Zoraida Navarro, a South Florida doctor who treats varicose veins, has a solution. In its first year, her company Preferred Hosiery by Navarro has sold around 2,000 pairs of stockings, pantyhose, and socks (for men) at $20 to $30 each. Ms. Navarro says her "gradual compression hosiery" stops the spread of vein and circulation problems in the legs.
Unlike other support hose, Preferred Hosiery, which comes in a variety of colors and styles, uses a thin fiber that shapes and slims the legs.
"I felt that there was a market for a product that could help shape and give you some athletic and health benefits," Ms. Navarro says. She markets her products via the Internet at www.drnavarro.com/products.html.
"Personal branding is basically a collection of all the perceptions people have about us," says Peter Montoya, a California-based entrepreneur. "I like to say, 'If you are breathing, you are branding.'"
Establishing a personal brand means making a conscious effort to put your best foot forward, a feat especially important to sales professionals. To help, Mr. Montoya publishes Personal Branding magazine and has a book on the concept. Mr. Montoya advises clients to specialize, become leaders in their field, and inject their personalities into business.
He points to Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, and Martha Stewart as people with strong personal brands. Among Hispanics, Mr. Montoya admires Jennifer Lopez, Edward James Olmos, and Oscar De La Hoya.
And his personal brand? "I'm doing everything I possibly can to attach my personal brand to the concept of personal branding," Mr. Montoya says.
"Beware The Hispanic Inquisition!" That's the title of a humorous skit written and performed by the Chicago theater group called Dramatic Diversity.
The ensemble company of Hispanics, African Americans, Anglos, and Asians performs Inquisition and other scenes for companies that want to address diversity issues in an entertaining and non-threatening way. Dramatic Diversityís 20 actors and five writers help managers understand biases and stereotypes and get a feel for how people from other cultures react in the work environment. The company also has seven diversity professionals who lead post-performance discussions with the audience.
Harry Tapias, chief marketer for Dramatic Diversity, says the recent production of The Hispanic Inquisition helps explain the roles of Hispanics in Corporate America and highlights the differences across Spanish-speaking cultures. The show uses a humorous game-show format to explain how Hispanics understand and react to the organizational work environment.
SHARE THE SPIRIT
To nominate a CEO for the 2003 Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards, send reader tips, news releases, product descriptions, photos, or media clips to:
Entrepreneurial Spirit Awards c/o Senior Editor Joel Russell Hispanic Business Magazine 425 Pine Avenue Santa Barbara, CA 93117
You may also fax information to (805)964-6139 or send it via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In evaluating entries, editors consider Hispanic CEOs of small companies with interesting or outstanding products, services, marketing methods, organizations, or track records.