Showing Iowa Some Love

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Photo by Jennifer Marquez/Hola Iowa
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By Christina Fernández-Morrow, Hola Iowa

Tatiana Peña, the founder of Iowa Lovers, is on a mission to showcase all the amazing places and spaces in Iowa. Originally from Colombia, her journey to founding Iowa Lovers began in 2022, fueled by a desire to change the narrative surrounding Iowa. Some of her friends and family would try to convince her to move back to Colombia by repeatedly asking, “What is there to do in Iowa anyways?” with the sentiment that there simply couldn’t be anything of interest to do in Iowa. She even witnessed this sentiment among locals leaving the state. 

Peña started Iowa Lovers to prove people wrong; to prove that Iowa has a wealth of incredible things to do, places to visit, and culinary delights to enjoy. She was determined to make a difference. She founded Iowa Lovers to provide a platform, “to highlight its hidden gems and support local businesses [and to] build a community that loves and appreciates all that Iowa has to offer.” Iowa Lovers is a social media account, on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, with over 135,000 followers combined. Iowa Lovers also provides marketing and consulting services to help Iowa businesses promote and enhance their digital presence. Peña also offers professional/commercial photography and videography services.

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Anything exceptional takes hard work, and Iowa Lovers is no exception. Starting Iowa Lovers wasn’t without hurdles. Initially, financial constraints made traveling across Iowa for content creation a challenge. However, Peña’s perseverance paid off, as she now collaborates with companies that cover travel expenses.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a business owner has been the opportunity to connect with her community and support local businesses and entrepreneurs. “Being a business owner allows me to constantly learn and grow, which is incredibly fulfilling,” she emphasizes.

Photo by Jennifer Marquez/Hola Iowa

Moreover, Peña acknowledges the impact of her Latina heritage on her entrepreneurial journey. “My Latina culture has taught me the value of community, hard work, and resilience,” she reflects. This cultural foundation has not only shaped her approach to business but also provided a unique perspective that touches diverse audiences.

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To aspiring Latina entrepreneurs, Peña ‘s advice is to “seek out mentors and resources within the Latina community and beyond. Building a strong network and can provide valuable support and guidance.” The entrepreneurial journey is not easy, and Latina entrepreneurs in Iowa don’t have to feel alone. There is a strong community here that is ready to support you.

With a thriving presence on social media platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook, Iowa Lovers continues to inspire a growing community of Iowa enthusiasts and those who are curious about what this Midwestern state has to offer. It’s a celebration of local businesses, scenic spots, and Iowa’s culture. 

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You can follow Iowa Lovers on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook at @iowalovers. 

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. 

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

You can find the digital magazine here:

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

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