Modern-Day Pioneers – a Celebration

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Modern-Day Pioneers – a Celebration

With March being Women’s History Month, we celebrate the brave, bold and fearless women who are influencing the Rio Grande Valley. The RGV is home to so many individuals who have dreams and aspirations to create something to call their own.

In this feature, VBR picks the minds of the women pioneering what entrepreneurship looks like in the modern era – from mindset to the key to success.

Women pioneers: Roberta Castillo is a talented baker, founder and co-owner of CC’s Sweets & Tweets. (Courtesy)
Roberta Castillo is a talented baker, founder and co-owner of CC’s Sweets & Tweets. (Courtesy)

The Brave – CC’s Sweets and Tweets

CC’s Sweets and Tweets co-owner Roberta Castillo has built a decadent empire all Valleyites appreciate all while setting an example to her team members that anything truly is possible. Some of the struggles Castillo has faced as a female business owner in the RGV are the balance of home, work and life as well as the opportunity [for females in the RGV] itself.

I have learned to merge the two – I bring my kids into the shop with me and teach them how to work hard if you really want to be successful,” she says. “We have banded together with other female-owned businesses and created opportunities of our own. For example, we create our own Galentine’s Day events to rally female-owned businesses together.” 

As a small business owner, Roberta is aware that supporting other small businesses is the key to success. “This is whether it be someone in or outside our own industry. This impacts the bottom line as well as customer loyalty,” she says. “I have heard from most of our customers that they love when they see us working with other small businesses. It makes them want to support us even more.”

Mother-daughter team Edna Posada and Alexandria Posada have a workspace their team can enjoy spending time in. (Courtesy)
Mother-daughter team Edna Posada and Alexandria Posada have a workspace their team can enjoy spending time in. (Courtesy)

The Bold – Organization of Women Executives

Edna and Alexandria Posada are the ultimate mother-daughter team. Their passion for what they do extends far beyond the doors of the three businesses they run. In addition to running Aldani Inc. (which consists of three Merle Norman locations, two Spa La Posada locations, and the women’s boutique Leona), they also sit on the board of the Organization of Women Executives. 

OWE’s goal is to empower their members both personally and professionally. The organization hosts different educational luncheons monthly which are put together by OWE program chair Edna. “Most topics consist of a panel of speakers which are members themselves,” she shares. “The goal is to further educate us all in a variety of topics such as networking, social media, business and personal development.”

“I love that by being involved with OWE, you are now able to connect with over 90 like-minded professional women who you can learn from and who will support you any way they can,” shares Alexandria, who serves as OWE president.

The Posadas are well-versed in leadership and setting an example to those around them. Feeling valued and acknowledged in the workplace is extremely important for them. They believe a healthy work environment is a happy one. “We spend more time at work than we do at home, so I think it’s important to nurture your team and help them evolve and let them know they are appreciated,” shares Alexandria. 

Mayra Brown and Monique Jeffrey Sanchez Chapa and their ever-growing team of women celebrate the eighth anniversary of Shop 112 in January. (Courtesy)
Mayra Brown and Monique Jeffrey Sanchez Chapa and their ever-growing team of women celebrate the eighth anniversary of Shop 112 in January. (Courtesy)

The Fearless – Shop 112

The success of this women’s boutique in McAllen has organically garnered an impressive social media presence under its current ownership. Owners Mayra Brown and Monique Sanchez-Chapa have been leading the Shop 112 team for almost a decade. They have learned that it takes a lot more than strategy to succeed. 

“No business can be successful if the team in place doesn’t love what they do and work together towards a common goal,” shares Mayra. “I believe that we’re only in competition with ourselves to get a little bit better every single day,” says Monique. “We can all succeed together when we work as a team.”

Monique is no stranger to the taking chances. “Take that leap of faith,” she says. “Don’t let the fear of failure stop you. Every time I failed, I’ve learned the most valuable lessons and I moved forward.”

Their mutual understanding that teamwork is everything speaks volumes to their success. Great bosses recognize the individual talents their team members possess and even help highlight them. 

“No business can be successful if the team does not love what they do and work towards a common goal. You empower the women around you by giving them wings to fly,” Mayra says. “Hopefully some of them will fly next to you … and wishing those that choose to fly away the most successful journey!” 

Keep on Keeping On

Being a part of the community helps in connections with influential women who are paving the way for what success looks like in the Valley. For aspiring business women all over the Valley, sometimes all you need is a little perspective. In the words of Roberta Castillo, “Owning a business isn’t always about becoming a millionaire. It’s about being able to make your own decisions about what you want to share with the world. If you are able to make a living while doing that you are already winning.”

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