Being a Latina, nothing makes me more excited than seeing fellow Latinas breaking barriers in their industries. In fact, whenever I think of a badass girl boss who’s shaking things up between general and multicultural markets—Danielle Alvarez immediately comes to mind. The founder of The Bonita Project, a public relations agency in New York City, is letting the world know how important women of color’s buying power really is. She’s also teamed up with another Latina girl boss, Janet Jones, founder of the Vixen workout, for a dope dance challenge that proves that when Latinas unite—magic happens.
Alvarez grew up being the token Latina most of her life. The 29-year-old Peruvian American grew up in Paterson, New Jersey but went to a school with predominately white students. Her mother and her later moved to Coral Springs, Florida, where once again, Alvarez found herself being the only Latina in a majority of her classes. This continued in college and even when she started working at a reputable PR company in NYC, heading their multicultural division.
“Being the only Latina in so many different settings has taught me to face all different types of situations and challenges. I learned to adapt in settings that were uncomfortable at times,” she tells HipLatina. “With each move I did, I made new friends and I learned about new cultures. I don’t think I would have been the same girl if I would’ve stayed in one city my entire life.”
It was Alvarez’s varied experiences and pride in being Latina that inspired her to get into public relations and eventually lead her to recognize the importance of serving the multicultural market. After 7 years working in PR and building enough connections in the beauty industry, Alvarez felt inspired to launch her own agency earlier this year.
“I always knew I wanted to start my own agency at some point. I actually used to have a Tumblr blog where I shared my passion about moving to NY and working in PR,” she says. “Another big reason that inspired me to go solo was my very own network. My Latina network. A lot of women encouraged me that I can do it—influencers, fellow publicists, editors and that meant the world to me. I also felt like there wasn’t enough Latina publicists in the industry. The typical PR girl carries a certain image and I want to contribute to change that.”
Even the agent’s name has it’s own story.
“The inspiration behind the agency is women. Simply women who have inspired me. Bonitas from all over. It was women who encouraged me to quit my day job and start my brand so why not name an agency after them and use a term that those who don’t speak Spanish understand because Bonita is universal,” she says. “Another inspiration behind the name was the song “Bonita” by J. Balvin. The song came out last summer and I was in Colombia when I first heard it and I absolutely loved the beat.”
In fact, it’s because of the inspiration behind that name that Alvarez decided to team up with Janet Jones to create a fun dance challenge to help bring The Bonita Project to life.
“I haven’t seen a Latinx dance challenge, let alone a song from J. Balvin, so I thought—why not? I am not Ciara and I sure enough don’t have her followers but hey, it’s all about promoting the business and sharing our story—what we stand for and who we stand for,” she says. “I want the young girls to learn about me too. Because I love mentoring and I want to make sure I attract the younger crowd. The next generation.”
The challenge went live today on Instagram not only displays the importance of sisterhood and women empowerment with two Latina bosses partnering together but it also encompasses Latinx culture and our love of music and dance.
“The mission was to communicate Danielle’s mission of making sure Latina’s have a place in the beauty, showcasing the fire of our culture and how alive dance makes everyone feel. We want to get everyone dancing—with their favorite lipstick on of course,” Jones tells HipLatina. “If you are Latinx, music was EVERYWHERE growing up. For me, Juan Luis Guerra and 440 filled my home when mom cooked or cleaned. Family parties weren’t only about eating. It was dinner then dancing for hours with your primos. Being Dominican, it was walking to the to the colmado and seeing people dancing in the corner for no reason at all. Music and dance runs through our veins.”
Check out the challenge below!