By Michelle Vasquez
Photography by Lucero Salinas Photography
Role models come in many forms, but if you are looking for one with zest and verve, look no further.
The Social Butterfly is a nickname that has followed Christina Jovana Olivarez around her entire life since childhood. Today, she is known as the Social Butterfly Gal, which plays off her personality with a Texas flair. And make no mistake, her name is one to remember. She is an award-winning social media maven, business coach, speaker, role model, and Founder and CEO of the Social Butterfly Gal and the Hustle and Socialize Conference. She is full of palpable energy and positivity. “My energy is something people have often complimented me on, and I’m just naturally like this, and then you add coffee into the mix, and it just gets better,” she says confidently.
“I became an entrepreneur by accident. All my life, I had wanted to be a television broadcaster.” Though she checked all the must-dos off her list, people told her she didn’t look the part and would have to change a bit. Her youth and energy were not taken seriously. But that didn’t stop her. Christina recognized from a young age that being herself and holding to her values was an essential and inherent part of her brand. Staying true to her brand would differentiate her from other businesses.
“I’m doing what I want to be doing. I was meant for this. These accidental roadblocks have been some of the biggest blessings of my life.” She credits rejection as a critical component to her success and being able to pivot her trajectory by shifting into Public Relations (PR) and starting her own business.” If the door is not opening, look for a window. “I’ve been ruffling feathers from a young age, and that’s something I don’t want to stop. My brand is who I am, and even my logo reflects that – it’s a butterfly that represents change and transformation, and it’s pink, which is vibrant and fun.
As Christina shifted into PR, she managed client social media accounts and started a blog called The Social Butterfly Gal, content documenting her PR and experience in the fashion industry. Over time, her brand evolved from a blog into an entrepreneurial venture. She saw a market gap between business education and resources explicitly targeted to women of color and pounced on the opportunity. Her strategy has been on point.
When asked about the success of her sold-out Hustle and Socialize conferences from California to Arizona, Oklahoma to Texas, her TEDx presentation “Reimagining ways to use social media,” and her recent mention in USA Today as an expert on why TikTok and Instagram are not dead, she is modest. I’m from South Texas and rarely saw a lot of CEOs that looked like me. I certainly never thought I would be one of them.” In terms of her vision, Olivarez’s goal is to help Latina entrepreneurs be more unapologetically visible online and offline through coaching, the Hustle and Socialize conference, and confidence building through public speaking.
The conference, Hustle and Socialize, helps minority-owned women’s businesses grow their visibility, expand their profit, and connect to like-minded women within and around Texas.” Content for the event focuses on three tracks essential to a business. These tracks include mindset – working with bankers, applying for grants, being aware of financial resources, and marketing – with an emphasis on understanding how to build a personal brand and business.
Christina advises those looking to be a business owner to start by acting. “Secondly, surround yourself with like-minded individuals. And third, invest in yourself. I can’t emphasize enough that you need to understand that your “sazon” or spice is critical to the success of marketing yourself online because no one has your personality. You are your unique brand.”‘