Self-Made Success

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A power couple credits education and hard work as their ticket to the top.




Angela Lau and Marcos Velayos do not fit your typical idea of a power couple. Although they are young, attractive, and successful, they come from humble beginnings and believe in the traditional work ethic their parents instilled in them while adding their own creative spin.

At the age of 35, Angela Lau Velayos, a University of California, Berkeley graduate, is celebrating her company’s 10-year anniversary. Her company, Ficcare, which means “staying power” in Portuguese, single-handedly put hair accessories on the fashion map. Marcos Velayos, 32 and an accomplished Harvard graduate, has just been named one of the youngest partners in the acclaimed law firm Latham & Watkins. Together, the Velayos’ are an extremely powerful and fortunate couple.

Mrs. Lau Velayos grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, although her family origins lie within the elite of China. She and her family moved from Brazil to Los Angeles when she was 16 years old, forcing her to start from square one and learn everything from scratch—a new language, how to make new friends in a new country, and how to adapt to a whole new culture. Coming from a Latin background, Mrs. Lau Velayos was raised valuing the importance of family. These tightly held values led her to donate one of her kidneys to her older sister, Suzie, five years ago. “I believe we were all given two kidneys so that we may give one away to save a life,” she says, and she believes that her two-year-old son, William, is a gift from God for having shown such unconditional love for her sister.

Mr. Velayos’ parents grew up in Argentina and moved to the U.S. in the early ‘70s. They lived in New York when Mr. Velayos was born, and moved to Los Angeles when he was four. His parents instilled in him the values of family, hard work, education, and the importance of helping others.

The couple met through a mutual friend and hit it off right away. They both feel incredibly lucky to be doing what they love as well as being successful in their respective fields.

Both believe that education is extremely important for the success and future of any person starting their own business or career. They agree that education and funding for education are important issues that stand in the way of success not just for Latinos, but for our entire society. “One of the most special attributes of Latino culture is the importance of the family and the support family provides. However, family support can only go so far if the educational opportunities are not there. If the opportunities are there, people will rise to the challenge.”

Mr. Velayos believes that, beyond education, hard work is an equally important ingredient in realizing personal goals. “All of the great things in our country’s history have been built on hard work.” His philosophy regarding reaching business goals is that investing and re-investing in your career is key. “I believe that a cornerstone to continued success is to not get complacent. Staying up to speed on current developments, new cases, and new trends is important.”

Latin Biz Today
Latin Biz Today
Latin Biz Today's thought leaders and business experts know how to succeed, to help your business grow, manage a work-life balance, and celebrate Latino culture.

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