Sandra Velasquez. Remember that name. She is the future of our Latine history.
Velasquez is the founder of Nopalera, a Mexican luxury bath and body brand. She carefully uses her brand to elevate the value of Latine-owned products and uplift her community. She launched and created it into a global brand with no outside funding, during the pandemic, and at the age of forty-four.
Though she’s faced obstacles during her entrepreneurial journey, she is making sure her voice is heard. This is the same voice that, a few years ago, would serenade crowds when she was an indie musician. Her voice has, nonetheless, remained finely tuned as it weaves in the power of cultural relevance in anything that she does.
The indie musician turned entrepreneur is now walking away from multiple Shark Tank offers because she knows her worth. Not only that, she knows the worth of her community.
“I had a ceiling in mind and I just didn’t want to budge,” she said during the Shark Tank episode when she left the stage. “But just like the Nopal, which is resilient and ancient and has always been here and always will be, so will we. And the future is bright for Nopalera.”
Nopalera’s CEO teaches us to stand in our worth
On January 20, 2023, the badass Latina entrepreneur, whose role is being a CPG sales and distribution manager and brand CEO, stepped into the United States’ most popular business reality TV series, Shark Tank. During her appearance, she gave the nation the opportunity to recognize the grand significance of Latino culture and value goods through her brand.
She stood her ground throughout the entire episode to showcase just this.
Her objective was to have the “sharks” agree to $600,000 for a 10 percent stake. Although she was given offers by Daniel Lubetzky and Kevin O’Leary, she decided to counter their offers – with the same offer she started with. The “sharks” or Shark Tank’s judges were flabbergasted when they realized that her offer hadn’t changed and there was no wiggle room for them. Something that has never happened in the history of the show.
“No wiggle room is crazy. That’s a first,” Mark Cuban, one of the judges, said.
Velasquez reassured them that she appreciated and respected them, but she couldn’t go through with what they were offering her.
“This is a brand that is about self-worth,” Nopalera’s CEO explained. “My ancestors are whispering in my ear and they say, ‘Mija, no te desprecies.’”
The Latine community seldom gets the opportunity to witness the everyday struggles of a Latine entrepreneur. But it can be gruesome. Oftentimes, it’s met with people questioning your abilities, your skills, and your overall worth, which, in turn, can make it a long and grueling process.
Sandra Velasquez’s message to the community
However, as Velasquez was speaking to the judges, it felt like she was speaking to the community – our community.
She allowed herself to be guided by ancestral knowledge, something deeply embedded in all of us. The Latina entrepreneur proves that there’s no need to sell yourself short or try to fit in to be given our space.
Sandra Velasquez knows the power of standing in your worth and is reminding everyone of it.
Since her appearance on Shark Tank, and to continue to honor the message she sent out to the community, she has created the Nopalera “Stand In Our Worth Shark Tank Bundle.”