This Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked local entrepreneurs to share their journeys with us as Hispanic entrepreneurs. The following story comes from Valerie Lopez, Co-Founder and CEO of Angle.
Tell us about your background and what drove you to become an entrepreneur.
I was raised in Cali, Colombia, and later moved to the US to do my bachelor’s in UM. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit; I used to sell chocolates to buy photography gear in high school and paved my way through college doing photoshoots.
Becoming an entrepreneur was always part of my path. My passion and experience in this industry made me learn the ins and outs, and I saw a great need for photographers to have a platform to get hired and a place for customers to book the best professional photographers around the world.
What was the inspiration behind starting Angle?
Traveling through were vacationing abroad in Europe, Our co-founder Camilo Rojas and I came across a dilemma: being behind the lens but also being in front of it.
After thinking how nice it would be to have high-quality pictures of themselves on vacation, we imagined it would be the perfect opportunity to work with a photographer – but had no idea how to find one in a foreign city.
Once back home in Miami, I shared the idea with my mom, who quickly walked away and returned with a pile of old photographs and beaming eyes. The photos were of my parents vacationing in Rome circa 1986: My mom shared that “Your dad always used to book a photographer for us when we were on vacation.”
I never met my father, he had passed away before I was born. But, through the photos, I felt his presence more than ever and took it as a sign to launch Angle.
What does being a Hispanic entrepreneur in the United States mean to you?
It’s a privilege not many back home have and that comes with a great commitment and responsibility because I feel I need to succeed and pave the way for fellow women and Hispanic entrepreneurs. Everything we do is to keep opening that path for more happy success stories.
Do you have any advice you would like to share with fellow Hispanic entrepreneurs?
Many people will doubt you, especially those closest to you, but the only thing that matters is that you trust and believe in yourself and your vision. Trust your intuition as a leader.
These responses have only been edited for grammar.