Women In Business: Adriana Chavela of Hola Carolina

November 25, 2020

Last month, the Asheville Chamber celebrated National Women In Small Business Month by highlighting the female leaders who are shaping our community through their leadership. Adriana Chavela, founder and Executive Director of Hola Carolina, is one of those women. For more than a decade, Adriana Chavela has served as diversity consultant to business leaders.  Her consulting assignments focus on entrepreneurship, Latinos in America, career advancement, and marketing diversity management; today, she is at the helm of Hola Carolina, which plays a key role in bringing local journalism in Spanish to Asheville. 

What advice and words of wisdom would you give to the next generation of women in business who are just beginning their careers?

My advice for women would be to not be afraid to get uncomfortable. It’s when you feel comfortable that you should be fearful, because it’s a sign that you’re not stepping far enough out of your comfort zone to take steps that will help you rise and thrive. Learn to focus more on the outcome and less on the risk.

What is the most important business or other discovery you have made in the past year?

The great thing about passion is that it’s infectious. And a great story doesn’t have to be dramatic, just genuine. When your enthusiasm is real, people want a ticket on your happy train. That’s your “why,” and that’s the story you need to share with your customers.

What do you think is the most significant barrier for women in business today?

This fear of failure is actively holding back women from creating start-ups. I was definitely apprehensive about starting up my own business. I knew that if I made a mistake on my small business I would be completely accountable and it could wipe out my entire business. You’ll never move forward if you’re not prepared to take a calculated risk on occasion. Remember, you’re taking it for a reason – to achieve an outcome.

What woman inspires you, and why?

It goes without saying that our mothers and grandmothers are, and will always be, our female figures of inspiration.  My abuela and my mama, who I call Abue and Ma, taught me the importance and value of family, resilience, and to stand up for what you believe in. They were patient and encouraging and always made me feel that whatever we are up to it was important and awesome. My abuela and my mom makes me feel fearless.

Learn more about Hola Carolina on their website.