Latina Entrepreneur Ellyse Espinoza Has No Apologies — but She Does Have Lots and Lots of Sneakers

(photo by VLJ Photography)

GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND prolific entrepreneur Ellyse Espinoza, who has tens of thousands of followers across multiple social media pages, has a sneaker addiction. And that's just one of the revelations the founder of State Line Designs (think tees and crop tops emblazoned with slogans such as "I am the prize" among many other gloriously giftable goods) — and of the HTX Boss Babes organization that seeks to empower women looking to excel in the business world — shared in answering our influencer questionnaire.


What accomplishment are you most proud of? Building State Line Mobile Boutique, my fashion boutique on wheels, has always been a dream of mine. I custom built a trailer to take my brand mobile.

Name three things on your bucket list. Learn to barrel race, travel to Tulum and learn to surf.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? A tattoo artist.

If you weren't doing what you currently do for a living, what would you do? Be a creative director for a fashion or sports magazine.

Don't be modest: What's something you love about yourself? My unapologetic attitude.

What do you appreciate most in others? Honesty, loyalty and integrity.

What's something you can't go without for more than a day? Sadly, my phone.

You have an unexpected day off in Houston. How do you spend it? Taking the doors off of my Jeep and heading to the beach.

Is there a new restaurant or bar in town you're loving? I love Brass Tacks in the East End for coffee and lunch.

Finish this sentence: Skinny-dipping is… Not on the agenda.

Name-drop time: Who's the most famous person you've ever met (and how did that happen)? Vin Diesel. I interned at NBC Universal in L.A., and Fast and Furious was one of the first movie posters I worked on. My boss knew I loved Vin Diesel and sent me to the conference room to meet him when one of our films came out. I was super nervous. He was the first official celebrity I ever met.

Tell us about your closet. Something new you love, and also something old? I love sneakers and collecting Air Jordan 1's. I have my own sneaker closet. I just got the [Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG] Hyper Royals that I waited months for, and I still own a pair of Jordans from when I was in the 7th grade.

Your porn-star name is your favorite thing to cook plus your where you want to go on your next vacation. Go! Steak Tulum.

Your alternate porn-star name — they have those, you know — is your favorite Houston restaurant plus the label on the undies you're wearing right now. La Esquina Savage Fenty.

What would you choose as your last meal? Medium well steak with A1 sauce.

The dinner party question: Name three people, from now or any time in history, you'd invite as your perfect guests. Beyoncé, Nipsey Hussle and Selena Quintanilla.

Is there a charitable cause you support, and why that one? CAS. Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder that my son, Arian Lukas, was diagnosed with at age two. I try to raise awareness for CAS and also coordinate a fundraiser to educate and raise funds for families.

What's something about you people would find surprising? I am an introvert. My social media totally makes me feel like an extrovert. But in real life, I prefer a smaller group of friends.

Who would play you in the movie of your life? Wishful thinking: Vanessa Vasquez. She's an Emmy-nominated actress from Houston and a local Latina who is absolutely amazing. I've been blessed to meet her, and she supports my clothing line, so I would be so honored to have her play me in a movie.

In five words or less, what's your advice for living a happy life? Mental health over everything.

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How did you get to where you are today? It takes a village. I was fortunate enough to have great mentors and individuals who instilled confidence in me. I think that when you face a challenge or an obstacle, you are able to overcome and make things happen. You can continue moving forward, more resilient over time.
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