From Tread to Triumph

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Photo by Wezz De La Rosa/Hola Iowa
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By Maya Chavez, Hola Iowa

In recent years, the landscape of entrepreneurship has been undergoing a remarkable transformation with a surge of dynamic and influential Latina business owners making their mark across various industries. Their stories are not just inspiring; they represent a powerful testament to the invaluable contributions of women. Historically, they have faced unique challenges in the business world yet forge ahead with ambition, determination, and cultural heritage. This businesswoman not only displays this drive and perseverance but is dedicated to educating and encouraging other women to push for their dreams. 

Adriana Rodriguez-Almanza, originally from Chicago, is the daughter of the beloved founder of Jose’s Tires. Her father – Jose Rodriguez owned and operated the business before selling it to his daughter. Before acquiring the business, Rodriguez-Almanza was pursuing her master’s degree in Rehab Counseling. When her father offered her the business, she was still in school and lived in Chicago. However, she chose to continue his legacy and continue the business alongside her husband, Hector Almanza, who knew about cars and construction. “Sometimes, we don’t even know where life opportunities can take us,” Rodriguez-Almanza states. She and her husband owned properties in Chicago and had decent jobs, sometimes covering for her father’s business throughout the years. “But we knew nothing about tires. Life opens opportunities and it’s up to you to say ‘Okay, I’m gonna do it.’” Rodriguez-Almanza and her husband sold their properties and moved to the Quad Cities. Almanza moved first in 2012 and Rodriguez-Almanza followed in 2014 after completing her graduate degree. With their expansion in 2016, they opened Jose’s Tires 2 dividing the responsibility of both shops amongst each other with Rodriguez-Almanza taking the Davenport location.

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Photo by Wezz De La Rosa/Hola Iowa

Rodriguez-Almanza knew the risks, stating that as a business owner it takes a lot of work but also a lot of dedication. When asked what advice she would give to the young Latinas in the community wanting a business, she advises, “To open a business, you have to embrace change. You’re going to play different roles. I’m not just the owner or the manager, I have to do things like cleaning, learn about the inventory and supplies. Things I would never buy in my life. I have to do marketing, learn about customer service,” and she lists numerous other things that go into a tire business. As a Latina in such a male-dominated industry, Rodriguez-Almanza spent hours researching and familiarizing herself with the products and services. “If I didn’t know certain things, I had to Google them for logistical and consistent answers.” Rodriguez-Almanza is glad she has the support of her husband and her family. “To invest in a business is a challenge. It’s a challenge to put a plan together and know how you’re going to run it. But it’s not impossible.” Rodriguez-Almanza went on to say that those who are interested in starting a business should take courses and have a network. “Especially if you are a mom, you’re going to need support from the family. Come up with a plan.”

For Latinas who are passionate about something or even if they are uncertain what they want to do with their careers, Rodriguez-Almanza encourages everyone to start small. Her advice: Get involved and see how a business works first, and always make sure you have support. “Sometimes we don’t even know where opportunities can take us, but if you’re good at hair, nails, etc. and if you have a talent, make a business out of that! Then you’ll see, ‘I can do this’; you’ll be surprised what you’ll make out of yourself.”

Despite the long hours it takes to run her business, she contributes her knowledge and support to the Latina community. “I get a lot of women that come here and don’t know anything about tires, just like I knew nothing. I teach them the basics that I have learned.” With the amount of knowledge she has, Rodriguez-Almanza’s passion is to continue sharing what she’s learned to help educate customers on how to take care of their cars and tires – a contribution that is helpful in any community.

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JEFAS Magazine is a collaboration of writers, photographers, social media managers, editors, translators, and designers from across Illinois, Iowa and the Midwest – all of whom are Latinx. It is the first magazine created by the Latinx community, for the Latinx community that focuses on how they are boosting the economy, giving back, and filling the gap between what is needed and what is available in the state. 

To see the locations where you can find the magazine visit @JEFASMagazine on Instagram and TikTok

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You can find the digital magazine here:

https://holaamericanews.com/jefas-latinas-in-business-magazine-may-2024/

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