Adrienne Houghton made history as the first Latina daytime TV talk show host as part of The Real but as if that wasn’t enough, she’s the jefa behind jewelry line XIXI and loungewear and vegan leather handbag line La Voute. But wait, there’s more! The proud Puerto Rican-Ecuadorian is also the host of All Things Adrienne (ATA) on Youtube so suffice it to say this jefa is busy. Being both the face of the brand and the founder/CEO means she’s attempting to juggle all her responsibilities while also trying to enjoy life with her husband, family, and friends. It’s a struggle that many Latina entrepreneurs can relate to and yet we continue to talk about work/life balance like it’s easily attainable.
“When you’re the jefa everything runs through you so you are ultimately making the decisions,” she tells HipLatina. “No one is ever going to truly have the mindset that you have or just the vision for your company and for your brand. So it is a lot of work and when you say, how do I manage it — every day it’s a new journey. It’s really hard and it takes a lot of hard work but I also think that it’s not impossible and that’s important, it’s important to know that you can get it done.”
A big part of Latinx culture is family and for Houghton that’s also her “why”, it’s what keeps her motivated. Much like many other Latina entrepreneurs, it’s that sense that your success is also their success and a testament to their work ethic that was passed down.
“As Latinas we are passionate. I like to think that a lot of the time the ‘why’ is our familia. Who you’re doing this? or what you’re doing it for? what legacy are you wanting to leave behind? Who are you going to impact and inspire next to do it behind you?”
Much like everyone else, she holed up with her family during the pandemic and also started finding her way back to music with her husband, Christian musician Israel Houghton — including singing in Spanish. She and her husband, along with his band New Breed, have been performing intimate concerts throughout Los Angeles with a live album coming out Oct. 22. The bi-coastal 37-year-old films The Real in LA and recently moved to NYC to be closer to her family. During our chat she shared that she likes to come home and change into her cozy La Voute loungewear and uses Olay’s body lotion with collagen thanks to LA’s notorious sunny weather. “I need moisture, the dry heat in LA, your girl needs moisture, and it has collagen in it. I’m absolutely obsessed. This for me, it’s my me time, when I’m not doing all of my work. The first thing I do when I come home is take a shower, cover myself in this, put on some good fuzzy socks, [and] get in the bed.”
She’s partnered with the brand and is excited about the fact that Olay Body, a P&G brand, is working with LISC NYC to provide direct financial relief to Latina-owned businesses in Upper Manhattan and surrounding areas. “I love what they’re doing to empower and encourage women of color entrepreneurs,” she says, adding that the brand has been a staple in her household growing up. Her own brands also have new additions, with La Voute and XIXI launching new collections, The Knits and 1983 Collection, respectively.
She also shared that for Latinx Heritage Month even though she’s always “orgullosa” she also initially wondered how exactly to celebrate this month and found that education is key. “We should actually be educating ourselves and making ourselves aware of the people who have paved the way. This is a month to honor our culture, to honor our history and that’s really important to me.”
All month long The Real has been sharing the stories of prominent Latinas including women like civil rights activist Dolores Huerta. “I think people take for granted the work of the migrants and what they do for us and our economy and our being able to eat and live off of our land, there’s so much that we take for granted. So Dolores Huerta is definitely somebody I would say [to people], ‘Google, do your research’. She’s bomb.”
She’s also aware that as an award-winning Latina TV host whose made history and has a massive following with a platform it means she has the opportunity to highlight the Latinx community and culture. “While I was honored and excited to be the first. I was wildly disappointed that it was 2013 when there was a first [Latina] in English language, daytime talk show host. There have been several in news, but never on a daytime platform like ours. And it’s crazy,” she says. “I feel a sense of responsibility, but for me, it’s about being authentically who I am. I don’t want to take the responsibility and change. There’s definitely a responsibility to represent and I do and I feel that within my whole heart and I am honored and excited, and I know that it doesn’t end with me.”
Houghton has long been outspoken about her pride for her Latin roots. Her response defending Gina Rodriguez when people questioned if she is truly Latina back in 2015 because she doesn’t speak Spanish has nearly 3 million views on Youtube. She also talked about growing up Latina on ATA and asks that Latinas watching “embrace your culture, learn about it.” No doubt this jefa is celebrating her roots and Latinidad 365 days a year. She’s also forever and always celebrating her professional roots as a Cheetah Girls – the girl group and Disney series where she got her start in 2002.
“I constantly remind myself of my ‘why’, that there is a little girl watching the Cheetah Girls 20 years later and being like ‘oh my gosh, if she can do it I can do it’ so I keep that in my head.”