When the couple’s first baby was born, De La Torre opted to become a stay-at-home mom. She felt called to this vocation, but she also missed the mental stimulation that teaching had provided.
“I also wasn't sleeping, and my kid wasn’t sleeping, and I read so many books, and so many blogs, and I still couldn’t figure it out,” she said.
In the UD alumna moms’ Facebook group of which she is a member, she learned about baby sleep consultants. However, these consultants all seemed to be very expensive, so De La Torre decided to simply get certified herself.
“I realized that if someone can fix it, I can fix it,” she shrugged.
Once her own baby was sleeping, De La Torre recognized that other moms needed this same type of help. She found her first clients through the same Facebook group that had led her down this path in the first place; she offered free consultations in exchange for reviews.
“The great thing about UD moms is that they will follow the plan, and they’ll also be very honest,” she said. “I also felt like I could be very open with them — asking, for example, ‘Do you pray? If so, add prayer into your routine.’ Then, it spread beyond the UD moms’ community.”
For De La Torre, a major step in the growth of Baby Sleep Answers was starting an Instagram account for the business. Through this endeavor, she learned that there are many unethical ways to grow, but fellow UD mom Grace (Gallaher) Fitzpatrick, BA ’13, recommended an Instagram course on growing your business organically by being yourself and putting assisting others before making money.
“I made helping moms and being affordable to them my main priority,” said De La Torre. “I focused on being myself and giving others the help they needed, and after about a year, my Insta just blew up.
“I like that it’s a business on Instagram,” she added. “Social media can be so dangerous, but this is authentic. I’ve built such a good community. It’s very organic, and there is beauty everywhere. Social media is often vilified, but there IS a lot of good on Insta now too.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, she began running frequent promotions, and the business blew up even further.
“We’re doing insanely well,” she said.
In fact, the business is doing so well that her husband, Joe, who had taught with Uplift for about 10 years, quit his job to help run it.
De La Torre gives UD — both the education and the community — much credit for this success.
“One big thing is that my UD education made me into a very successful writer,” explained De La Torre. “For my business, I write to a specific audience, through my blog and Insta; I use a very specific voice. You're always told to use your strengths, and in large part because of UD I feel like writing is one of mine, so I've focused a lot on my writing in promoting the business.”
As for the community, her very first clients, of course, were UD moms, and these moms contributed a lot to successful networking as well as being very supportive.
“In the words of my first web designer, Greg, you’re working with someone who’s going to be honest with you — and they can’t screw you over because you’re going to see each other at Groundhog,” she laughed.
In addition to Greg Spenla, BA ’10, who helped build her first website, she can rattle off a whole list of fellow UD alumni who have assisted her in some way or another along the way: Dani (Schumer) Milliken, BA ’10, who helped design the first website; Annie (Dougherty) Palmer, BA ’12, who was her assistant for a while; Alex Trevino, BA ’13, who filmed video; and her brother-in-law Tony De La Torre, BA ’13, who designed her current website — among several others.
Due to her father’s international HR job, De La Torre grew up in several different countries. Originally from Mexico, her family moved to the U.S., then Brazil, and finally Spain for her high school years. Her high school in Madrid was very liberal, which she liked because she got to experience a variety of opinions and worldviews, but for college she wanted to focus on her Catholic faith and go somewhere she didn’t have to defend this faith.
“The only school I applied to from Madrid, Spain, was UD,” she said. “I knew no one in Texas, but I came.”
In addition to English, De La Torre speaks Porteguese, French and Spanish, which has been extremely beneficial to her business.
When asked what advice she might have for current students as they discern future careers, De La Torre said, “Really focus on what you love — work really hard with what you have. Sometimes things seem too unachievable, or sometimes too dreamy, so you don’t work toward them, but work with what you have. Make friends — you never know just how much your friends will help — and focus on good relationships. Work with each other to help each other grow, ground yourself, and follow your passion, but don’t be closed off to anything. You never know what God has in store for you.”