Culture

This Latina Instagrammer Is The Definition Of #BossLady

Lily Martinez comes from a family of artists and social media masters. But at 68K followers, she is anything BUT your basic Instagram blogger.

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Everything this supermom of 4 touches turns to art. From her breakfasts…

To her kids’ lavish parties…

Art! Mom prepping for my birthday party this weekend!!?? #HBDSeliBeli ❤️????? #lilylovedraws

A photo posted by Seli Beli (@selibeliloves) on

To her costumes…

mitú caught up with Lily to talk about where she gets her inspiration from and how her entire family is so damn creative. Here’s what she told us…

Enjoying mommy time with my family?❤️ Hope everyone had a wonderful Sunday! ? #cherishmothersday #love #mommasday

A photo posted by Lily Martinez (@lilylove213) on


“My brother is a fine artist, my sister is a designer, and I do a little bit of everything,” she told mitú. “I think my parents are not so much artistic, but very supportive. They were always encouraging us to do what makes us happy.”

“My dad is a tailor, he works in Beverly Hills, so he always has a really good sense of style and he always knew what was trending. And then my mom, she has a little thrift shop so she’s always been into fashion. She knew about brands and what looked good. So in that sense I think it’s been in our family, just to take pride in how you look, how you’re wearing your clothes and expressing yourself.”

Like most of her family, she’s gotten quite good at expressing herself through her clothes and costumes. But as many of us will be able to relate, her family learned how to find creative ways to be resourceful out of necessity.


“We couldn’t afford costumes so it was out of necessity,” she told mitú. “My mom would make them and my dad is a tailor so some of the parts of the costumes he would make. So organically it just grew into a passion.” This passion later proved to be something she’d carry.

Lily’s creative passion took her from intern to creative director for Mattel. You know, that company that probably made 90% of the toys you played with when you were little. #BossLady


“That is such an awesome job and such a unique position to be in and I was so proud to be there because there aren’t many Latinas in that type of position. I really loved it and I got to do so many things and had so many great opportunities working at Mattel, like travel the world and be really influenced by so many cultures,” she told mitú.

But she was ready to join her husband, a stay-at-home dad, and work on her blog to be able to spend more time with her family.

Labor Day weekend means Family Time weekend❤️????? #fambamM6 #myLoves #myLife

A photo posted by Lily Martinez (@lilylove213) on


“We definitely had a modern family. He was a stay-at-home dad and I was working full time at Mattel. But my dream was always, aside from having a career and all that, my ultimate dream, my goal… I wanted to be a mother,” she told mitú. “I wanted to have kids and I wanted to be the one to raise them.”

“So it got to the point where I had climbed up the ladder at Mattel to be creative director and it was just so demanding and it just kept being more demanding. I’m a very creative person and being at Mattel I was only focused on toys and in that brand and I really wanted to explore personal growth. I believed in the brand and in the power that it has on kids and their imagination. But I felt like I wanted to influence my kids one on one.”

With this newfound free time, she unleashed her imagination and started going all out with her costumes.

?❤️La Familia Martinez❤️? #DiaDeLosMuertos #hollywoodforever @mucio323 #lilylovescostumes

A photo posted by Lily Martinez (@lilylove213) on


“Once I started working at Mattel I learned a lot: how to come up with a toy, different techniques, glittering, glueing,” she told mitú. “You come across all of these materials you didn’t know that you could do so then I would apply that to some of my costumes. And it just got a little bit crazy. Everybody would wait for me at the office like, ‘What is Lily going to wear?’” Same, Lily, same.

So what’s her favorite costume of all time? This little beauty…

A little #flower found herself in Barbie's closet!!??? #HappyHalloween #flowercostume #flowerpower #lilylovescostumes

A photo posted by Lily Martinez (@lilylove213) on

Same, Lily, same.

“I think it’s the flower one. I didn’t think I was going to be able to pull it off, like how am I going to get that freaking flower around my face?” She told mitú. So how did she even get into the car with it? “I didn’t. I had to take off the headpiece, I didn’t fit in there. And then I put it on once I got out of the car. But that was my ultimate favorite. I really felt transformed.”

But her creativity doesn’t stop at costumes. Lily’s ready to take over the world with her own designs.


“I just keep growing. At some point, I would like to have some apparel, some of my artwork for sale. When I do it I want to do it right,” she told mitú. Lily, we’re ready to take three of everything.


READ: Need Serious Fashion Inspo? Follow the Latinas on Instagram NOW

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Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

gentefied / Instagram

Any and all news is welcomed right now and Netflix came through this week. “Gentefied” is coming back for a second season and this is absolutely not a drill. Soon we will be back in Boyle Heights with Ana, Chris, Erik, and the rest of the cast we have come to love so much.

Netflix has confirmed “Gentefied” for a second season.

The show is a fan favorite for Netflix with praise and love pouring in for the groundbreaking show. “Gentefied” is set in Boyle Heights and it is all about the fight against gentrification. The show premiered this year to big fanfare and excitement from Latino Netflix users. The show, created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, was picked up for an eight-episode run of the 30-minute show.

