Entertainment

13 Lessons From Jefas On How To Make Your Business More Instagrammable

Anyone can create an Instagram account, but only a few can sustain a coherent online presence and narrative. From individuals to companies, everyone is trying to find the golden rule of social media. We have found 17 Jefas from around the world who totally slay their Insta game and used the platform to grow their businesses. They have created authentic brands around their personas that both wannabe influencers and established companies can learn from.

1. Thou shall keep thy color palette constant.

Credit: @ameliagoldie / Instagram

Amelia Goldie is an Australian Instagrammer who has sustained a black-white-red color palette throughout the year and has become a real influencer in terms of fashion and style. Her slightly French quirkiness also makes her approachable. She is also honest about her personal struggles with mental health, making her approachable.

2. Thou shall repeat: “Fun is queen”

Credit: @kidjess / Instagram

In the old days of mass media people would say that “content is king.” Well, in the age of social media, when there are so many channels to be entertained by, good old simple fun goes a long way. @kidjess knows it and is supported by almost half a million followers. She is quirky and has a cute aesthetic that is always on brand.

3. Thou shall stay true to yourself, yes Ivon!

Credit: @bonboncherie / Instahram

We love this Latina jefat hat has gotten quite a following by being herself: a proud Latina mom. She describes herself as a wife and full-time mom and a Mexican-American blogger from California. She is not trying to pretend she is a gringa: her aesthetics scream latinidadeverywhere!

4. Thou shall scream: “B for Brown and Beautiful”

Credit: Instagram. @naturallykimmy

Kimberly Gomez is a gorgeous jefa from the Dominican Republic who is a proud representative of her ethnicity, she wears her Browness on her sleeve and we applaud her for that. Standards of beauty won’t stop being Anglo territory only if influencers AND brands don’t start exalting Brown and Black hermosura.

5. Thou shall take us on your creative journey

Credit: Instagram. @valerush

Valeria Gascon is a Mexican illustrator and academic who takes us on her creative and emotional journey as she expands her “fantasmitas” series, her flower girl series, and she studies her Ph.D. in Glasgow, Scotland. Her Insta is a delicia full of music, literature, plants, and nostalgia. Moraleja: whatever your brand does, take your audience on a ride.

6. Thou shall remain sencillita, no matter how big you are

Credit: Instagram. @anadelareguera

Ana De La Reguera is one of the best and most famous Mexican actresses of her generation. She has broken into Hollywood as well and she is basically a Mexican Meryl Streep in the making. But she has enough time and self-confidence to post pictures like the one in the upper left corner: look at her foodgasm eating that taco. No matter how big you or your brand are: humble is best, always. She wears her wrinkles with pride, para rematar!

7. Thou shall showcase the woman behind the product

Credit: Instagram. @brunelda_

Online presence is all about people. Brands that remain stale, faceless, are bound to have a boring and just meh online presence. Follow the example of Carmen Bruna, who owns a company of gorgeous invitations and other products featuring her watercolor illustrations. Her feed is a perfect mix of personal and professional content. If you are a brand, creating an attachment between the production process and the customer surely translated into loyalty.

8. Thou shall know that sometimes less is more 

Credit: Instagram. @nerya_yeger

Nerya Yeger is a fitness and vegan influencer who curates a gorgeous Insta feed in which she mixes motivational messages, art, and selfies. We love all the blank space in her feed. The white is a welcome relief in a sea of oversaturated images. La elegancia es lo que cuenta. Don’t you just love that illustration of Frida blowing a bubble gum? We can only imagine the impeccable taste with which her house must be decorated! Jealous!

9. Thou shall recommend a healthy lifestyle, but not be preachy, no suenen como madre enojada

Credit: Instagram. @lacoctelhera

Instagram is full of influencers who try to tell followers how to leave their lives, and to be honest that is not good branding. What is good branding is showing rather than telling, making healthy choices look fun and something you would actually wanna try. That is what @lacoctelhera does: just look at those colorful shots of food and the smile that this Spanish jefa has on her face, like all the time. Also, fluffy animals are engaging whatever your business is!

10. Thou shall sometimes do ONE thing, and do it REALLY WELL

Credit: Instagram. @succulent_heaven

Karen is a succulent lover and grower who curates a super appealing feed featuring the favorite houseplants of the millennial generation, full with tips, info on different species and photographs that frankly make us feel relaxed. Moraleja: sometimes diversifying your brand is not the best move. Do one thing and do it lo mejor que puedas. After scrolling through this feed we bet you will buy a pot, a small succulent…. and then you will have a new collection.

