This week has got me feeling exhausted but accomplished. I repainted the trim on my house, re-landscaped the garden in my front yard, and repainted my front door. Phew! But no complaints here, my favorite part of being a homeowner is making my home cozy and unique. Now that you know where I've been all week, I'm thrilled to bring you this week's edition of Fearless Females, featuring Aquila Mendez-Valdez of Haute in Texas. Aquila is a fellow blogger, a beautiful fashionista, a fearless momma, and a savvy PR expert all rolled up into one!
I am honored to introduce you to another woman who inspires me, particularly as a young mom working in the same business field (PR/Marketing/etc). We met when I interned at a PR firm during my senior year at UTSA, and I am so grateful we stayed in touch! She is so talented, well-written, polished, and professional. So without further ado: grab a drink and scroll on to get to know my friend Aquila.
Q: Tell my readers a little bit about yourself.
A: I am a fashion blogger and PR consultant in San Antonio, Texas. I launched Haute in Texas as a personal blog in 2011, and it has since grown into a community of like-minded women in pursuit of the haute life. I am a passionate writer and social media enthusiast honored to have partnered with an array of brands including Vogue, Prada, H&M, and Keds, among others. I stay involved in the San Antonio fashion community by serving on the board of Fashion Group International as well as writing for San Antonio Woman magazine as the Fashion and Beauty Editor (Note from Hope: Check out her latest online feature here). But without a doubt, my greatest honor is my role of wife to my husband Orlando, and mother to Cora and Issa.
Q: I have so much respect for you as a successful business owner working in PR and as a blogger. How did you first begin working in those realms?
A: Thank you, that is truly a huge compliment! I started my blog with a friend of mine as we were both newly married and moving to Texas with our respective husbands. We wanted an opportunity to get to know the cities we were in, and also talk fashion, beauty, and motherhood! Ironically enough it was covering a fashion show for Haute in Texas that I met Tanya Sammis, who then hired me as an intern to work for her public relations company, Sammis & Ochoa. She and Mario were instrumental in teaching me the ropes of the San Antonio PR industry. A few years later I had taken the blog on solo, was expecting my second child, and felt like it was time for me to go off on my own. I’ve been operating Haute in Texas as a PR consultant and blogger for almost three years now!
Q: As a mother of two girls, what values will you emphasize the most in your household and how will you describe and/or teach them?
A: Ooh, good one! First off, I am very careful that I never say anything negative about my body in front of my daughters, and I tell them makeup is just for fun. I want them to feel confident in their own skin no matter what. Second, I tell them when I’m going to a meeting or headed to a business event because I’m ok with them knowing that their mother’s world does not solely revolve around them. They need to see an example of a woman who is pursuing a career and being a mother at the same time, because otherwise how can I expect them to feel it’s possible? And of course, I do not allow any mention of not being able to do something a boy can do. That’s just not going to fly in my house. :)
Q: What is the most encouraging thing you have been told/read as a parent?
A: I attended a networking event a few years ago where I had the chance to chat with the owner of one of the biggest PR agencies in San Antonio. I asked her how she juggles being a mom and a business woman and she told me, “Look. You need to understand the guilt is never going to go away. When you’re home you’re going to feel like you should be at work, when you’re at work you’re going to feel like you should be at home. So just feel the guilt and get over it. Don’t let it bring you down.” I thought that was a really powerful way to look at it, that it’s perfectly normal to feel that pull in both directions, but we are BLESSED to have that choice. Your kids will be fine, you will be fine, just pour another cup of coffee and get it done!
Q: What would you say is your greatest accomplishment, as a woman and as a person?
A: It’s tough to toot your own horn as a woman, but I think if anything I’m proud that I’ve been able to keep my blog and consulting business rolling while we travel quite a bit for my husband’s seasons as a professional basketball player. We’ve lived in Xalapa and Cancun, Mexico, as well as Israel, and I feel so privileged to have the chance to keep my little family together while my business can continue to grow.
Q: If you were an article of clothing, what would you be and why?
A: I would be a pair of fuzzy socks because I’m constantly cold and I love to stay home, watch movies, and snuggle with my family. Not very glamorous, but it’s real life. And I’m wearing a pair right now haha!
Q: What person in your life has influenced your personal style the most and why?
A: I’m actually going to have to say my husband, Orlando, on this one. When we first started dating in college he was FAR more stylish than I was. He would (and still does) dress up to go grocery shopping, and I was habitually in sweatpants. He would constantly encourage me to up my style game and I resisted until after we had our first daughter. Then it was like something clicked in me that taking care of myself mattered, and I needed to prove to this little human and myself that I could be both stylish and savvy. Now I think Orlando regrets encouraging me to go shopping more! ;-)
That's all for now beauties, be sure to tune in next week to meet another #FearlessFemale I admire!