Our Founder's Story
Yashira Marie Lopez Davalos
Founder and CEO
In 2017, recently after leaving HBCU Savannah State University, Yashira was kicked out of her family home and moved from Atlanta, Georgia to New Orleans, Louisiana with only $1,000 to her name. After being settled she fell in love with the history of the city and their small business economy in the south. Stumbling upon a millennial owned second hand bookstore, Rubber Library & Flower Bodega, in the By Water district, she found socially conscious literature of all mediums: memoirs, academic press books, zines,magazines, and archival research. When Hurricane Maria hit her mother's homeland of Puerto Rico, she found refuge in the post Katrina community from local business owners who had to rebuild their lives in the community. The community of New Orleans advocated intensely for Hurricane Maria recovery through many fundraisers and events. After the hurricane Yashira attended an herbal medicine workshop to send medicine to those residing in the mountains without access to healthcare in Puerto Rico at her favorite bookstore. She spoke with the bookstore owner after purchasing Narratives of Second Generation Mexican American Women, a book evaluating Chicana experiences at PWIs in the early 00's. Sharing her position as a millennial experiencing racial ambiguity at her HBCU as a half Afro Boricua woman with a deported Mexican father, the bookstore owner Roehm Gonzales's experience was similar yet different as a Mexican Polish woman. They found common ground on cultural self education and taking up space where others won't represent you nor do the research. Gonzales asked Lopez to do a Socratic seminar at her shop, and Femme Cerebral was born. Shortly after Yashira took an interest in the economics of colored people, questioning cultural impact via the differences in the financial execution between non profits, big corporations, small business and mom and pop shops. Before moving to Atlanta at age 11, Yashira's mother ran a non profit, university funded, Hispanic resource center called La Centro Esperanza, the Center of Hope, for the immigrants in the industrial economy of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Post Hurricane Maria, Yashira decided to move back home to her Black Mecca ATL to save money for a missionary trip to Puerto Rico before deciding whether to convert to indigenous practices. After seeing the dysfunction of foreign aid in her mother's native country, comparing her childhood experience seeing mother's social impact with a non profit, Yashira continued her journey to study colored commerce. In 2019, Yashira attended the GirlBossRally in Los Angeles to network and learn about other women in business and how to draft her start up plan. She participated in the Black Girl Magik Homecoming Tour, purchasing a VIP ticket for dinner and their black women community healing workshops. After building a network, Yashira is working with her mentor and team planning to conquer 2020 with the Colored Commerce Tour via an iFundWomen campaign. Yashira looks forward to the journey of doing workshops in multiple cities, expanding her business, and releasing her first issue of print magazines in 2020.
Manifesting dreams of color and mothering mindfulness of community, Femme Cerebral, 2020 and beyond.