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Victoria Flores

Victoria Flores: 4 Generations living under one roof a lesson learned

Victoria Flores, co-founder, LuxBeautyClub.com tells her Coronavirus Story

Coronavirus stories is a series of testimonials from Latina entrepreneurs on how the pandemic have changed their personal and business lives. 

I am a first-generation Mexican-American daughter of immigrants. Both of my parents were born in Mexico and eventually naturalized in Texas. I have been the first to hit many milestones in my family and life. I was the first to go to college, I was the first to go to grad school, I was the first in my family to enter the world of finance, I was even one of the first Latinas in my group at a Wall Street bank.

Victoria Flores, Latina entrepreneur

Victoria Flores with her family during the coronavirus pandemic (Photo Credit: Peter Argue, Courtesy of Victoria Flores)

Through the years as I built my career in Dallas then New York City, every time I would visit home I could see my madre and abuela just getting older. I often thought that someday we would all be together under one roof. It’s what we do in Latino families. We don’t send our aging to nursing homes, we figure out a way to care for and support them no matter what.

After I married and we had our daughter, Alejandra, it became a top priority for both sets of grandparents to see her as often as possible, especially since we were only having one child in the madness and expense that is New York City.

When our daughter turned 4, we knew it was time to start looking into a second home to have outside of the city. My Canadian husband was raised on a farm so he had a love/hate relationship with the city… mostly hate.

We finally found our dream house in Connecticut, close enough to the city to work there but far enough to destress and breathe in the fresh country air to let my husband’s OCD run wild. One day, out of the blue, my husband turned to me and asked, “Why don’t your mom and grandma move here? Then Alejandra can see them every weekend. They won’t be around forever.” I was stunned, I hadn’t even thought of that, because I never thought he would go for it.

But Connecticut is cold and El Paso is scorching hot, the two places seem diametrically opposed (and not just their temperatures), would they go for it?

Well, it didn’t take much convincing, as soon as I mentioned it, she cried out, “Le rece todas las noches a Dios, mi’ja.” I wish I could say it went smoothly, without any hiccups, but it was definitely a process to get everyone on the same page given we only saw each other on the weekends.

Then… Coronavirus happened. As we packed the car and headed to Connecticut to what would be our last day in the city, March 9th, I thought, this is going to be an unmitigated disaster. Four strong Latinas and one white boy. What could possibly go wrong, right?

Victoria Flores, coronavirus stories

Victoria with her daughter doing remote learning and playing during coronavirus pandemic. (Photo Credit: Peter Argue, Courtesy of Victoria Flores)

Well, nothing went wrong.

I think the somber reality of what the country and world are going through caused us to truly sit and count our blessings. Sweating the small stuff was not on the agenda. For the first time, I prayed with my mom and grandma. We prayed for the sick, we prayed for the workers, we prayed for our friends, we prayed for our family, we prayed for our cities, we prayed for those that lost loved ones. We sat and prayed.

Being together at this time has made us grateful to have one another and we are all working together so our household runs smoothly. We eat every meal together, we cook together, we try new recipes, we remind Alejandra about her class zoom calls.

You might be interested: Beyond COVID-19: Prepare your entrepreneur skills for the survival of the fittest

You realize how much you actually don’t need and what is truly important to survive. When I hear my daughter’s laughter as she watches Moana with the grandmas, I feel fortunate that they won’t be missing out on her childhood. My heart melts when she translates my grandma’s Spanish for my husband.

Having four generations living full-time under one roof has put everything into perspective. Every day, we are reminded that we need to breathe and slow down. Yes, sometimes we still have to be reminded of what doesn’t belong in the recycling bin and what does. No, that’s not a metaphor. I mean that literally, my husband reminds us every day. Some things will never change.

