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Hipatia Lopez

Your current state: New Jersey

Occupation: CEO/Business owner of H.L. Unico LLC


   www.EmpanadaFork.com

Background:

I was born and raised in New Jersey. My parents are from Quito, Ecuador. They have instilled in me the importance of education since early childhood. I have always focused to be the best at anything I put my heart and soul into. I think it is important to pass down your heritage and customs to the next generation in the family, which is what I do. I am married with three children and graduated from William Paterson University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I attended college with a full ride scholarship and still remember when I told my parents, seeing the relief on their faces because I knew we could not afford it. I am a very proud entrepreneur. I am a Latina Inventor who holds two patents in the USA! Being recognized for all your hard work is so rewarding especially because we make many sacrifices along the entrepreneurial journey.

What have been your struggles as a Latina?

I have had personal and business struggles along the way. It took a while for me to realize that some family/friends will not understand it. This is perfectly okay because you cannot please everybody, even those closest to you. Instead, focus your energy on why you started in the first place. From a business stand point – the fact that I was not taken seriously in the beginning when contacting some stores was very frustrating for me. I even got hung up on a few times. The great thing about struggles are that they sure do make you stronger.

What does Latina Made mean to you?

Latina Made is a strong, powerful woman who has stopped at nothing to pursue their “American Dream” and inspires others to do the same!

What made you who you are today?

In the end – it is really only “You” who is in your way.

I believed in my heart, and once I really made up my mind to pursue the patent process, I told myself, if it gets approved then I have to keep pushing forward because than it was meant to be! I stopped making up excuses and figured out how to balance work with mom responsibilities. I no longer feel guilty because I do this for me and my family. I want my kids to realize – yes we can be inventors, too!

What advice would you give to young Latinas in our community?

My advice would be to remind them that we are all unique in our own way and being different is a good thing! You must choose wisely your friends and acquaintances. It is very important to surround yourself with others who have a similar passion and purpose in life. I have a young Latina at home that I am raising and I always tell her – do not get comfortable ever in your present situation- you should always crave for more and more. You will just have to get ready to work!

Some of Hipatia’s awards include:

Business Woman of the Year 2014 by the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of New Jersey Small Business Majority

2015 Acknowledgment for H.L Unico LLC.

Best Business Award Winner 2016 for Latinas in Business.

2016 Top Influential Latina in Social Media.

2016 Business Pitch Winner (NJ) from the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

2017 Award of Excellence from Odyssey International Productions

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