NextGen Collective spotlights Topicals Product Marketing Lead Roxana Ontiveros. Read on about the people who inspire her, the causes she’s passionate about, and more.
Where are you from?
I’m from Los Angeles, California—Highland Park specifically. I’ve experienced the best of both worlds with my mother being from a rural town in Guanajuato to my father being from fast-paced CDMX. He’s a great storyteller and probably the best, most enthusiastic unofficial tour guide of Mexico City. Meanwhile, my mother has demonstrated the culture of her hometown with her unparalleled work ethic and her unabashed humility. I’ve been fortunate enough to carry both their stories with me and intend on passing them on to my future children.
What do you do today?
I’m the product marketing lead at the fastest growing skincare brand in Sephora, Topicals.
Who inspired you the most in your life growing up?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs, and I was most inspired by my grandmother throughout my upbringing. She crossed the border three times in an effort to join my grandfather and reunite her family here in the United States. Her Achilles heel was her illiteracy, which she lamented, but it didn’t prevent her from starting her own business, a taller de costura. She raised a tribe of entrepreneurs, with nearly all of her children eventually starting their own pallet businesses, my mother included. This entrepreneurial spirit, born out of raw talent and a need for survival, is so palpable and remains a core family value to this day. It transcends generations and has continued to inspire me and my siblings alike to continue the path towards self-actualization, autonomy, and financial freedom.
Whose career really inspires you?
I’m really inspired by Issa Rae’s career. As an LA native, I can’t help but feel connected to her story and be awe-inspired by her triumphs. Her career trajectory and creative output reflect a level of relaxed resistance rooted in authenticity. Los Angeles has continued to be mischaracterized, especially in recent years, and it brings me so much joy to see her do it justice. More specifically, I’m incredibly moved by the fact that she attended King/Drew High School. As a magnet student and product of LAUSD myself, I believe that Issa Rae reflects the extremely bright, supremely talented, and creatively rich youth of Los Angeles.
What podcast or life hack can you not live without?
For the past few years, I haven’t been able to live without the How I Built This podcast. I’m an avid reader, and podcasts give me the ability to listen, learn, and become inspired, all hands-free.
What is part of your daily routine that you look forward to every day?
A part of my daily routine that I enjoy most is connecting with family via FaceTime. Setting up the table and having dinner together every night was my favorite part of the day as a child. Although I don’t have the opportunity to enjoy dinner together every night as I once did, seeing their faces via Facetime is the next best thing.
When you get a new idea what’s the first thing you do with it?
Every time I’m inspired and get a new idea, I immediately call my family to get their feedback. My family is so smart and so talented; they get me riled up with their sense of humor and creativity. They are such an important part of my creative process, and I love taking them with me every step of the way.
What behavior or personality traits do you attribute to your success?
I believe my ambition, passion, and persistence are only second to my insatiable curiosity. I’ve had the opportunity to expand my career because I’m a naturally curious and growth-oriented person. I truly love to learn and am excited about life. I relish all it has to offer and have been able to advance in my career because of my unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
Which causes are you passionate about?
I am so passionate about making sure people feel seen. I grew up in the garment and pallet industries with peers who were first-generation immigrants; their lived experience colored my daily life. Despite their omnipresence, I never saw them reflected in the magazines I’d touch, the beauty campaigns I’d see, nor the ads I’d adore. As a result, I’ve been extremely passionate about creating visual equity and transforming visual communications strategies across the globe. One of my missions in life is to make people feel seen, and I’m certain that through my work on a personal and professional level, I’ll be able to achieve that.
What is one non-work related goal that you would like to achieve in the next five years?
Within the next few years, I’d like to continue to explore and invest in every single creative interest I had as a child. Although I did not have the resources to pursue these activities as a youth, I’m excited about exploring ballet, ballroom dancing, and painting as an adult. So much of our happiness comes from that which we enjoyed in childhood, and I’m dedicated to finding more avenues for joy and creativity.