 

Victoria Flores and her partner started LuxBeautyClub, a hair extension business, and saw the potential in marketing it to women like them. Now, Lux Beauty Club also creates high-end CBD products that are made in the USA with clean ingredients. With the existing customer base from her hair extension business, Victoria was able to make a seamless pivot into selling CBD beauty products and tinctures formulated to support sleep, fight anxiety, and enhance overall well-being—and she found an audience that wasn’t being served by existing CBD products that were already on the market.

hair extensions Lux Beauty Club

Raising capital a challenge Latina innovator Victoria Flores takes head on

Raising capital is a challenge that Victoria Flores takes head on –literally! A first generation Mexican-American business owner, Victoria started a direct to consumer hair extension company that not only helps women look beautiful but many times propels their confidence.

In 2012, Victoria became a partner with Leslie Wilson and launched Lux Beauty Club to create a one-stop shopping community where customers could buy hair and beauty products on a regular basis.

raising capital

Victoria Flores, co-founder Lux Beauty Club and Latina innovator

Wilson and Flores hit on the subscription box idea, and Lux Beauty Club was born. “My business partner and I were both single gals in NYC. We bonded over the love of hair extensions but commiserated over the cost of getting them done at the salon!,” Victoria said.

The hair extension business is prohibitively expensive and with a growth potential of almost $500 billion. African-American women represent almost 70% of this market but less than one percent of them own a hair extension shop. Worse, Latino females are even less frequent buyers because of the astronomical expense it entitles and the few salons owned by Latinas.

You might be interested: Ona Diaz-Santincelebrity stylist talks hair for professional women (video)

There are hundreds of beauty shops all over the country that target African-American women. Getting a hair extension is difficult because most of these beauty shops offer no guarantee and the extensions often vary in quality. Even a mere tryout costs money and the client has to pay a deposit which is often never refunded if there is an issue with the extension.

Lux Beauty Club offers individual hair extensions to people with all different budgets. From luxury hair extensions to individual magnet extension –their latest patented invention- all these options are delivered to your door.

“What is different about our hair extension business is that it offers a range of hair extensions that are affordable and personalized. There are no exorbitant fees or deposits,” Victoria said.

Raising capital a challenge for any Latina entrepeneur

Because of her education in finance –Victoria’s corporate career included working with Themis Capital, Morgan Stanley, Adriana Carador Designs and Katz Capital –, her success in accessing to capital resources and raising capital looked if not easy but at least possible.

raising capital

Click the image to shop Lux Beauty Club hair extensions

Raising capital has always been the most difficult obstacle to overcome. “When you are not 23 and a Harvard gradate, it makes fundraising difficult without that network. You have to be comfortable with hearing NO. It should become second nature,” said Victoria.

“I am intensely motivated and know that I can’t do this alone. I want people to feel included in our journey. I want my team to know that their ideas matter,” Victoria shared.

While they were working on their latest invention, people said it wouldn’t work and it would fall of women’s heads. But they didn’t listen and created the first ever Magnet Hair Extensions, that allows women to do basically anything and can be applied in less than 10 minutes! “Oh, and we filed the patent too!,” Victoria enthusiastically shared.

Lux Beauty Club is now running a fundraising campaign at Kickstarter with great giveaways and rewards. “Please visit and let us know what you think,” said Victoria. “My motto is, ‘Test it, sell it and don’t take no for an answer,’” she concluded.

 

best Holiday gifts

10 best Holiday gifts to support Latina entrepreneurs in 2017

Still looking for the best Holiday gifts? Here are some ideas that not only will be a great gift but also will help a Latina entrepreneur achieve her dreams!

At LatinasinBusiness.us, we are all about promoting Latina entrepreneurs and Latina small businesses. We also support the work of numerous Latina leaders in the country so here is a list of the best Holiday gifts you can choose to make a great impression and yet support a Latina working woman.

  1. Donate $50 to our campaign and receive a beautiful LatinasinBusiness.us Tote Bag

Looking for a gift that will make a difference?

We donated $2000 to Puerto Rico and Mexico Disaster Relief funds through the Hispanic Federation. Now we need YOUR help to continue supporting our labor of love.

For three years now, we have been promoting Latina small businesses with five employees or less COMPLETELY FREE! Only a small $50 donation will help us continue helping Latina entrepreneurs and Latina small businesses achieve their dreams.

Donate $50 and you will receive our thanks with a very practical LatinasinBusiness.us Tote Bag that will proudly announce, “I support a Latina entrepreneur.”

