Yvonne Guidry’s SpoiledLatina Empowers Women from All Walks of Life
Yvonne Guidry, a first generation Mexican American, born in Corpus Christi, is an unabashed champion for women. “I’m all about investing in each other,” she says. Originally, Guidry thought her career would take her into the criminal justice field after graduating from University of Texas Pan-American in Edinburg, but her love for entertainment and building community led her to a successful career in entrepreneurship.
“I moved to Houston in 2001, met my husband in 2003, and got married in 2006,” Guidry says. Her husband is Henry “G-Dash” Guidry, the co-CEO of SwishaHouse, one of Houston’s most prominent record labels.
In 2008 Guidry started lifestyle blog, SpoiledLatina, and two years later, gave birth to her son, Anthony (aka #HTownKid), who she says is her biggest motivation. A few years later, as a budding influencer, Guidry was chosen as one of just five ambassadors to represent Hennessy, the globally renowned liquor brand that launched in the nation’s top five Hispanic markets.
“I represented Houston. It was a dream job that helped open so many doors for my career,” Guidry says. She later worked for Sean (P. Diddy) Combs as his liquor ambassador and eventually went all in on her SpoiledLatina brand. She went on to create SpoiledLatina Day, now a full-fledged weekend-long summit. This year’s eighth annual SpoiledLatina Summit takes place at Silver Street Studios, July 14–15.
Houstonia caught up with Guidry ahead of the summit to ask her how it all began, and what she sees in the future.
What does living in Houston mean to you?
Houston is my happy home. I have lived and loved in this city for 20 years. Houston has taught me some of my most valuable lessons about hustle and heart, friendships and business. The culture here is powerful and I couldn’t see myself anywhere else.
What is the SpoiledLatina story?
In 2008, while I was working at a law firm, which I dreaded being at every day from 9–5, I created a blog page on Google out of the love I had for fashion, beauty, and entertainment. That would come to be my escape and a way of expressing my opinions and thoughts in my own little space on the internet. Currently, I’ve been blogging and partnering with top brands to create brand affinity.
Where did the name come from?
The name "Spoiled Latina" derived from working on the set of my husband's record label’s video shoot. I was asking for changes and trying to perfect a scene and someone called me a spoiled Latina. I’m sure he was insinuating that I was getting my way. However, the name stuck. I quickly created a Gmail account, Twitter. Whenever I would pay bills over the phone, the customer service agents asked for an email address, and they always replied, “That’s so cute!”
How does the name capture the essence of your business?
The nature of my business is to empower and mentor women to take care of themselves and invest in themselves through self care. As a Latina, I always saw my mother being the last one at the dinner table and serving everyone else before herself. She had multiple titles throughout her day, yet she was still a woman who deserved to take care of herself and put herself first. I simply want to remind women that they deserve to spoil themselves because life is short. Latinas love it, other races embrace it, and now confidently say they are spoiled too.
Tell us about the SpoiledLatina Summit.
The SpoiledLatina Summit is my baby girl. In 2015, while I was celebrating my blog's seven-year anniversary I had a desire to impact my small community by sharing the knowledge, the people, and things that I learned along the way, and that’s how it began.
As a blogger I often attended conferences in Los Angeles and Miami and wondered, “Why weren’t these events happening in Houston?” How come well-known brands weren’t investing in Houston and its community of consumers and influencers? I took those experiences, key learnings, relationships, and created my own experience. A one day event titled SpoiledLatina Day.
It is now the SpoiledLatina Summit—a national conference that aims to empower and invest women of color in self-care through meaningful conversations, brand activations, and a full-blown mercado, featuring women-owned small businesses from all over the country.
What can people expect when attending the summit?
When I say that my SpoiledLatina Summit is unlike any other summit, conference, or event, please believe that. Women have attended alone, not knowing what to expect and walked out with so many great contacts, new mentors, and business relationships that blossom into friendships.
It’s beautiful to witness the magic that happens. Every year is different and this year will be even grander. I look back at each year with amazement and tears in my eyes and proudly pat myself on the back for not giving up on my mission to build up the Latina and multicultural community.
Attendees will [enjoy] food, drinks, photo opportunities, panel discussions, health and wealth workshops, tons of giveaways, and a gift bag filled with lots of goodies. The event is for all women, not just Latinas. It’s a bonding session and a beautiful experience to be at.
What has been the response as the summit has evolved?
The response has been incredible. Attendees say they feel seen, they feel at home, and are thankful for safe spaces like this one to be able to be vulnerable, strong, confident, and empowered. The vibes are like no other.
SL Summit was listed as one of the top 11 conferences for women of color to attend by a national publication, and that makes all of the hard work that my team and I do worth it. I dreamt of creating a conference for people to travel to my city of Houston and with the support of the spoiled ones, we did it.
Your confidence truly shines. How did you become a leader, and what are some ways you stay motivated?
Thank you! I slowly began to be a great leader by having great leaders in my life who were also women and lead by example. It elevated my mentality and taught me how to empower other women by speaking out and giving opportunities to others. I’m not going to lie, oftentimes it’s hard to cheer yourself on and remain confident and motivated, but knowing that I am making a change, influencing others to create their own events, and empowering their tribe is motivating.
What would you say are some key takeaways to being an entrepreneur?
Don’t be afraid of change. Change is inevitable, and at times we just have to roll with the punches that entrepreneurship brings. Build a strong network and don’t burn bridges. Keep it business and never personal. Have a purpose that you’re passionate about because it truly transcends your work. Not every opportunity will be a good opportunity, and it’s OK to say no to what doesn’t serve you. Rejection leads you to more blessings.
What's your advice to Houstonians pursuing their dreams?
If you have a passion in your heart, don’t let it sit there. Act on it. Follow your heart, listen to your conscience, because that is God talking to us. Stay true to what you believe in.