Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back. ~Author Unknown
Things were quite different for Edna Posada in the early years as a business owner. With a degree in computer programming but a passion for fashion and makeup, she opened her first business, a Merle Norman store in McAllen, in 1989. Over the next five years, she opened another in Harlingen, went through a divorce, became a single mother and opened a third location in Brownsville. As if she was not already juggling enough, Edna added a spa to her business portfolio, aptly named Spa La Posada.
Her motivation was never to become the best business woman. “I wanted to become a better, smarter business person,” Edna said. “What does it matter what gender you are? If you know business, you know business. Focusing on WOMAN limited me. I wanted to be the best of the best, regardless of that.” She also understood her role as mother was her most important one.
Planting a seed in her daughter
For her 16th birthday, Edna’s daughter, Alexandria, received a new car. When the tank of gas read empty, Alexandria assumed her mom would fill it for her. Instead, Edna told her, “I told you I would get you a car. I didn’t say I would put gas in it.” This turned out to be one of Alexandria’s most important lessons about working for what you want, budgeting and gratitude.
Alexandria began working at Spa La Posada but it was not what most people think, she said. “I cleaned the store and got everything ready for the day to begin. I did whatever needed to be done.” And, she earned minimum wage. Alexandria said her mindset shifted to, “How much do I have to work to pay for that?” This led to her earning a bachelor’s degree in finance while working full time.
Edna’s business grew. She opened Leona, a boutique, expanding it one year later. Then she added a hair salon and, finally, a barbershop. Her business was not the only thing that grew. So did her commitment to helping others, especially women.
Simple acts bring meaning
“I remember working at my store in the Harlingen mall,” Edna said. “Several ladies came to get makeovers. Some were going through a divorce. Others were college grads going for job interviews. Through the simple act of showing them the make-up that was best for them, it gave them confidence and empowered them. I never saw myself as a make-up artist, though. It was about making people feel confident.”
Alexandria, now 29, watched the effect her mother’s mentoring had on her customers. It helped shape her own commitment to supporting women of all ages as well as helping them recognize, develop and use their talents to live the lives they want.
One of the women Alexandria inspired is Gaby Pulido, who first met Alexandria through their mothers’ friendship. Now, Pulido is the sales manager at the Spa.
“Alexandria definitely has this ‘je ne sais quoi,’ if you will,” Pulido said. “Not only does she work extremely hard within her business, but she also works extremely hard giving back to our community. Her charismatic personality shines through in anything she is doing. I’m grateful to have such a great mentor who truly embodies and believes in ‘women support women.’”
Alexandria, now vice president of the business, is president of the Organization of Women Executives, an organization dedicated to advancing the professional lives of women through education, discussion, networking and supporting. Edna is OWE’s program chair.
“I focus on helping our members grow their skill sets,” Edna said. “They have such valuable knowledge, and sometimes they don’t even realize what they have.”
Both Edna and Alexandria work hard to take their own advice. Realizing that many people are curious about how they work together and want to know how to showcase their own style in their lives, this dynamic mother-daughter duo launched a YouTube channel, Edna and Alexandria Posada, in 2018. Their goal is “to uplift, motivate and inspire others to successfully live their best lives.”
Recently, Edna and Alexandria played a key role in a style show highlighting breast cancer survivors, sponsored by International Bank of Commerce. The event raised $126,850 for MD Anderson. In addition, IBC is matching that amount, dollar for dollar.
“Many of our clients have been impacted by cancer,” Alexandria said, “and if there is something we can do to give back to them and anyone else affected by it, let’s do it.”
“If you can help somebody,” Edna echoed, “then help them.”
Both Edna and Alex often speak to girls and women of all ages — Girl Scouts, Latina Conference attendees, Cotillion participants, their employees, and cosmetology and barber students — on topics involving business, professionalism, etiquette, fashion and, most of all, empowering themselves.
Though Edna and Alexandria work — and often give back to the community — together, they also have separate interests. After graduating from Leadership McAllen five years ago, Alexandria began serving on the board. She will be chair during the 2020-2021 program year, the organization’s 40th.
In April of this year, IBC appointed Edna as a bank trustee. “I feel very strongly that more women need to be involved in financial decision making,” she said. “This appointment allows me to help more business people reach their business and professional goals.”
Brenda Enriquez, president and CEO of the Mission Chamber of Commerce, is one of countless women who has personally benefited from Edna’s service to the community.
“Edna’s message is, ‘BE CONFIDENT!” Brenda said. “She reminds us that we should not need constant validation. We already have permission to be ourselves. Edna is all about building us up. She brings women together and tells us we need to support each other. I am so happy she is one of our community leaders. She makes everyone feel important.”
Educating. Motivating. Empowering. Supporting. Helping when you can help. It’s a way of life for Edna and Alexandria and their inspiring way of giving back.