11. Thou shall give your fans/customers the place they deserve

Credit: Instagram. @lupitanyongo

Lupita Nyong’o is one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood. She has won an Oscar, acted in Jordan Peele’s “Us”, and been part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Will all of this going on, she makes the effort to share fanart made for her by followers. Can you imagine the smile on the fans face when seeing the art Lupita shared? Y’all know she was born in Mexico, right? And that she holds a Mexican passport? Social media has made celebrities more approachable, but only a few are like Lupita: whatever she posts feels authentic, unredacted and from the heart. Lupita, hermana, eres mexicana! 

12. Thou shall create a unique and irreplaceable style

Credit: Instagram. @margaretzhang

Margaret Zhang is a Chinese-Australian fashion powerhouse who has made a name for herself in the upper echelons of the industry. She is an art director for top brands and has moved permanently to New York. Her style is a combination of French chic and the visual aesthetics of Asian filmmakers such as Wong Kar-Wai (by the way, Quentin Tarantino’s hero). The takeaway: be like her, strive to find a unique style that can be translated into different media. Anything can be relevant, even a plate of food, if presented in a way that adds to a coherent visual and emotional narrative.

13. Thou shall deliver on your promise

Credit: Instagram. @nomvelo.c

Nomvelo Chalumbria is a South African young woman who defines herself as a globe trotter. And she delivers: her Insta is full of pictures from around the world, but also of the amazing original owners of what is now South Africa. She seems to always have her feet on a plane and one foot at home but firmly grounded in her cultural roots. Do yourself a favor and follow her for her bubbly personality.

Revista Étnica Is The New Afro-Latino Magazine Gassing Up Our Afrolatinidad All The Way From Puerto Rico

Entertainment

Revista Étnica Is The New Afro-Latino Magazine Gassing Up Our Afrolatinidad All The Way From Puerto Rico

Since Gloriann Sacha Antonetty Lebrón was a child growing up in Carolina, Puerto Rico, she has been fascinated by journalism. She was captivated by the colorful glossies of Cosmopolitan and Revista Tú that sat on the shelves of local drug stores. She wanted to read about the latest beauty and fashion and be on top of entertainment and cultural news from Latin America and the United States. But more than this, she desired to be seen, to have glamorous and powerful Black women that resembled the matriarchs in her own family cover the magazines.

“I never had the opportunity here in Puerto Rico to see Black people, and Black women in particular, in magazines,” Lebrón told mitú. “None of them represented the beauty of my family, my friends, my community or myself.”

As a teenager, Lebrón’s father, who was raised in New York, introduced her to popular African-American publications geared toward women.

 While magazines like Ebony and Essence weren’t yet available in Puerto Rico, her father would have friends mail the glossy or bring them back from trips in order for Lebrón to have access to images and stories of women who looked like her. The unnecessary struggle it took for her to see herself represented in media and the joyous feeling she felt while flipping through page after page of enchanting dark-skinned women inspired Lebrón to one day start her own magazine in Puerto Rico specifically for Afro-Latina women.

In December of 2018, Lebrón’s teenage dreams came true.

 The now 38-year-old communications professional launched Revista Étnica, the first print magazine in Puerto Rico to represent the Caribbean archipelago’s vast and diverse Afro-Latinx population.

“Our community is marginalized. If you have dark skin, you generally don’t have an opportunity to feel like you belong and are a part of this society. We are only good for food, music and sports, and that’s something we want to change,” she said.

Through the biannual magazine, Étnica’s three-person staff and group of collaborators produce a stunning publication that covers beauty, fashion, entertainment, food and culture as well as investigative journalism that looks into the deep-rooted, and largely denied, racism that exists in Puerto Rico. 

In the first issue, writer Edmy Ayala delves into the racial disparities that exist on the archipelago and how the state works to protect the rights and uplift the talents of lighter-skinned Boricuas. 

The second volume, which published in August, features an essay that examines racism in Puerto Rico’s public school system, looking particularly at the ways in which codes of conduct target and punish Black youth. 

“Right now, it’s more critical than ever to be having these conversations,” Lebrón says. “Here, we understand that we are a mix. We are mestizos, with a rich culture that includes our Spanish heritage, Taíno heritage and, less important, our African heritage. Many use this to claim we are all the same here, that racism doesn’t exist. But me being a Black Puerto Rican woman, a young Black person, I can tell you that I struggle every day and experience racism in so many ways.”

