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Meet Vivian Nunez and Barbara Gonzales, together they write, research and record Creating Espacios, a Forbes Podcast on which they interview Latina trailblazers who have taken a non-traditional path in their careers. Since starting the podcast earlier this year they’ve interviewed, Giphy’s Tiffany Vazquez, Emmy Award Winner, Gaby Natale and CEO Ramona Ortega among others. Not a bad gig, if you can get it.
What motivated you to start the podcast?
Barbara: We noticed a lack of resources and stories being told that reflected our experiences. Our podcast is the baby that Viv and I co-parent as a result of these feelings.
Vivian: The goal with the podcast is to make sure that we’re elevating these women’s stories while making it easily accessible for the rising generation of Latina trailblazers.
When did you start the podcast?
Vivian: The podcast went from idea to action in a couple of weeks—we definitely hit the ground running.
Barbara: It’s kind of been our 2016 project. We pitched the idea at the top of the year and began recording towards the end of February. Our lives have been a whirlwind ever since—if I had a meme to personally describe it, it would probably be this.
How did you meet?
Barbara: We met as interns at Seventeen Magazine in 2013, (Viv was in editorial, I was a bookings intern). We were two of the only Latina interns on staff that summer. We soon realized we’re both native New Yorkers, former Catholic school girls, and had so much in common. When I went back to Wisconsin for school, we kept in-touch on social and reconnected when I moved back after graduation.
Vivian: The great thing about our friendship is that we learned how keeping in the loop with each other’s lives online could benefit our IRL friendship. This is where being really active on Twitter has definitely helped!
What made you decide to work together?
Vivian: When the initial conversation about the podcast stared with Forbes, I knew that Barbara and I would make a great team. It helps that we’re both in our early-20s and that we work in media. But more than that, I think the biggest deciding factor was that even though we’ve had similar experiences, we have very different stories; it’s made it easier to cover as many different angles as possible.
Barbara: We are the yin to each other’s yang. I’m kind of a larger-than-life personality and Viv brings me back to earth. I might have a very broad idea for an episode, but she’s able to organize concepts that I might have difficulty packaging. I feel like I’m always learning from her.
Who’s been your favorite person to interview?
Vivian: Tiffany Vazquez from Giphy was one of my favorites because she’s a lot of who I want to be when I grow up. She has a life she loves that’s grounded in faith, passion projects and a home team that would go to bat for her any time. I’m personally starting to set down those roots, but in her episode I definitely saw how important it is to remind yourself that your support system and having fun should be at the heart of all you do.
Barbara: Nathalie Huerta [owner of The Perfect Sidekick Gym, the first LGBTQ gym in the US] has definitely been my favorite. She was one of our first episodes and I was still very nervous about speaking up while we were recording. But her genuine voice and the tone that she took when she was telling her story inspired me to speak up a bit more.
Who would be your dream interview subject?
Vivian: Gina Rodriguez [aka Jane the Virgin] hands down. If we had the chance to interview her I would peg the interview around how her upbringing molded her “right now” because it seems that’s had the most impact on her life thus far. I feel like she’d be able to tell stories that any Latina who’s struggling to make a dream come true would relate to.
Barbara: Rodriguez is such an incredible inspiration for me as a Puerto Rican woman. She honestly personifies what it means to create space for herself and others in a place where the portrayal of Latinidad is so linear.
What do you both do when you’re not recording/planning your podcast?
Vivian: I’m self-employed and usually my days are split between creating digital content for clients or managing Too Damn Young the website I started for teens and young adults who have lost someone they love.
Barbara: You can typically catch me writing about identity and culture 9-5 on my permalancing grind. When I’m not doing that, I’m reading a memoir or a YA novel, tweeting my #currentmood, or trying to figure out how to take an Instagram-worthy photo that Vivian actually approves of.
Vivian and Barbara were photographed in NYC by Marcus Lloyd.