 

  1. Today’s Inspired Latina™
best Holiday gifts

Yai Vargas, Founder Latinistas and Minue Yoshida, business and public speaking coach

 

Today’s Inspired Latina™ is a book series of inspiration and hope, a poignant collection of personal stories that will activate your passion.  These are success stories that need to be told, to motivate our community for generations to come. By overcoming language barriers, self-doubts and other obstacles in their way, these strong Latinas are a great example of how inspiration and perseverance can lead you to happiness and success in business and life. It’s a positive, empowering read for anyone sitting on a dream and thinking it can’t come true. Today’s Inspired Latina™ shows that it can!

 

 

 

 

Hanging Secrets intimate apparel organizer closet

Hanging Secrets intimate apparel organizer

3. Hanging Secrets

Frances Prado is the winner of several national contests and a Home Shopping Network regular with her extraordinary bras and underwear organizer “Hanging Secrets.”

Frances is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants who found her passion of being a Latina entrepreneur later in life and is devoting part of her profits to cancer research. ‘

This practical and useful product comes in two versions so you have choices, the regular size that fits perfectly in your closet, and the traveler size to take all your intimates in a perfect condition no matter where or how long you are traveling. Get them both!

 

 

  1. Tu Mejor Edad – Para tener una vida extraordinaria

The inspiring story of the founder and editor-in-chief of Vivafifty.com, a community of women in their thirties, forties, fifties and beyond who want to live their lives without barriers and enjoy every minute of it. Lorraine C Ladish is a prolific author, blogger, writer and social media maven that has created a dynamic community of women around the world.

your best age lorraine ladish

 

  1. Lux Beauty Club Hair Extensions

From Human Wavy Tape-In Hair Extensions to Clip-Ins, and from Synthetic Clip-In Hair Extensions to Synthetic Straight Flip-In Hair Extensions, there is something for everyone who would like to have astonishing hair. Lux Beaty Club is now offering 10% discount if you get in before the end of year!

hair extensions Lux Beauty Club

 

  1. Red Shoe Movement

Buy any of the products featured on the Red Show Movement site and you will be on your way to a fantastic journey of empowerment and networking. From books to webinars to charms and more, the Red Shoe Movement is a powerful opportunity to make your career dreams a reality in corporate and in business.

Red Shoe Movement Signature Event

Showing support for #RedShoeTuesday Red Shoe Movement event

 

gourmet popcorn Carmen Milagros Torres

 

 

 

  1. The Popcornerie

Why do people love popcorn? Carmen Milagros Torres grasped the childhood tastes and smells of our childhood to remind everyone that popcorn is a commodity no matter our age. Tampa Bay’s The Porcornerie takes your order by phone or online so don’t wait to visit their site!

 

 

  1. LuMesh Lip Gloss

The only lip gloss you will ever need! It takes care of your winter lips and hydrate the thirsty summer kisses! LuMesh lip gloss is a permanent solution to regular and bothersome touchups and in a great variety of shades that interact with every skin tone. Buy it as a gift or for yourself!

LuMesh lip gloss

 

Chef Amalia's first book received nine national and regional awards.

Chef Amalia’s first book received nine national and regional awards.

 

 

  1. Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen – Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair

Internationally known as a socially responsible innovative entrepreneur, chef and philanthropist, Amalia Moreno-Damgaard has dedicated a great part of her life to becoming a healthy gourmet chef, author and speaker and has received numerous awards and international recognitions. A great gift for those with Guatemalan cuisine nostalgia or just those who love to try new recipes!

 

 

  1. Empanada Fork
Hipatia Lopez with Empanada Fork, best Holiday gifts

Hipatia Lopez with her invention Empanada Fork

 

 

We could not end our 2017 Holiday Gifts list without our Empanada Fork, the creation of inventor Hipatia Lopez who was last year winner of Project American Dreams at the Home Shopping Network. Hipatia is one of very few Latina entrepreneurs in the USA with a patented invention. She has dedicated her life to promote Latino culture and encourage other Latinas to create and innovate.

