Ciara Sames Trujillo
Tell us about yourself. Include where you’re from, what you do, how you’re thriving and anything else everyone should know about you.
Hi I’m Ciara! I am a graphic designer/art director and recently moved to Austin with my husband, Art, and our two pets. I love getting involved in my community and I’m excited to get to know Austin better and get to know my neighbors. I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida in a very Hispanic neighborhood. My early childhood memories center around my big Cuban family and the local Cuban deli. While I’ve moved all over since then, I always seek out local Cuban restaurants to get my fix of Cuban bread and café con leche.
How do you identify culturally?
A Jewish-Cuban American (Jewban, for short).
What inspires you and who do you look up to?
I am inspired by strong women. I love seeing women start their own businesses, be creative, raise families. It takes a lot of work to do all of these things in our lives and still maintain our own identity and values.
I look up to my mother, Millie. Despite the 40 years between us, she is my truest best friend. We of course, have our differences and have disagreed on many topics, but it doesn’t take away from our closeness and our shared love for each other. She is strong and brave in so many ways that I can’t even wrap my head around. She’s been through the mill and back and is still a beautiful, caring, loving person. I have so much to learn from her still.
How has your Latinx background informed your decisions, successes, failures? What do you do when things go wrong?
I’ve learned from my Latinx family that passion is everything. Live life to the fullest and don’t worry what the majority thinks about your loud voice and cackling laughter. The same principle applies to failure. Trust that your mistakes are a new lesson you needed to learn. Feel the pain and disappointment and then build yourself up and keep going.
Your best piece of advice for anyone who’s struggling?
Being Latin was something I struggled with growing up. I clung to my Jewish heritage and white skin and hoped no one would think I was less than them. I wanted to be judged fairly in school and in the workplace, so I tried to blend in. Getting married to my Filipino husband really helped me grow and get away from this desire to hide my identity. I realized just how much diversity and culture meant to me and how special my culture and childhood had been. I love being a sassy Jewish and Cuban woman and now days I’m not shy to remind people where I get it from.
Future goals and aspirations?
My dream is to work for myself. I want to start designing and art directing full time as a freelancer. And one day, I hope I can finally open up a small brick and mortar home goods shop.
Your favorite Latinx owned business in Austin and why they are your favorite?
I’m new here, so I don’t know of many. But I did have my pants tailored by Marfiel’s Tailors. It’s this cute little house off of Cesar Chavez with two abuelas who watch their novelas while fixing clothes. Everything about this little house reminds me of my great abuela, Nani Cachita’s house: the filtered light through the lace curtains, the vibrant colored rugs on the tile floor and the smell of rich coffee in the air.
Where can people find you on the internet?
Latinx Voices is an online photo and interview series spotlighting Latinx peoples in our communities. We want to amplify those voices–reminding people that we are not only surviving, but thriving.