I met Audrey a few years ago when we were both leading workshops for entrepreneurs. I was just starting out then and through the years I’ve seen her do amazing things! She founded StartUp DTLA to help bring tech & creative companies into Downtown LA to connect them with office space, resources, and funding. And now, through Worthy Women, Audrey’s aim is to remove barriers to belonging by creating communities where people thrive.
She believes that women face enough barriers to success, access to peer mentorship and community should not be things that are hidden behind a paywall. She’s committed to empowering women, particularly women of color, disadvantaged, and marginalized groups.
Tell us about yourself in a tweet.
I’m a first generation Latina, empowering communities of women—especially WOC—and helping them to find their self-worth.
Where are you from?
Long Beach raised me, but LA made me.
What brought you to LA?
I love the hustle of LA and particularly always had a soft spot for Downtown. I was always attracted to the vibe the city had of people coming here with nothing to make something of themselves. It always felt like I was surrounded by opportunity.
What’s your favorite thing about LA?
The diversity and history (particularly of the neighborhood cultures and in the architecture). I love eclectic neighborhoods like Echo Park and subsets of Downtown and Silver Lake.
What has been your favorite LA experience?
The Hollywood Bowl. I love live music and concerts and the vibe at the Bowl is one of my favorite things about the summer.
How would you describe LA in three words?
Unapologetic. Resilient. Colorful.
What inspired you to start Worthy Women?
A community member who I knew from other events had commented on the lack of female founder event programming for the LA market as well as the lack of women of color at these events. I had also just exited a relationship that had a huge impact on my life.
It was a time where I was truly reflecting on where I was playing small in my life (and why), while coming to realize that everyone feels this way as it relates to money, leadership, career advancement, entrepreneurship, relationships etc.
Our experience in the world is a direct reflection of the relationship we have with ourselves. What is that relationship with yourself? Often, playing small stems from a place of feeling unworthy or not enough. I wanted to tackle programming that addressed those feelings of unworthiness.
What has been your greatest challenge in business?
Finding balance in my personal life. I’m a bit of a workaholic and when I’m focused on something it becomes the only thing in the world that exists to me. Creating and enforcing boundaries has been something that I’ve had to learn in addition to prioritizing my personal time.
Besides your business, what are some of your other passions?
Music. I’m a classically trained violinist and my love of music, especially live music, runs deep. I’m also a huge 90’s hip hop fan and a great dancer. People often think of me as an extrovert because of how many public facing events/speaking engagements I do but I’m actually very much an introvert. My favorite thing to do when I get home is to curl up with a book.
Do you have a mentor or someone you look up to? How have they played a role in your success?
I have quite a few peer mentors and also personal advisors that I look up to. One in particular always saw more in me than I originally saw in myself. If it wasn’t for his advice or our relationship, I wouldn’t be doing what I do today.
What is your one tip for new entrepreneurs just starting out?
Do what you can, with what you have, where you’re at. The most important thing about getting started is that you actually do it. Everything can be adjusted or scaled later but you won’t have anything to scale if you don’t start.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
I tell people that my business is an extension of my personality. I love that I get paid to be me everyday and truly feel like I make a difference in my community.
What’s next for you?
Worthy Women is currently on a National Tour and I look forward to our remaining cities in 2017 and announcing our anchor cities for 2018.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Marlena Elise Photography