The show is one of the most relevant portrayals of the Latino experience in the 21st century.

The show highlights the plight of gentrification on communities across the U.S. Boyle Heights in Los Angeles has been the center of growing tension as the neighborhood slowly gentrifies. Rising rents have forced some residents and businesses to close and leave because of the changing demographic in the neighborhood.

Hearts are full as everyone celebrates the news of a whole new season.

The show originally premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a digital series. Lemus and Chávez debuted the show and it was an instant hit with festival-goers. After three years of waiting, the show was released by Netflix and became a national hit. The show has shone a light on the cost of gentrification for more Americans than knew about it before the show aired.

Low key, it has made for perfect binge-watching during this quarantine.

There isn’t a whole lot any of us can do at the moment. Most of us are at home because of self-isolation and social distancing guidelines designed to save lives during the pandemic. Might as well us some of your time to watch and support and very important moment in our community. This kind of representation is something that Latinos have been asking for.

While excited, some fans want more, like a cross-over with Starz’s “Vida.”

Now, just to be clear, we are not concerned with what it takes to make this happen. Netflix and Starz can come up with the actual plan. We are just going to be here waiting to be heard so we can all have the kind of cross-over the world deserves. Just imagine a chance for those two shows to collide in Latino excellence.

Now we wait for an air date.

We are patient. We will be here when you are ready. All you have to do is let us know when to tune in and you know we are coming through.

READ: I Watched ‘Gentefied’ On Netflix And These Are My Brutally Honest Thoughts

Latino Bookstore In North Carolina Faces Very Uncertain Future Just 6 Months After Opening

Things That Matter

Latino Bookstore In North Carolina Faces Very Uncertain Future Just 6 Months After Opening

epiloguebooksch / Instagram

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is a relatively new bookstore in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that is facing a very uncertain future. The Latino-owned bookstore opened its doors to the Chapel Hill community six months ago and now COVID-19 is putting their future at risk.

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews is a Latino-owned bookstore in North Carolina that is fighting to survive COVID-19.

Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews came from a need that the owners saw in downtown Chapel Hill. A bookshop had recently closed in the area so Jamie and Miranda Sanchez knew that it was time for them to help fill that sudden loss.

“We felt like there was a big hole in downtown,” Jaime told The Daily Tar Heel. “A bookshop creates this whole sense of community for the town so we decided to go forward and try to open our own bookstore.”

The bookstore was serving a community that needed a place to gather and discuss ideas after a former bookstore closed its doors.

“The core of our idea began years ago as the union of Jaime’s heritage and Miranda’s passion for writing and the transportive nature of reading. Wanderers and wonderers, our idea continued to grow in the plazuelas of Mexico and the chocolaterías of Spain, in the plazas of every country where such spaces form quasi-families for both the briefest of moments and the longest stretches of time,” reads the bookstore’s website. “In these spaces, people share everything from decadent chocolate to fried street food, to myth-like tales, to the memories of our own childhood selves chasing pigeons and sucking the sticky droplets from paletas off our hands.”

While the bookstore was well received by the community, the COVID-19 pandemic had other plans.

COVID-19 has swept through the U.S. and the number of cases continues to climb. While New York might be seeing fewer cases, the rest of the U.S. is in an uptick. The virus has forced businesses across the country to close or retool to be online only. That is what Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews did to make sure they can weather the storm.

The owners of the bookstore realized they needed to retool their business strategy when students stopped coming back from Spring Break.

“We started adjusting our plans in early March to accommodate for the new lack of traffic,” Jaime told NBC News. “Students weren’t coming back from spring break, so we had originally thought the locals would come out like they did during winter break to take advantage of the lack of downtown traffic, but that obviously didn’t happen because of coronavirus, so we started getting ready to adjust and pivot online for when we’d no longer be able to sustain brick and mortar operations.”

The Sanchezes are keeping their literary dream alive through the pandemic.

“Jaime’s always wanted to open a business and bring a piece of home to it,” Miranda, who is originally from Tijuana, told NBC News. “We felt that continuing that tradition of having a bookstore in the area would be a good mesh, not just of who we are as people but how we want to engage with our community. A community that works to sustain an independent bookshop has certain values.”

Independent bookstores are one of the hardest-hit businesses since readings and events in the spaces have been canceled.

Bookshop started to help struggling independent bookstores weather the storm. COVID-19 has left millions of people without jobs and businesses are having to close permanently because of the virus. Bookshop is giving independent bookstores a chance to survive the closures and social distancing.

Bookstores serve a vital role in communities. They give people a place to gather and share ideas. The easy access to literature can change the lives of children in underprivileged communities but allowing them to see themselves reflected in new lights. They also serve as a place to explore the world around you by flipping open a book cover.

If you have time on your hands and enjoy reading, check out Bookshop and build up that 2020 reading list.

READ: Celebrities Are Reading Children’s Books To Help Parents And Children Cope With COVID-19