When I think about the Latinx community, family comes to mind. We’re taught early on to look after one another and give back to our communities, supporting mom and pop shops that are run by Latin American immigrants. This thread that ties our vast community together fuels our motivation to create a better life for our families, and in turn, we’re progressing. As of 2020, the Hispanic buying power is at $1.9 trillion, according to the University of Georgia’s Multicultural Economy report. Companies are sitting on a gold mine, scrambling to tap into this nuanced demographic. But very few are approaching it with care and authenticity. Brittany Chavez, founder of e-commerce platform Shop Latinx, is taking the reins and investing into her own community by creating an online marketplace for small Latinx-owned businesses.

“Given that we’re the fastest growing demographic in the US, there are so many different companies that want to talk to this young woman, and are putting millions of dollars into trying to understand her and get her to trust their company,” says Chavez. “Here I am doing this authentically because I am her.” For Hispanic Heritage Month, we spoke with the Central American founder/CEO about launching the first-ever online marketplace for Latinx businesses and how she’s cultivating leadership within her team. Check out the conversation below.