Miami Vibes has caught up with this dynamic duo on a sunny and sexy morning in the beautiful streets of South Beach. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we thought how could we be different? How can we create a space for our community to be heard, for their voices to be amplified, for the proper outreach to be prioritized, because people like Abelardo and Michelle want to be seen and heard so people who look like them could know it’s possible: they too can have a dream while staying close to their culture.
Ser Latino es tu identidad- Michelle Posada.
Es lo más maravilloso de la vida, creer en ti, seguir tus sueños, y darle esos ejemplos a las generaciones futuras. Your roots are essential to your story. Your individuality is meant to stand out in its own distinct and unique way.
In this edition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Miami Vibes chatted with Venezuelan Abelardo y Michelle about their country, upbringing, culture, influences, journeys and more!
Describe yourself in 3 words? Go!
A: Creativo, Good-Person, Hustler.
M: Fun, Workaholic, Disciplined.
We want to hear more about your story- who and what has inspired you to be where you are today?
A: Mis padres me inculcaron valores, ser disciplinado y trabajar duro por tus sueños. Mis padres son de Syria, tengo sangre Arabe y desde chiquito siempre vi a mis padres trabajar mucho. A lo que me dedico hoy día, yo diría que lo que me ha inspirado es ver gente grande en películas, comediantes, actores y personas creativas. One thing I have learned is to not step over anyone for your success.
M: Much of my inspiration came from my grandmother and mother. My grandfather passed away when she was pregnant with her fifth child. Ella fue toda una guerrera, raised her kids and started her own small business selling sweets. With this business of sweets she was able to send her kids to college, and offer them a future. If my grandmother was able to accomplish so much from a small town in Venezuela, why not me?
Growing up, what were some challenges as a Latino/a you feel you faced?
A: The biggest challenge coming to the United States is the language, to not know English, or at least have it as your first language. I was blessed to arrive in Miami where the fusion of culture is so diverse, definitely made it a bit smoother for me as a Latino to learn, adapt and evolve.
M: I have 8 years in this country, learning the language has been a big challenge for me. I was pushed to my limits when I met my husband, he is American and I needed to communicate with him for it to work. But I feel blessed to be in this country and for all the opportunities I have hustled for. As an actress, one of my challenges was also to adapt in the different roles with scenes, accents, and more. I have learned and evolved while converting any negatives into positives.
What does being a Latino/a mean to you? What does this represent?
A: Me encanta ser Latino porque es el sabor, el sazón y la esencia que tenemos.
M: It’s my identity. I am so proud to be a Latina.
Name one honorable Latino/a role model in your life.
A: Edgar Ramirez, Venezuelan Actor.
M: Luzma from Despierta America.
What is your favorite Latin dish?
One song you love to dance it off too?
A: Any Bad Bunny Song.
M: Any Selena Song.
In homage to Miami Vibes, what do you love most about our sexy city?
A: The Beaches and the multicultural melting pot that exists in this vibrant city.
M: I love the people!
You are such an inspiration for Latina Women, migrating from Venezuela to Miami and starting your own business at 23- Talk to us about your experience when you reached the United States?
I came to work as an actress, I feared this wasn’t the only thing I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t want to depend on casting calls, so I started hustling. I worked on the side in the restaurant business. I fell in love with this industry working as a server, I love the hospitality aspect of it. Being able to give a client an amazing experience and change their mood was so influential to me. I have been blogging since I was 12, I focused on celebrity gossip, fashion and gastronomy. When I came to Miami I admired the immigrants and how dedicated people were to make a better living, to make things happen and live their dreams.
How do you feel you have disrupted cultural traditions, as you decided to launch yourself as an entrepreneur, and not go the safe route with a corporate career?
For me it wasn’t much of a choice, it was not possible for me to get a corporate career. I didn’t finish my studies nor did I know the language. The only way to make it was to build something myself.
Siendo Latina, naturalmente bella, what would you say is your position when it comes to loving yourself just the way you are?
En la vida de una mujer siempre hay inseguridades. Today, I am pregnant, I am learning to love this phase of my life, of my body and to
embrace it with love. Always looking the best version of yourself when it comes to your health. Loving your body but staying conscious of what you consume.
What are some tips you would give to Latina entrepreneurs who are looking for resources, mentorship, guidance and funding to start their own business or brand?
There is so much information online, on YouTube and free resources for you to build a business. I think it’s very important to have a mentor, I actually mentor a few people. It’s a difficult journey but always nice to have someone to speak your ideas and ask for constructive feedback. Not everyone that has a business goes to business school. I believe you must be financially literate, how to raise capital, what kind of savings you should have, and learn to be part of a team before leading one.
Which role is your favorite? Chef-Entrepreneur-Influencer-Actress?
Entrepreneur. I love all of them, but I love how Entrepreneur grabs them all together.
How has your culture and heritage influenced the birth of Michi’s Miami?
Muchísimo! Michi ‘s es la mezcla de todas las culturas en la cual yo crecí. Mi papa es Colombiano y mi madre Venezolana, crecí super full con las tradiciones de las dos culturas. Michi’s es Miami en un plato. It’s truly a fusion between all the cultures. I love Miami so much that some of the dishes are inspired by local teams, communities, and fun personalities. I stay innovative, I educate myself, staying resourceful and always offering exciting menu options for the community of Michi’s.
What do you miss most about Venezuela?
My family, the beautiful city of Caracas and the energy I felt in that moment when I lived there.
Being on the forefront of the digital space, how do you feel you maximized the opportunity of growth and visibility for yourself as a brand?
Nunca lo vi posible, de manera que voy hacer esto para crear mi marca personal. I was authentic from day one, I was myself, I took advantage of the opportunities that came from the social media platforms. Now I look at the avenues and ways to monetize myself as an individual in social media.
Can you drop your favorite line as a comedian?
De donde eres tu?… Dominicana
Dime Algo Dominicano?… Que lo Que
Ayyy que Sabrosura, ME CASO!
How do you feel your culture and upbringing influenced you to be so involved in the community and catering your audience?
Yo creo que la gente me sigue por como soy yo. Everything I have lived up till today has shaped me, molded me into the person I am today. My community and audience has resonated with me because of my authenticity. I have been able to connect in such an impactful way, people feel me and they love it, I love it.
What are some personal attributes that have allowed you to cultivate such a social impact in your journey as a multi-passionate entrepreneur?
My creativity, my persistence, my perseverance and my drive to stay innovative. It’s so important to evolve and find ways to adapt to the changes in the world in the most organic way.
Un hombre que está sumergido en el mundo de las redes sociales, cómo te desconectas para nutrir tu creatividad?
I love to watch movies, read and go out with my friends. Ahí despejo la mente, con mis amigos, pasar un buen tiempo en la naturaleza, los momentos donde nada me ata a mi celular, que realmente me desconecto and I am able to recharge.
¿Cuál es tu plataforma preferida?
Tik Tok. Yo puedo estar molesto y triste y entró a Tik Tok me brinda tanta felicidad.
Que extrañas mas de Venezuela?
I miss my loved ones y los paisajes. Our country is blessed when it comes to nature and the magnificent views.
Ser Latino es parte de nuestra rica esencia- VÍVELA!