 

So make your selections and support our work of love by helping any of these Latina entrepreneurs by finding your best Holiday gift!

Lux Beauty Club

Lux Beauty Club wins Project American Dreams and lets its hair down on TV

Victoria Flores (NY), co-founder at Lux Beauty Club shares her experience about her participation at the national competition “Project American Dreams.” She became one of five finalists winners of the business competition that aims at discovering, mentoring and fast-tracking product innovations created by Latino entrepreneurs on the shopping network HSN.

 

 

Several months ago, we proudly announced that four of our LIBizus –Latina business owners we had promoted on our pages- had entered and moved to semi-finalists at the national competition “Project American Dreams,” the genius creation of Lili Gil Valetta in partnership with Bob Circosta -the Billion Dollar Man-, HSN and USBank.

Now after the competition’s adrenaline is over and the finalists are working into their Stanford University 4-week Program, Victoria Flores shares her experience during the whole process.

“I cannot be more grateful to Lili Gil and Bob Circosta, founders of Dreamers Ventures, to USBank and HSN experts, coaches and jurors who were so helpful in guiding us through the process,” Victoria told LatinasinBusiness.us. “It was one in a lifetime experience and it gave us an opportunity to branch out our business in unforeseen ways,” she said.

How all started for Victoria Flores and the Lux Beauty Club

After many years holding positions in the financial industry, Victoria found her “Aha!” moment in 2012, when she became a partner with Leslie Wilson and launched Lux Beauty Club to create a one-stop shopping community where customers could buy hair and beauty products on a regular basis.

Today, Lux Beauty Club offers individual hair extensions to people with all type of budgets. This business caters to luxury hair extensions, which are delivered door-to-door.

“What is different about our business is that it offers a range of hair extensions that are affordable and personalized. There are no exorbitant fees or deposits,” Victoria said to LIBizus. Within a few months, her business skyrocketed. Today Victoria Flores is a widely sought spokesperson for many national hair and salon chains.

How Project American Dreams worked for Lux Beauty Club

“The whole process was stressful, even when I had previous experience at TV appearances,” Victoria said. “During our presentation, we needed to hit between $1 and $3000 per minute in our sales, and we did it! We were at a $2000 mark per minute and that is a lot of customers!” she said.

Lux Beauty Club

Now Victoria and her partner Leslie are involved in the 4-week online Stanford University program. “The cohort met during a weekend at Stamford and now we need to work online through the program to finally graduate on the weekend of June 24,” she shared with LatinasinBusiness.us.

The program includes knowledge on how to build your company, case studies that candidates can apply to their own businesses, how to build your dream team and, most importantly, how to access capital for their business, Victoria explained.

“We must submit a one-page descriptor of our business plan to meet with potential investors one-on-one on a 10-minute pitch opportunity and hopefully match the right investor for our business,” she said.

What’s in the stars for Lux Beauty Club

This unique opportunity to find potential investors for their business fits perfectly in the partners’ plans for the future. “We have a 5-year plan to grow our business and raise a few rounds of private equity,” Victoria explained.

As Victoria sees it, the beauty industry is lacking a big deal of innovative ideas. “The hair extension business in this country is chaotic, prohibitively expensive and with a growth potential of almost $500 billion. About 70 percent of the hair industry customers are African-American women but less than one percent of them own a hair extension shop. Worse, Latino females are out both as customers and owners,” Victoria explains.

The Lux Beauty Club’s goal is to generate the interest of a bigger company –such as Unilever did with the Dollar Shaver Club for a whooping $1 Billion deal – that can implement the service nationally and globally.

“Project American Dream has energized our customer-base and we constantly receive emails from our grateful customers,” Victoria said. “We are still wearing many hats, from CEO to customer service but we are very focused on building an excellent customer experience so we put our best foot forward,” Victoria said. “The testimonial emails are amazing!”

Project American Dreams has announced it second year continuation with HSN Shopping Network. Stay tuned for more information about this one in a lifetime opportunity to go from startup to stardom!

