Linda Asaf

Linda Asaf is a Texas designer with a penchant for lace, chiffon and silk dresses.

Asaf, who is of Mexican and Chinese heritage has her own shop in Austin, a new swimsuit line and an online store. She is perhaps best known for her custom-made bridal gowns, which start at around $1,500, depending on the fabric and style.

But Asaf’s career in fashion might not have happened if she hadn’t followed her heart and taken a risk.

Asaf always knew that she wanted to do something concerning creativity and art, but she started on a very different career path. She graduated from Texas A&M with an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering and earned an MBA from Columbia University. After college, she worked for Citibank and other financial institutes. She was successful, but her career in banking didn’t fulfill her creatively.

She began considering fashion as her next route, but had some doubts.

“I was terrified. I didn’t think fashion paid and generally it’s extremely competitive. Very few make it on the level of success like Donna Karen or someone like that,” Asaf said.

Despite her concerns, she decided to partner with her best friend in New York, and together they launched a fashion line. She sold clothes to major department stores, including Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and proved to herself that she could make it in the fashion industry.

But the Texas native didn’t like the frentic pace of New York and missed her family, so she decided to move to Austin. When she arrived in Austin, Asaf began working for a high tech marketing company, but she loved fashion too much to just let it go.

“One of the reasons I love fashion so much is because it’s so superficial. And I love the joy that it brings people,” Asaf said. “If I can create something that brings someone joy or help them feel good about themselves, that’s even more important than me designing something else.”

Asaf strives to make women feel beautiful and special. She donates dresses and raises money for organizations that help those in need.

“I have produced a charity fashion show called Runway to Heaven. We’ve done it twice and we’ve been able to donate $110,000 to local childrens’ charities,” Asaf said.

But this confident and successful designer admits that being a business owner comes with many challenges.

“The pressure and stress of managing the business, which takes up such a huge percentage of my time, [allows] very little time to actually design and create,” Asaf said.

She longs to have the time to sit down and design all day but that’s not realistic. Instead, only 10 percent of her time goes to designing, and the rest goes to managing her business.

In the end, Asaf somehow manages to get everything done by deadline and present her creations in her store and online ( As of right now she is planning on expanding her retail business with a beauty salon.

The radiance in Asaf’s face while speaking about her career shows that she really enjoys being a designer. She says she has no regrets about the time she spent in financing, but she is happier being a part of the fashion industry.

“Take your time in figuring out what you want in your career and what you want to major in,” Asaf said. “When you’re doing something that you really love, there’s a certain amount of inner peace that you have.”

October 2010


Vea este artículo en español aquí

Rhythmic beats, Spanish lyrics, and rock and roll with a Latin touch define the independent music movement in Mexico and Latin America. For decades, bands such as Café Tacuba and Jaguares have been able to crossover in the United States and Europe, bringing attention to Latin America’s indie scene. And now all eyes are on Monterrey — the epicenter of Mexico’s indie music scene.

The music from Monterrey is known as Monterrock, but includes a variety of music styles.

The term Monterrock also stands for the music subculture that developed in the Mexican state of Nuevo Leon’s capital —Monterrey. The movement began in the late nineties and has witnessed the birth of popular bands such as Jumbo, Panda, Volovan, Division Minuscula and Kinky, among many others. Today, the movement is made up of hundreds of bands—many of which make music at small independent recording studios or at their own homes. The movement’s poularity with music fans has made Monterrey the country’s music capital, some say. To understand Monterrock, we asked Beto Pasillas—Lubrick’s charismatic drummer— to tell us about the music and movement.

Beto Pasillas- Baterista de Lubrick

1.How does it feel to be part of the Monterrock Independent movement?

– I feel very fortunate because it is one of the principal musical movements in Mexico that is made up of great bands from Monterrey who support music and who are passionate about it. People from Monterrey like rock music, and are willing to support this music movement by going to small venues and large concerts. Overall, I feel fortunate that the audience is willing to listen to new music and support “indies” like us.

2.What are the advantages and disadvantages of being part of Monterrock?

– I think that a great advantage is that many great bands from Mexico have flourished from Monterrey. This is why audiences are always looking for new bands that start in this region. The only disadvantage I would point out in this particular movement is the lack of support from record labels. On the other hand, there isn’t a lack of support from fans. They are always willing to attend a concert and buy the band’s products.

