Last weekend at the Bella Kinks Natural Hair Expo, I caught up with Crystal Colón, owner of Flor Bella Boutique. Last year I spotlighted her as an up-and-coming business owner who we all needed to pay attention to. Today we chatted about the importance of mommy-daughter time, her opinion on representation of Latinas in the beauty industry, and why business relationships matter.

1. Re-introduce yourself!

Hi. I am Crystal Colón. I am the owner of Flor Bella Boutique & Embroidery. I live in San Antonio, Texas. I am an auditor specializing in taxation. I’ve been in that position for 9 years. I started Flor Bella Boutique in October 2012 (Happy 3rd birthday Flor Bella)

2. What's new since we last spoke?

Flor Bella now also does embroidery. Since I have 2 daughters, I love all things girly--and they do, too. I love monogramming everything. So now I have infinity scarves, bags, boots, sleep masks, and other items that can be monogrammed, as well as the pillowcases and bonnets. I am posting some cute embroidered goodies for the holiday season.

The ‘ethnic’ aisles in San Antonio are pretty bare, so I'm opening a retail location in San Antonio called Flor Bella Beauty Bar which sells natural hair products and accessories.

In addition, Flor Bella Boutique is opening a retail location in San Antonio called Flor Bella Beauty Bar which sells natural hair products and accessories. San Antonio does not have a dedicated space for naturals. The ‘ethnic’ aisles in San Antonio are pretty bare. We will be carrying OBIA Natural Hair, Uncle Funky’s Daughter, Soultanicals, CurLUXE, TGIN, etc. The Beauty Bar will have an on-site makeup artist that does brows, lashes, and makeup. She is also an esthetician and will be doing facials. I will be also retailing Motives Cosmetics on-site; ladies can play with those pretty colors the brand has to offer. We plan to open on Halloween!

3. What (or who) has helped you remain focused throughout this journey of growing your business?

God. Truly God. I suffer from PTSD and depression and earlier this year was hard for me. Trying to work my full time job, working on Flor Bella, taking care of my family was all a lot on me. I have had to pray like never before. God is the only reason why I have achieved anything in my business. I just plan to continue to pray.

I have a special cousin, Janese, who is always there for me to talk to and she is a mighty woman of God and she always encourages me. I also have a co-worker who is awesome. She and I are the only women of color in our office. She is an older woman and she gives me sage advice about life in general that helps me so much. She celebrates my accomplishments with me; it makes this journey that much better.

4. How is the representation of women of color in the beauty industry changing in 2015?

I think that women of color have to create their own beauty industry and that is what I think is happening. We are creating our own events and creating avenues to put that beauty on display. The DFW Expo was an example of that. Having women like Lisa Price, Myleik, Monique Rodriguez who are businesses owners for Black companies who are defining what Black beauty is is awesome.

Even though women of color are represented more now, some are still omitted.

Even though women of color are represented more now, some are still omitted. My daughters are Latina, but TV and print doesn't (often) show Latinas who look like them, they all look like JLo or Sofia Vergara. I am grateful for the Dania Ramirez and Zoe Saldanas of the world. I hate that my girls Latina identities will be questioned because people are shortsighted about the fact that brown girls come in every ethnicity and are awesome.

5. What have you learned about building business relationships?

You have to be genuine and not afraid to talk to people. We all have things we can bring to the table. Be sure you aren’t only there to eat what everyone else has brought; bring a dish as well! It can be hard.

Sometimes, I have felt like I am back in high school as a 35-year-old woman. The cliques are real.

I have always been a loner and that is a difficult thing for me to sometimes admit that I need help. We all need other people. We can’t do it alone. Put yourself out there. People will ignore you or say no, but you will get a yes and it will come from the ones God intends for you to build and grow with.

6. How do you stay on track and get the job done?

My Eric Condren planner and my calendar on my phone are my best tools. So my first rule is to use those tools. I am learning that sometimes I have to stop what I am doing and give my best to my girls. I work so much that they sometimes feel neglected and they say, “Mommy works too much. She doesn’t spend time with us.” I find that when I focus on what is important it helps in getting my goals knocked out.

My girls keep me on track! I even get them involved. That way, I can get stuff done and spend time with them at the same time.

We have to remember to focus on what is important and it isn’t always about the money. My girls keep me on track! I even get them involved. They write lists for me. They help me work my vending tables. That way, I can get stuff done and spend time with them at the same time.

7. How can we keep up with you and shop your products?

Instagram: @Florbellaboutique and @florbellabeautybar | Facebook: Flor Bella Boutique | www.florbellabeautybar.com

The Flor Bella Beauty Bar is located at:

427 E. Aviation Blvd, Universal City, Texas 78148

Call us at: (210) 776-7729