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Meet Rosalinda Montalvo and Christina Garcia of Loteria Nights in Whittier and Huntington Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rosalinda Montalvo and Christina Garcia.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
We started this event to support women in business. Being that we are both women in business, we felt we needed an event where we can support each other and be able to network with other women in business. We started to build a community where women just starting their business can be given a chance to showcase their products and also support women who have found success with their businesses. When creating this event, Rosalinda did not want a regular shopping experience for those coming to the event and vending.

So Loteria was incorporated into the shopping experience and it was something we felt we can all connect with since it is something many of us grew up playing. In incorporating Loteria, Rosalinda added raffles with items that are donated by the vendors at the event. This would also give a chance, for those attending the event, to hear a little something about each business as we raffle their item. This initiative is what we feel makes the event more personal and helps us all connect with the women behind the business.

Through our event, we have been able to create an environment for women and men to come unwind and bond with other men and women outside of their work and home life. Our Loteria players, keep coming back month after month because of the fun and upbeat environment we have created along with our amazing vendors. We have turned to social media to help expand our audience. We first started on Facebook and we started with one location in Whittier at Sage Lounge. Now we have expanded to two constant locations, including Novacane Bar in Huntington Park and a growing audience on Instagram.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road for us. When we started two years ago, our first Loteria Night was about 5-8 vendors and we were the ones playing. No one showed up but we continued to support one another and network. This is what it’s all about, being able to network with one another and grow the community needed when we feel most vulnerable as business women and find strength in each other to continue to make our businesses grow. Another struggle that we both have had is to find venues that were inexpensive promised foot traffic and would actually take a chance on hosting our event. I think our persistence in wanting to help other women has made that rough beginning easier for us to keep going and seeing the connections that were made between vendors.

Please tell us about Loteria Nights.
Loteria Nights is mujeres apoyando mujeres, women supporting women. We like to see ourselves as a women empowerment event. We are beyond proud of the connections that we have made with women in business and what we have been able to turn our event in to. We have been able to set ourselves apart by making it known that we support women in business so our vendors are only women-owned business.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We do have future plans for our event. We hope to be able to keep expanding our audience and hopefully keep creating spaces for women to find support in one another to help their businesses grow. We hope to find larger venues to include more women in business and bring in bigger crowds to support our event. We also hope to incorporate fundraising to our Loteria Nights to be able to give back to the communities that have supported our events.

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