3.What bands from Monterrock have influences your band’s music?

– I think that the bands from “Avanzada Regia” that flourished during the nineties are the ones that have influence our music. These bands are Jumbo, Zurdok, Plastilina Mosh and Kinky. It is great that the majority of these bands are still part of Monterrock, since these are the bands that made the indie movement popular in Mexico. Audiences see Monterrey as an outstanding music exporter. For this reason, we are glad that these pioneer bands have influenced our music.

4.How do you balance your commitment to your band with your personal life (school and work)?

– Balancing these two things is tough. Time management is necessary in order to make both things work. I’ve always believed that having a band is like having a girlfriend who needs to be given time and respect to make a relationship work. As a result, Lubrick’s members dedicate their mornings to school. In order to balance our school work with the band, we plan practices in the afternoons several days per week. In the end, weekends are devoted to our shows. Organization is what keeps our lives balanced.

5.Where do you see the movement going in 10 years?

– I think that in 10 years Monterrock will be a lot bigger. I think there will be a lot more support because the current generation has a lot of great bands capable of demonstrating their talent on a national level within five years. I hope that as the years pass by more participation from Monterrock will be present in Texas as it already is in South Padre Island’s Yuju! Fest. I general, I believe in the promising future that bands from Monterrey have on the national and international level.

October 2010

Intern Spotlight, Jannette Lujan

Janette Lujan is a senior at UTEP studying Marketing. As the public relations and event planning intern with Latinitas this past winter, she assisted with organizing and promoting the Chica Power Fest and the Winter Wonderland Fashion Show. She also helped develop fundraising projects as well as publicize the numerous programs Latinitas offers. “I never had this when I was growing up and I know I would’ve enjoyed it a lot,” shared Janette about her motivation to join Latinitas. “I would definitely recommend it to others.” Janette also does community service and is a part of professional groups such as the American Marketing Association, and Society of Human Resources Management. Her future goal is to pursue an MBA. “Always stay active in doing the things you love to do and most importantly never give up. Follow your dream!”

Intern Spotlight, Rosana Lopez

It is through the thoughtful and charitable time local college students give that Latinitas is able to move forward with its mission. Everyday interns for Latinitas contribute their time and knowledge to different areas of the organization.

UTEP Multidisciplinary Studies’ junior Rosana Lopez applies her studies to her internship with Latinitas. Having so far interned for three weeks, Rosana is working on multiple projects including club activity curriculum, and hosting Saturday workshops for our Teen Latinitas Council.

“I knew this internship would help me build relationships in the community and give me the experience in working with young, receptive girls,” Rosana said.

She added wanting to be a part of the organization because of what it stands for and could not help but be “excited” to be involved in the Saturday workshops.

“I’m developing lessons that will mold the youth of our community and I think that’s important,” Rosana added. She also said that she enjoys being part of a team of other young Latinas committed to the community.

“My favorite part is that I belong to a cool team of other interns and volunteers that are passionate about helping young Latinas,” Rosana said.

Aside from being surrounded by young Latinas with similar educational, cultural and service goals as herself, Rosana admits that creating enriching educational activies is a challenge she faces in her internship.

“Finding out-of-the-box ideas that will stimulate young girls and including the media piece can be difficult, but thinking about how these will go directly to the girls in our community is what makes it an important and worthy challenge,” Rosana said.

Working towards a common goal fo empowering the Latina youth, whether it be in outreach, reporting, designing, editing, taking photographs, initiating PR tactics and strategies, marketing, fundraising, creating curricula, or planning special events, Latinitas interns are truly what make the organization what it is today.

Intern Spotlight, Marcela Aguirre

Marcela Aguirre is a senior Communication Studies major and French minor at UTEP. She is currently working as a Public Relations Intern for Latinitas. Marcela is currently involved in various honor societies, the National Communication Student Association Student Club, the Brazilian Culture Center, and Catholic Campus Ministry at UTEP. As part of her extracurricular activities, Marcela enjoys dancing ballet, reading, tutoring young children, attending sporting events/concerts, and learning new languages. She decided to intern with Latinitas because she really likes the mission statement of Latinitas and because she wants to gain the experience of working in public relations for a non-profit organization. Marcela thinks that an organization like Latinitas is important because she thinks that “it is important for young girls to be encouraged to be creative and to be encouraged to fulfill their dreams and desires.” Marcela’s future goals are to obtain a double master’s degree in International Relations and Global Communication and eventually work in public relations for the United Nations or for a NGO.

