Marcela Capetillo emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico City just two years ago and has already made a name for herself as an entrepreneur in Texas. The former lawyer is dedicated to her new Tasti D-Lite business as much as her family. Capetillo also gives back to her community and advocates for children with special needs. Her hope is that her daughter who has Down's syndrome can grow up in a world that's kinder to people with disabilities. Read more about her story below and get inspired:
What inspired your career change from lawyer to businesswoman?
"I love being a lawyer and I will always think like a lawyer in some ways. However, I needed a change. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do other things and that I would be as dedicated and hardworking in my new career as I once was to my former profession. I wanted to do something that involved human relations, rather than sitting behind a desk all day long reviewing paperwork. It has been very rewarding for me to realize that I've been giving my best each and every day since I decided to change lanes."
What kinds of challenges have you faced in your career move?
"I think the most important challenge for us has been to open a new market here in North Texas. The Tasti D-Lite brand is very well known and very successful in New York, and little by little it has been gaining popularity in some other states and even abroad, but here no one really knew what our product was or why we are different from our competitors. It's been hard work to get the word out that we're here, we're different and we have a great product."
What's the most satisfying part of your career now?
"I love working at the store and interacting with the customers. I love talking to them, explaining to them what our product is all about and at some point getting to know some of them and their families by name. It's a great reward for me when a first time customer becomes a regular and every time I see them at the store it makes me very happy. It makes us feel like we belong here."
You have a daughter with Down's Syndrome. How has she made you a better mother?
"Having a kid with special needs makes you not just a better parent but a better person, with all that it involves. It makes you less selfish and more giving, more patient, loving and caring. Having our daughter has been one of the most challenging experiences but also one of the best things we could get from life. She is the sweetest girl and she puts a smile on my face every day, she has this talent to make everyone else around her feel loved."
What are some misconceptions of people with Down's?
"People with Down's syndrome are much smarter than people think. They sometimes have difficulty expressing what they want or what they need but they know it very well! They understand much more than they can express. They are hardworking and they can achieve a lot of things when they're in an adequate environment. Of course it takes them longer to achieve those goals. In our daughter's case I have witnessed how much she has learned and how she has grown in these past years. I am convinced she will be able to do a lot of things when she gets older. She just needs to be lead in the right direction and with the right learning tools."
How do you give back to you community?
"We try to get involved as much as we can with our daughters' schools and with community events. We are involved with the special PTO for Special Education and have been partnered with some institutions like the Arc of North Tarrant County. We would love to be able to get more involved with this causes, we have hosted a couple of fundraisers at the store and the idea is to continue to do so consistently in the future."
Do you know an inspiring young Latina? If so, email us at InspiringLatinas@Latina.com!