Hey Clever Girls!
You may already know through my posts, products, and give back program that I’m passionate about empowering women to live their best life. In my own journey, I’ve had a tribe of powerful women advocating for me and I continue to meet incredible women every day. I think of the Clever Girl Squad as a community focused on encouraging, mentoring, and advocating for others doing good. I wanted to do more to bring you the stories and wisdom of other women so we can learn from and help each other rise to equality and fully reach our potential. SO. I introduce to you a new blog series, What A Clever Girl!, which will spotlight inspiring women living their best life.
Today, we're featuring Eliana from Hippies and Granola. This fierce warrior for women of color is taking huge steps to make our world better from her diversity and inclusion courses to her ethically made clothing line. Eliana practices what she preaches and isn't afraid of a challenge. Keep reading to learn more about how she's changing the world...
Tell us a little bit about you + your biz.
Constanza Eliana Chinea
Yoga Teacher, Activist, Writer, Designer, Producer
Constanza Eliana is a Yoga teacher of color focusing on diversity and inclusion, tackling race and bias through powerful yoga sequences and meditations both in person and online. She has been teaching for over 6 years and devoted her work on centering Women of Color in Yoga.
She created the Embody Inclusivity program teaching diversity and inclusion using Yoga and Meditation as a medium to deal with discomfort that arises when discussing race and bias. She teaches the online course Unpacking Spiritual Bypass, and offers resources to teachers and students all around the world.
She is currently creating a virtual yoga studio for women of color. Stay tuned for more details.
She lives in Los Angeles, CA with her 3 dogs and partner by the beach. She is the founder of hippiesandgranola.com and https://www.patreon.com/hippiesandgranola
What inspired you to start?
As a woman of color I experienced bias within the yoga community and I wanted to do something about it. I couldn't land a teaching gig at a good studio so I decided to create my own online yoga courses. Then when I decided to open a shop on my site I knew I wanted all the marketing to showcase women of color like myself and represent my community. And when I decided to build a diversity and inclusion yoga training, I made sure that my guest teachers were all women of color. Every time I had a business idea my first thought would be "this has to be diverse and inclusive" and I'd come up with a plan to make that happen first and foremost. I've always been guided by my passions and my activism doesn't stop at protesting on the streets. My activism is highly intertwined in everything I do and create. I don't believe that the goal of business is just to make money, the goal is create positive change and make an impact.
How has mentorship played a role in your success?
I've never had a mentor that helped me in my business until very recently, but I have had friends as mentors. I find they are the best mentors to have even if they don't know it. The connection you have with a friend is much deeper than a mentor that isn't emotionally invested in your success. I've tried to have mentors in other areas of my life and was always disappointed by them. But friends have a different energy, they have a deeper investment in you. That said, my current mentor is fantastic and we are becoming closer every day. Her name is Sonali Fiske and she is the sweetest mentor I've ever had! Her entire purpose is to lift up the voices of BIWOC (Black, Indigenous, Women of Color) and her style is both nurturing and energizing. She helps me get clarity around my message, she is there for me when I need to cry, and she celebrates my accomplishments. I've never had a mentor like her before and I am grateful on a daily basis. Mentors shouldn't just focus on giving tactical advice, they should be there as emotional support and to lend a shoulder when all you want to do is cry.
What would you say is most important for other clever girls just starting a biz or wanting to take the leap?
Have a spiritual practice you can lean on when times get tough, frustrating, or overwhelming. Being an entrepreneur is a beautiful thing and it is also incredibly challenging at times. You'll trust the process more if you can remain grounded and committed to your mission. I personally have a yoga practice and recently took up tarot. I practice some form of meditation or ritual daily to keep me stable and connected to my work. I don't have an assistant at the moment so it has become super important that when I get overwhelmed with the workload that I lean on my practice and take deep breaths. You have no idea how many times this has saved me!
If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow for free, where would you go and why?
I've been wanting to travel for a while and honestly I'd love to go to Costa Rica. Something about it draws me in! I'm Puerto Rican so I already love tropical countries and I feel Costa Rica would feel like home! I'm drawn to its jungle and beaches.
What kind of jewelry trends are you into right now?
Bohemian style silver rings are my favorite at the moment. Really culturally eclectic and unique. I wear so many rings on my fingers lately that people always compliment them! It's a great conversation starter!
Where can we go to buy your goodies?
You can buy my shirt designs and online courses at HippiesAndGranola.com