Today’s #SheroSpotlight is lifestyle blogger Anais Dominguez! I met Anais through the Instagram blogging community and have been so inspired by her passion for wellness. Anais is currently working as a Regional Chapter Leader for CHAARG and plans on becoming a certified wellness coach in the near future. I am so excited to partner with her for today’s blog!
What inspired you to launch Cafecito in Chicago in 2015??
I actually started off as a fashion and beauty blogger. I was really inspired by my cousin-in-law, Amanda, she had a really big blog and one of my friends from high school, he was doing a little bit of like blogging for some websites, so I really was into the YouTube world and beauty bloggers and things like that. So that’s kind of how I started and then as I transferred to DePaul University and got into CHAARG, then I shifted over to more lifestyle, culture and wellness topics.
What is the mission of your blog?
I would say just to empower everyone to really live the life that is best for them, and to make a safe space to talk about the things that nobody is talking about, like grief and mental health and things like that.
How have your own experiences impacted this mission?
In the last two or three years, my mental health hasn’t been great and I couldn’t show up for my online community if I wasn’t showing up for myself first. I go to therapy regularly and I deal with a lot of depression and anxiety and most of that anxiety came from not being satisfied in my career and really not knowing what I wanted to do. So, through really taking care of myself first aligning myself with my goals and what I think of my life purpose, I’ve been really able to help my own well being so that I can show up stronger for others and to empower others.
How has your position with CHAARG affected your passion for wellness?
CHAARG definitely is what has really influenced me the most. I really started CHAARG just for the fitness aspect of it, to lose weight and work out, but I got so much more out of it. I actually interned at CHAARG’s headquarters with its founders Sarah and Elizabeth as a Shoptern and I was really inspired by how they live their life and their balance and that’s when it all clicked to me that I really liked the wellness aspect of CHAARG as well, like self-care and talking about my mental health.
What obstacles have you faced while running a blog?
I think an obstacle I create on my own is my own inner critic and my own mental strains. It’s really easy to compare yourself to somebody who has 50,000 followers or is getting all these big partnerships, but I think really just honing in on why I’m doing what I’m doing and what is my end goal has helped. Something I really struggled with was figuring out my life career and my life plan but I think that blogging and being in the wellness space really inspired me to want to become a health and wellness coach.
What steps have you taken to grow your blog?
It was honestly a lot of Pinterest, a lot of Googling and enrolling in as many as free courses as possible to learn. Right now, I make sure that my feed is very much curated to be tips for people trying to grow their influence. I think mostly once I figured out what I want to do in the long run — how I want to use my platform to grow my business — that made everything a lot easier.
What tips would you give to someone who is trying to grow their platform?
I guess my first tip is to really hone in on the long run of what you want your platform to be, and your goals with that. Then, just investing. I invested in software and I’ve invested in lights and things like that and just really saying yes to opportunities that show up. You’re never too big or too small for an opportunity. For example, my partnership with Aerie; I got an email to apply and I took it and I ran with it and it’s been a great experience. It was the same with Vital Proteins; I was just online and I saw they had an ambassador program. So, looking into brands that you really like, checking out their websites and seeing what opportunities they provide.
What are your long term goals for your blog?
My long-term goal is to build a wellness empire that really focuses on how we can improve our overall health. I’m really just trying to build this wellness hub that focuses on those who are struggling with their mental health and how wellness can empower them and how to figure out their own wellness. I definitely want to use my neuroscience degree to do that as well. I want to have a one-on-one business offer coaching as well as maybe groups and online courses.
What advice would you give to aspiring bloggers?
Just do it. Just do it with belief in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will and it’s scary, but it’s worth it at the end if you’re doing something that you love. Also really just remember your why; why do you want to be in this? Is it because you want 1000 followers or 10,000 followers, or is it because you want to connect with people on a more personal level on Instagram and really try to get your mission more out there?