This bigotry was particularly evident for Lebrón when she first attempted to launch Revista Étnica. In her mid-20s, she submitted a proposal for the publication in a contest and was one of the finalists. At the time, she was assigned a mentor who would help her work through her proposition and advise her on steps she could take to realize her project. A leading journalist in Puerto Rico, Lebrón was thrilled to have the guidance of an esteemed figure as she pursued her ambitions. That’s why she felt completely discouraged when the male leader suggested that her magazine would fail. 

“He said, ‘people in Puerto Rico don’t want to identify as Black,’” Lebrón recalls. “I started to believe that the magazine wasn’t important, and it took away my dream.”

Disheartened, Lebrón went on to start a different career in media, working in advertising and public relations. In this industry, she was once again confronted by anti-blackness in Puerto Rico. Few brands and companies put Black Boricuas in their ads, catered to Afro-Puerto Rican communities or even hired dark-skinned employees. 

After taking a job as the director of communications for a local nonprofit that put her in direct contact with Puerto Rican youth, Lebrón was reminded of the importance of representation. During each visit with boys and girls across the archipelago, Black children would race to Lebrón, excited to engage with a powerful leader who looked like them.

“I’d tell them, ‘you are beautiful and intelligent,’ and I would see the light in their eyes. I knew I had to do Étnica.”

A decade after Lebrón submitted her proposal for her dream publication, she entered the contest again and became a finalist once more. This time, she won a social enterprise award, which allowed her to fund the first issue of her magazine.

Today, Revista Étnica is available for purchase at Walgreens and Walmarts across Puerto Rico as well as some local shops in the metropolitan area. Through the magazine’s website, readers can order copies from all over the world. Lebrón says she has subscribers from the United States, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and even Switzerland. Additionally, the publication’s site and social media include a blog and content that offers insight and opinions on more timely news.

For Lebrón, Revista Étnica is more than a magazine; it’s also a community and a movement. 

Throughout the year, the publication hosts events, from parties to movie-watching groups, and has recently also launched a start-up program for Afro-Puerto Rican entrepreneurs. She says that her company’s success isn’t measured by its magazine sales but rather by how it can help create economic security for the Black community in Puerto Rico more broadly.

While materializing her wildest childhood fantasies has been both joyous and frightening, she says that ultimately this magazine and this movement is much bigger than her alone.

“I just want women who read Étnica to feel proud of their skin, their body, their imperfections. I want them to know there is a community with them, that they’re not alone,” Lebrón says.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Many Brands Have Missed The Mark But A Few Have Done It Right

Culture

Hispanic Heritage Month: Many Brands Have Missed The Mark But A Few Have Done It Right

US Army Africa / Flickr

Hispanic Heritage Month is here again: it runs from September 15 to October 15 this year. The celebration of Latinidad in the US was made official when in 1968 president Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law “National Hispanic Heritage Week.” Set to begin on September 15, the week celebrated the independence of a few Latin American countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile. The celebration is great and perhaps originally con las mejores intenciones, but it errs in grouping a whole continent’s diversity into a single group. But well, peor es nada. 

So let’s be positive and see the glass half full. These four weeks are a great opportunity to celebrate our Latino roots. Many brands also see this month as a chance to connect with the Latino market, which is a profitable and expanding demographic in the United States. However, and this is a huge “but”, sometimes marketing people try a bit too hard to connect and end up with messy campaigns that end up just perpetuating damaging stereotypes. For every good idea there seem to be three or four that just miss the mark. 

Hey, here’s a job idea: cultural adviser! Let’s change the ratio and have most brands understand the values and issues we really care about

Credit: gabbyzapata / Instagram

Being aware of what Latinos think and want is key in the highly competitive US market, as Claudia Romo Edelman wrote in AdAge: “Hispanics by more than two to one (68 percent) feel their values are shared by other Americans. And those values are vital: family, work, education, and security for themselves and particularly for their children. They still believe in the American dream (69 percent), saying overwhelmingly that if you work hard you will get ahead (80 percent or greater across generations). Yet, barely half (54 percent) say they see their values reflected by major brands, similar to the number for media and pop culture (55 percent)”. Ouch! This speaks volumes about the lack of a true understanding of how fundamental the Latino market is for any business. 