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSbJR36GUH4

 

hair extensions 5

Latina entrepreneur makes hair extensions’ glamour accessible to all

Slowly and surely a new class of diverse and eclectic Latina-owned businesses is cropping up, each with varied stories of success. Today Latina entrepreneurs’ ventures can be found in an array of markets ranging from beauty products, clothing, health, and even locally grown food.

hair extensions Lux Beauty Club

Lux Beauty Club hair extensions

In the past decade, several Latina business women have inspired others to follow their path- and one of them is powerhouse, Victoria Flores. Born and raised in Mexico, Victoria spent a good deal of her youth in Texas, where she went to college and earned her degrees in political science and masters of business administration. Being used to hard work, she set out to achieve her American dream.

From making money for others to making dreams come true

Victoria Flores, co-founder Lux Beauty Club hair extensions

Victoria Flores, co-founder Lux Beauty Club

Because of her education in finance, Victoria’s first job was as a regional manager with Themis Capital; she was then recruited as an associate by Morgan Stanley and then became President at Adriana Carador Designs. After a 5 year stint, she became a manager at Katz Capital.

Despite all the financial success working for others, Victoria somehow had bigger aspirations; she wanted to do more in life than just being an executive finance officer. Her eureka moment came when watching TV- she realized she would venture into the hair extension business.

The hair extension business a hard industry to tackle

The hair extension business in this country is chaotic, prohibitively expensive and with a growth potential of almost $500 billion. Almost 70 percent of the customers are African-American women but less than one percent of them own a hair extension shop. Worse, Latino females were seemingly shut out both as customers and owners.

There are hundreds of beauty shops all over the country that target African-American women. Getting a hair extension is difficult because most of these beauty shops offer no guarantee and the extensions often vary in quality. Even a mere try out costs money and the client has to pay a deposit which is often never refunded if there is an issue with the extension.

Because of her own prior experience with hair extensions, Victoria now saw a niche for women of all colors.

What if we start a hair extensions business?

Color pop hair extensions

Color pop hair extensions

Wanting her own business, in 2012 Victoria became a partner with Leslie Wilson and launched Lux Beauty Club to create a one-stop shopping community where customers could buy hair and beauty products on a regular basis.

Wilson and Flores hit on the subscription box idea, and Lux Beauty Club was born.

Today, Victoria Flores offers individual hair extensions to people with all type of budgets. This business caters to luxury hair extensions which are delivered to the door. Ramona Singer has partnered with Lux Beauty Club as their lead Brand Ambassador.

“What is different about our hair extension business is that it offers a range of hair extensions that are affordable and personalized. There are no exorbitant fees or deposits,” Victoria said to LIBizus.

Within a few months, her business skyrocketed. Today Victoria Flores is a widely sought spokesperson for many national hair and salon chains. Now she is living her American dream.

Lux Beauty Club, the booming hair extensions business

Over the past 5 years, the Lux Beauty Club has been booming. Victoria has created a small network of customers and followers and her clients range from housewives to celebs and corporate women who simply want to look gorgeous with their hair. But most importantly, she bypassed many of the pitfalls that happen to new start ups by building a successful business. She was recently selected as one of 8 finalists at the AccessLatina accelerator program.

A complete line of products include all textures and colors hair extensions

A complete line of products include all textures and colors hair extensions

Paying forward a Latina legacy

Victoria Flores has never forgotten her roots and she frequently gives advice to the newer generation of Latino females who want to venture into business. As a thought leader, Victoria has also authored a book, “The Menhatten Project,” a “a fun, extremely sexy and laugh-out-loud funny page-turner, featuring whip-smart women and to-die-for men,” according to Alisa Valdez own review. The book reveals a Sex in the City Bridget Jones meeting Ugly Betty, piece based on experience while working as a single female in New York.

Beyond commercial businesses such as the Lux Beauty Club, most Latina entrepreneurs also have a very strong emphasis on positively uplifting local communities and inspiring others to make their dreams come true.

When not working at the business, Flores loves to support other non-charity non-profits, explore the many new culinary spots in Miami, learning about the latest in digital devices and spending time with her family. If you are lucky you may catch her at the beach in Miami or at her favorite restaurant in Chelsea.