.
Her agency is the complete opposite of how corporate America trained her. As a bicultural and bilingual expert, she combines “two markets": the “general market” and the “US Hispanic” market.
Beyond her professional career, Lissette is an avid runner who has conquered the 2019 NYC Marathon and just completed the 2021 Chicago Marathon.
We talked about creating a business plan, her productivity hacks to get everything done and still have a work/life balance and how she negotiated a salary increase after realizing she was severely underpaid.
You can follow Lissy on Instagram @LissyMarie. Enjoyed this conversation? Go watch our full video interview with some extra gems on Victoria Leandra’s YouTube channel and join the online conversation by sharing what you learned from this episode on your IG stories - don’t forget to tag @ElADNpodcast and @VictoriaLeandra for a regram. Make sure you’re subscribed to our podcast on your favorite streaming platform, we drop fresh episodes every Monday!
How Alicia Menendez Is Building Her Own Media Empire Outside Traditional Journalism
Before Alicia Menendez became the MSNBC anchor we know today, the only career path she saw for herself was running for public office.
Once in the political scene, she realized the media had the power to set the narrative and determine what stories matter. Today, Alicia is one of the most respected Latina journalists in the US media, she’s the author of "The Likeability Trap" and the creator and host of Latina to Latina podcast.
She’s been a correspondent for VICE News, an anchor at Fusion TV and a host at HuffPostLive. She’s also been a guest at your favorite TV shows: Good Morning America, The View and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
We talk about the importance of sponsors (as opposed to mentors), why you should create your own opportunities outside of your 9-5 job and how to master your mindset ahead of public speaking.
You can follow Alicia on Instagram @aliciamenendezxo. Enjoyed this conversation? Go watch our full video interview with some extra gems on Victoria Leandra’s YouTube channel and join the online conversation by sharing what you learned from this episode on your IG stories - don’t forget to tag @ElADNpodcast and @VictoriaLeandra for a regram. Make sure you’re subscribed to our podcast on your favorite streaming platform, we drop fresh episodes every Monday!
How Cyndi Ramirez Built a Thriving Business From Scratch, With No College Education
Before Cyndi Ramirez became the founder and CEO of Chillhouse, a NYC spa and wellness café with a modern twist, she struggled to find a job after dropping out of college. This is the story of how she used her appetite for innovation and creativity to launch her own blog, Taste The Style, and later on a thriving business that now has Sophia Amoruso - the Girl Boss - sliding into her DMs and becoming her business advisor. We talk about the importance of building an online presence, no matter your industry, and her approach to attract new opportunities.
You can follow Cyndi on Instagram @cyndiramirez. Enjoyed this conversation? Go watch our full video interview with some extra gems on Victoria Leandra’s YouTube channel and join the online conversation by sharing what you learned from this episode on your IG stories - don’t forget to tag @ElADNpodcast and @VictoriaLeandra for a regram. Make sure you’re subscribed to our podcast on your favorite streaming platform, we drop fresh episodes every Monday!
How Julissa Prado Took Rizos Curls From Her Tío’s Garage to Ulta and Target
Rizos Curls’ founder and CEO Julissa Prado never envisioned herself as an entrepreneur - she followed what came natural to her: creating concoctions for her curls and helping other young women embrace their natural hair texture. This genuine passion became a business overtime. Her products are now sold nationwide at Target and Ulta and internationally, through their website. Prado told us about how managing her dad’s restaurant from a young age helped her develop the skills she now uses in her company, how she views and defines success and why you should attend college, contrary to what other entrepreneurs advice.
You can follow Julissa on Instagram @julissa_prado. Enjoyed this conversation? Go watch our full video interview with some extra gems on Victoria Leandra’s YouTube channel and join the online conversation by sharing what you learned from this episode on your IG stories - don’t forget to tag @ElADNpodcast and @VictoriaLeandra for a regram. Make sure you’re subscribed to our podcast on your favorite streaming platform, we drop fresh episodes every Monday!
How a DM Changed Dee Nasty's Career From Hotel Front Desk to Stardom
Comedian, host, actress and producer Darlene Demorizi, better known as Dee Nasty, quit a hotel front desk job at 25 (and a steady paycheck) to pursue what some family members considered as “plepa” - “nonsense” in English. The Dominican-American from The Bronx clearly proved them wrong after she used Instagram as a tool to catapult her career with a clear goal in mind: becoming a comedic actress. Since then, she’s developed video franchises for media outlets like VICE and Fuse TV and has appeared on several films. On EL ADN, she shares how a DM changed her life, how she deals with imposter syndrome and the habits behind her success as an independent creative.
You can follow Darlene on Instagram @Dee.Nasty. Enjoyed this conversation? Go watch our full video interview with some extra gems on Victoria Leandra’s YouTube channel and join the online conversation by sharing what you learned from this episode on your IG stories - don’t forget to tag @elADNpodcast and @VictoriaLeandra for a regram. Make sure you’re subscribed to our podcast on your favorite streaming platform, we drop fresh episodes every Monday!
Welcome to EL ADN by Victoria Leandra!
On EL ADN Podcast, award-winning journalist Victoria Leandra sits down with the movers and shakers of our culture for honest and intimate conversations about the challenges they’ve overcome to reach their current success.
We opt to focus more on the failures rather than the wins because “rock bottom will teach you lessons that mountaintops never will.” With that in mind, we ask guests about the concrete steps they’ve taken and habits they’ve adopted in the journey to their achievements and we talk about what makes them extraordinary, their secret sauce: what in their ADN (DNA in English) makes them the thriving, unstoppable people they’ve become today.
Recognized by Instagram as a “Creator to Keep an Eye On” in 2020, Victoria’s purpose is to unpack the formula behind people’s success in order to empower and inspire others to forge their own path in both their professional and personal lives. EL ADN has new episodes every Monday morning!
Follow us on Instagram @ELADNPodcast and subscribe to our YouTube channel for extended episodes with our guests.