At BHAV, we believe in empowering women to find unique ways to embrace their cultural heritage. We started 'The Culture Connection' to explore the impact (both good and bad) of heritage on a variety of incredible women, and understand how it continues to play an influential role in their lives. We invite you to join us on this journey, with the hope that you find value in these conversations.
Xochil provides professional pattern making and fashion design services to businesses and individuals. In addition to being a business owner and entrepreneur, Xochil loves reading, doing craft projects with her daughter, and spending quality time with family and friends. Read on to learn about Xochil's Mexican heritage and her personal fashion style (@fashionxochil).
On Her Mexican Heritage:
What's your background?
I am half-Mexican and half-German and French. My name, Xochil, comes from the Aztec word for flower.
How has, or currently does your heritage play a role in your life?
At home, I love to have Mexican dishes and we make something at least once a week. I taught my daughter how to make guacamole with me when she was very young. Since we have always incorporated spices into our cooking, it's something she likes as well, even as a picky preschooler.
Family values and everyone doing their part to share in chores, cleaning and cooking is important, and it's something we focus on doing with my daughter. Although we don't speak Spanish at home (which I didn't grow up with either), I try to incorporate shared learning of the language for both of us. In addition, we appreciate our culture through books, traditional Mexican dolls, art, and pieces in our home from our own travels as well as from family members. I really love having objects and imagery that have a story to them, and I want my daughter to learn to appreciate that as well.
Did you face any obstacles related to your background?
When I first entered the job market out of college, I felt pretty certain that I wasn't getting as many calls as my peers due to my name being strongly ethnic and hard to pronounce (Xochil is pronounced 'Zo-shill'). I found much more success in forging relationships at networking events where people could meet me and I could share my qualifications. After that, having a unique name meant once someone met me, they would remember me and my name.
What do you value most about your Mexican heritage?
Being Latina, there is so much beauty in the culture - from textiles, to music, to art. We work hard, but we also have a special appreciation for life.
Did your family do anything special to incorporate culture into your household? Any particular fond memories growing up?
Food is probably the biggest one. I remember learning (and being fascinated by) how to make Chiles Rellenos and seeing how complex the process was. I'm talking whipping egg whites until they wouldn't fall out of a bowl turned upside down! Spending hours on meal preparation isn't always a practical option in our modern society, but for special occasions, all that time spent is a form of love. I really appreciate having that experience in the kitchen with my dad.
What do you love most about fashion?
Bright colors and traditional embroidery techniques are my favorite thing. They just make me happy!
What's your favorite thing in your closet right now?
I tend to wear monochromatic a lot of the times, but bright colors like red, magenta pink or coral orange make me feel the most confident and are go-to colors. For spring, I love throwing on a floral print kimono over a more basic outfit to brighten things up. I think adding color or pattern can change your own attitude, and when you feel good, you look good too.
What's your go-to cocktail, spirit or drink?
Margaritas - either traditional or with habanero, or something fruity like raspberry or pomegranate! Otherwise, a glass of wine will do.
What are you currently watching?
I just finished Tiger King and Working Moms on Netflix. And I love The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon.
Name of the best book you've read in a while?
'Building a Story Brand' by Donald Miller.
Morning person or night owl?
What's 1 small thing you couldn't give up (daily ritual, accessory/personal item, etc.)?
Definitely my morning coffee - besides the caffeine, it's a good time to get centered before starting the day.