In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, ABC15 is highlighting the contributions of the Afro-Latino community in the Valley.
“I promote women, not only Latinas, women from all over the world so they can feel beautiful, pretty,” said Franchela Ulises.
Ulises is a stylist and the founder of Mujeres of All Shades, a fashion-forward community for “powerful mujeres to be embraced, valued and appreciated.”
She says her mission has been to help other women to feel proud of their heritage, to empower them to embrace their shade and beauty through styling.
“I want to represent all women of all backgrounds, all hair texture, all body type, especially all skin color because we Latinas, we African American, Caucasian, and girls from every part of the world, we come in different shades and we’re so beautiful,” stated Ulises.
Through Mujeres of All Shades, Ulises helps to style women, to get professional photos taken, but most importantly to feel confident.
“I love to make women feel comfortable in color,” expressed Ulises.
But she’s also helping to embrace black pride that regardless of our skin color and hair texture we can all be one.
“Because there’s strength when we all work together,” said Ulises.
Ulises’ roots are from the Virgin Islands and Republica Dominicana, she says she tries to pass onto her children the traditions from her home countries, especially during Hispanic Heritage Month.
“We try to do our typical food, arroz, carne habichuela, sancocho, mangu, los tres golpes, you guys know all about it.”
Ulises says she hopes to make more people aware of Afro-Latinos that they have always existed. She wishes to end stereotypes, to create black consciousness, to not forget black is beautiful, and that Latinos can be black and speak Spanish too.
“When I speak Spanish in public places or around people that don’t know me, they stare at me, and they just cannot believe that I speak Spanish. The stare that I get, they see me like if I’m an alien, there are Latinos that look like me guys, we’re out here in the Valley,” expressed Ulises.