Because some gringos just don’t get it, like Coffee-Mate branding something as Latino by adding flavors that no one associates with un rico cafecito

Credit: Digital image. Nestle marketing campaign

First of all, it is not a tradition to add Chocolate Abuelita or Lechera to your coffee. We mean, some people might do it, but it is not widespread. Second of all, what on Earth is your “inner Latino”? This campaign is just plain terrible. As Sue writesin the blog Phglesbian.com: “What the hell are you going to do to honor Black History Month? ‘Inner sassy black woman?’ What about Pride Month? ‘Inner queen? Touch your inner lesbian?’ This is a fail, Nestle, and Americans of Hispanic descent deserve better. Maybe you need to cough up some donations from a campaign that’s already on the shelves to help undo the damage”. Yes, queen!

Coffee-Mate, you are just digging a deeper grave for yourself! Yes, all Latinos are salsa-dancing sex-crazed hombres y mujeres…

Credit: Digital image. Nestle marketing campaign

Seriously, WTAF. They did just went there: sexualizing Latino culture is one of the cardinal sins of cultural appropriation and harmful stereotyping. 

And of course, Twitter got up on arms.

Credit: @artistmarclax / @cafenowhere / Twitter

We had never put the famous abuelita and the notion of a Latin lover together…. nothing against older adult intimacy… but just don’t, OK, just don’t. 

But… but… margaritas must contain tequila, right?

Credit: @Sobieski_Vodka / Twitter

Even a very inexperienced bartender or any tío organizing a carne asada knows that a margarita is made with lime juice, crushed ice, salt, and tequila, right? Well, apparently not, at least according to Sobieski vodka. Yes, according to this brand you can replace the very Mexican tequila, which has a denomination of origin, with vodka. First of all, vodka and tequila taste nothing alike. Second… why?

Bringing together family and war.

Credit: US Marines. Promotional campaign

Yes, there are many Latinos who proudly serve in the US military. However, it is a bit tricky to try to appeal to a certain particular demographic by appealing to the emotional connection that most Latinos feel to the notion of family. This is a sort of positive pat on the back that, however, is very complex given the huge life decision that enrolling in the military entails for soldiers and families. This is a borderline case of marketing that does speak to Latino values but simplifies a very intricate issue. 

Dear Macy’s, you could at least get the grammar right, perhaps?

Credit: 1567029508_HHM-Type (1). Digital image. Macy’s

Macy’s understands the importance of the Latino market not only because of local customers but also due to the huge amounts of tourists from Latin America that shop in their stores. It is all good… but they could do better with their campaign copy. “Unidos en cultura” makes no sense at all! Perhaps they meant “Unidos por la cultura”? The English slogan is “United by Culture”, so the translation feels like a half-hearted effort to appeal to “ethnic customers” (really, that is how gringo marketing lingo describes us!). Really, it is not that hard, we are sure that you have at least 50 bilingual, Spanish-speaking staff in your offices, so please do better next time. 

So to do it right why not get… I don’t know… actual Latinos to be part of the creative team? That’s what Nike did with the Los Primeros collection!

Credit: f6zulwr0fvmehebpfdb7. Digital image. Nike.

What a great way to create collection kicks while really digging deep into the Latin American soul. Nike describes this collection as follows “Honoring Latino Heritage Month, Los Primeros showcases distinct cultural expressions from four Latin American artists’ ancestry atop four iconic Nike silhouettes”. We don’t want to be puritans and say that international brands cannot celebrate Latino identity, but it is better if they do it right. Exactly what Nike did. This is the One Heart version of the classic Cortez sneaker, and it was created by Chilean artist Inti following patterns from indigenous textile art. That is how things are done, acknowledging that half of our Latino heritage derives from the proud original owners of the land that is now the American Continent. 

And look at this amazingly weird but very Latino fashion statement.

Credit: wvndm0ug4y1oehwiza71. Digital image. Nike

Few sneakers are as iconic as Air Jordans, and these beauties are decorated by Brazilian artist Pomb, a sensation in the street art world of Sao Paolo. Can we just get a pair already? We could totally rock this with a cool Mitú t-shirt!

Coca-Cola is a marketing genius… but have they done more harm than good to Latino communities?

Credit: hispanic-heritage-month-28-07PM-copy-604-337-dfbf7803.rendition.584.326. Digital image. Coca-Cola.

There is no denying that Coca-Cola has created one of the smartest and most memorable marketing campaigns in history. For Hispanic Heritage Month, they have created promotions that include creating personalized cans and bottles with Latino last names, as well as cans with temporary tattoos celebrating Latino identity. However, Coca-Cola has been linked to high rates of obesity, particularly child obesity, in countries like Mexico. We mean, celebrating a culture involves the general well being of society at large, right? 

READ: Vandals Destroyed A Hispanic Heritage Month Mural At Duke University And Here’s How Students Fought Back