Alekza Latte is the human form of every emotion a Lizzo song gives. Her confidence and warm acceptance spills over through all of our interview on self care, the power of self talk, and leading the charge on social media influence strategy. Alekza leads social media and influence strategy for The ACE Agency in New York City.
You built your own brand under Hype Girl. How did that come about?
I had been living in New York City and began to get burnt out. I am originally from Houston and something just called me to go home and get some TLC before I figured out what area I wanted to dive into next. This is where my passion for moving people and transforming how people see marketing really took shape, to help people see it from an emotional place rather than a sales place. I spent 6 months back home in Houston and felt ready to go back to New York. I began freelancing under the name Hype Girl and worked with a lot of women owned business.
How did running Hype Girl build your belief in yourself?
I saw other women succeeding as their own bosses and felt confident that I was capable to do it too. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will. I started being louder in rooms, more confident in social settings. I started asking for more money. A friend of a friend was looking to hire, and they were looking for someone well versed in social media. I blindly said yes because it sounded like a challenge, and I felt energized about being in an office setting and being a social lead. That’s how I ended up working at ACE. Now, everyday I get to work with clients and change the way brands present themselves. I work with Panera, and there are things that they’re doing in the fast casual dining world that’s really moving the needle. However, that’s a heavy topic. My job was to make that shift fun and relatable. I get to come to work transform ideas to make them fun and energetic.
You have made a few jumps without knowing what the future looks like. Where does that power come from?
Honestly, it really does come from the lineage of women that I come from. My mom had me when she was a teenager and, growing up in a household where my mom was basically a sister to me, it literally took a village to raise me and my brother. It was an adventure and it was often times hard, but it was more fun than it was hard. A lot of the things that I have encountered make me this resilient person that I am. Moving back and forth seemed like a no brainer to me, but it stemmed from the people who raised me. Over and over, my mom would remind me not to hold back once I’ve set my mind to something. Home is always there for me if I need to go back. Being okay with being wrong made me feel safe to make these jumps. Leaning into fear and letting adrenaline move me and not paralyze me has always been a propelling factor for me.
How did you recognize you needed some self care, and what does self care look like to you?
For me, self care is telling people no. I am very in tune with what re-energizes me to do a better job the next day or be more present in a meeting. I am very extroverted. I am also incredibly empathetic, so for me this means I need to be very picky with who I spend time with on weekdays. Those are the days that I dedicate to work, so I prioritize making sure that I dedicate my time to people that aren’t emotionally taxing on me so that I am able to focus. Another big thing for me is finding a part of my routine when I am alone to set my intentions for the day and reset. For me, that ends up being when I blowdry my hair. But I think it’s very important to find something that works for you and your schedule. On a larger scale, routinely seeing family, going home to Texas, spending major holidays with family, making time to get grounded with myself helps.
The media has become more vocal about how vital self talk is for people. What is a piece of self talk you would tell to younger girls?
The main thing I want to get across is that what you look like, what you eat, what size you are, none of that matters. It doesn’t matter your shape if you’re not a good person. Specifically with food, when I hear women talk about how bad something is for them, I think it really goes down to a deeper issue of self worth, and it really sticks with you. I think we need to find really constructive ways to change that conversation with ourselves.
What about self talk for yourself?
Oh my gosh, I could write a Ted Talk about this. Number 1, I am my biggest advocate. I am always running around saying, “I’m fabulous” or things that may sound silly, but I genuinely say them out loud because I need myself to say them. No one else is going to do it for you. If my thoughts at the end of the day aren’t nice to me or pure then the things I omit into this world won’t reflect that. And that boils down to people I surround myself with, music I listen to, etc. I surround myself with positivity.
What makes you feel powerful?
Realizing that I have the power to build my own life and path really made me feel powerful. With making the leap to New York and back home and building Hype Girl really showed me what I am capable and very self confident. I am my biggest cheerleader and my biggest advocate- and there is something really freeing about that.