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Nicole Moreno-Deinzer

California | Founder & Editor-In-Chief

I am Mexican-American, and was raised in Gilroy and Hollister, California. For all of you non-Californians these towns are two hours south of San Francisco and about six hours north of LA. My family consists of my parents, two younger sisters, one younger brother and one older half-sister. I now have three nephews and three nieces. I grew up with up large family parties, cousins, aunts and uncles sleeping over all the time. Truthfully, a part of me went to college to finally have some alone time.

I earned my BA in Communication Studies from San Francisco State University and my MBA from Mills College in Oakland. I started my professional career in the nonprofit sector because it was easy to find jobs in that sector and when I graduated from college, the recession had just started.

I then realized I wanted and needed to start my own organization. So I created Epifania Magazine. A lifestyle magazine for women. Starting a magazine is rough. It’s a constant struggle between content and promotion. Starting the magazine has led me to meet people all across the globe. I was interviewed by an Indian blogger, met women in Houston, won AD2SF 32 Under 32, and had the opportunity to contribute to a self-help book. Starting something new, has taught me that to succeed you have to go outside your comfort zone.

What have been your struggles as a Latina?

My biggest struggle has been being okay with the type of Latina I am. I am 3rd generation on both sides. My Spanish is limited. My parents didn’t teach us Spanish because they wanted us to be American. So growing up, over and over again, I ran into people that didn’t think I was “Latina” enough or “Mexican” enough from within and outside our community. It really ate at me.

I don’t speak Spanish – strike 1 I wasn’t the first one to go to college in my family – strike 2 I married a white guy – strike 3

At first I was hurt, then I became angry. Angry at the fact that people in our community believe we should all speak with an accent, have immigrants as parents and have kids at a young age.

However as I became older, I found my tribe. I found that I can’t change people’s minds, but I can continue to be proud of who I am.

What does Latina Made mean to you? It’s about being proud of who you are and the people that made you. It’s about holding onto traditions but allowing yourself to grow.

What made you who you are today? A few things. First, my love for the arts and beauty. I have always enjoyed writing and music. However as I got older I realized I enjoyed artwork, museums, clothing, design, acting. I just love creation. The love for the arts has been my way to connect with people. Second, my family. Not just the love, but the constant reminder, that it is not all about me. I may be in the wrong sometimes when I do not agree with my family members, and that is a humbling lesson. Finally, my husband Nicholas. We have been together for 11 years. His love and support shows me everyday that I am worth being loved, respected and heard.

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

First, be proud of who you are and your community. Second, be okay that you may be the only “you” in the room. If you find yourself in that situation, know that people aren’t judging you. They want to get to know you. They want to hear your voice. You are just the first “you” that they have met.

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