The Lucrative Latina
The “Coolest Person in Tech” Wants to Mind Your Business
From wiping out your student debt, sticking to a budget, growing your banking account, and building your business, serial entrepreneur, small business advocate, and one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Tanya Menendez shares her smoothest money moves.
Co-founder and CEO of Snowball Wealth - an easy-to-use, online platform specifically created to help young people eliminate their mounting student debt while offering tools to help save and invest through personal budgeting - Tanya Menendez is re-inventing the elusive American Dream, one business at a time. Named Most Powerful Latina in Espanol People, routinely referred to as “The Coolest Person in Tech” by Business Insider, and listed as one of Popular Mechanics’ 25 Makers Who Are Re-Inventing the American Dream, San Francisco-based Menendez studied technology and its socioeconomic impacts on rural economies at University of California, San Diego. Her resounding, culturally conscious ethnography, “The Economics of Migration” was published by the University of California.
A Money-Maker in the Making
Before the Snowball effect ever took place, Menendez worked at high-powered companies, like global banking firm Goldman Sachs and tech giant Google. Catching the business bug, she eventually left Goldman Sachs to co-own a leather goods line produced exclusively in New York City, where its products were distributed to swank boutiques and high-end department stores, like Nordstrom and Henri Bendel. It was while co-operating the leather goods line that Menendez experienced firsthand the frustrations of an antiquated sourcing process. That’s when she came up with a brilliant way to disrupt the industry, co-creating an indispensable platform where entrepreneurs and small business owners could easily connect with American manufacturers sans the setbacks and roadblocks. And, Maker’s Row was born. Since 2013, Maker’s Row has been helping entrepreneurs and designers get their concepts produced by democratizing American manufacturing for small businesses. With nearly 200,00 participating businesses and growing, the online marketplace has helped entrepreneurs to produce over 3 million products in the U.S. alone.
Maker’s Row boasts a bevy of esteemed, leading industry investors, including Johanne Wilson, Comcast Ventures, Index Ventures, Kapor Capital, and Expansion Capital. Maker’s Row has successfully raised over $2.5 million in venture capital.
The Snowball Effect
Menendez’ latest venture, Snowball Wealth, was built to take the intimidation and boredom out of personal budgeting while providing free, customized financial planning and affordable investment coaching for effectively building a solid investment portfolio and retirement funding trajectory. Through the site’s widely-read blog, Menendez herself also offers users unconventional, witty, offhand tips and tricks, sprinkled with anecdotal stories of personal experience, to help build long-term financial success. As she shared in one of her most popular blog posts, budgeting allowed her to leave a job – and a boyfriend – that wasn’t the right fit for her while giving her the crucial resources to start yet another company with a meaningful mission.
When she’s not helping young people to stay on-budget and in the black with her innovative budgeting techniques, Menendez manages a Women of Color Tech group and enjoys running half-marathons.
It looks like budgeting is the new black.