Intern Spotlight, Yuritzy Ramos

Yuritzy Ramos is a TV/Radio Broadcasting student at El Paso Community College. She is currently working as an Event Planning & Promotions Intern for Latinitas. She is currently helping coordinate a photography exhibit featuring the creative works of Latinitas members. Yuritzy is involved with her community. She has gone to hospitals in Juarez to care of the sick and she has also helped the poor in Chihuahua. Yuritzy decided to intern for Latinitas because she wants to gain experience in the workforce while making a difference and sharing her ideas with others. She thinks that Latinitas is important because it “helps girls to succeed, to become more confident of themselves, to share ideas and to learn more about the right thing to do.” Yuritzy’s future goals are to graduate and then get her master’s degree. She eventually wants to move to Miami to work for a television station like Univision.

Intern Spotlight, Alyssa Romero

Alyssa Romero is a recent college graduate from UTEP with a degree in psychology. She serves as an educational outreach intern and assists Latinitas in developing girl empowerment activities for our after-school programs. Her desire to make an impact in the lives of local youth motivated her to intern with Latinitas. “It is a way for young girls to learn not only about their culture, but helps them to acquire skills that they can use later on in life.” “I think it is important to have a place that young girls feel they can turn to when they need help. I also find it important because it allows girls to express themselves in multiple ways and teaches them that it is okay to be themselves.” In her spare time, Alyssa serves as a youth leader at her church and teaches a confirmation class. Her long-term goals are to get a masters in counseling and to counsel youth.

Intern Spotlight, Melissa Espejo

Melissa Espejo graduated from UTEP with a double major in Marketing and International Business. She is currently working as a Marketing/Advertising Intern for Latinitas. Melissa enjoys reading, going to the movies, playing sports, and learning new languages. She is also currently working as a cheerleading coach for middle and high school girls. Melissa decided to intern for Latinitas because she wants to develop her professional skills while volunteering for a non-profit organization. She thinks that an organization like Latinitas is important because she thinks that ” youth in general need positive guidance while their personalities are being formed. They need positive role models to serve as an example to them and positive activities to get involved with.” Melissa’s future goals are to get a master’s degree in Marketing, which she plans to study overseas. Her overall goal is to make a difference in society.

Club Leader Spotlight, Jasmin Palomo

Jasmin Palomo is a Media Advertising undergraduate student. She is currently working as a Club Leader with Latinitas. Through her positive leadership with Latinitas, Jasmin has become a role model for the girls. We decided to interview Jasmin to learn more about her interest for Latinitas.

How did you become interested in Latinitas? I was impressed with the kind of work the organization deals with.

What do you like most about Latinitas?
That it makes girls proud to be who they are and that it helps them to be proud to be Latina..

Why do you think an organization like Latinitas is important for young girls?
Girls need positive role models, creative outlets, and something productive to occupy their time. This is beneficial for any girl.

Club Leader Spotlight, Loida Martinez

Giving local college students the opportunity to contribute to the organization, Latinitas internships are as diverse as the interns themselves. EPCC public relations sophomore Loida Martinez, applies her studies to her internship with Latinitas. Having interned for a month so far, Loida is working on multiple projects including outreach, spreading the word about Latinitas’ programs and making media contacts.

“I get to get more girls into the clubs and learning as I’m doing all of this,” Loida said.

Also a Latinitas club leader at Clardy Public Library, Loida made the transition from club mentor last spring to now leading this semester.

“I wanted to see how Latinitas works. As a mentor, I didn’t get to see the background of a non-profit…” Loida added.

Aside from learning the ins and outs of how non-profits function and learning how to effectively execute a PR plan, Loida has her internship and club-leading duties to thank for forcing her to be more organized.

“It’s difficult. It’s about having time for everything, knowing what you have to do, and staying motivated,” Loida admitted.

She said she enjoys working towards something positive and informing the older group of Latinitas about what the club has to offer them.

“I want [teen Latinitas] to know it’s for everyone. They can have fun and be part of a club that is exclusive for them, so they can have a positive path,” Loida said.

Whether helping with outreach, reporting, designing Latinitas graphics, editing, taking photographs, creating public relations plans, marketing, fundraising, or event planning, our resident interns give their time and in return build their portfolios while receiving vital career experience.