The Innovative Women of Vape in honor of Women’s History Month - Hope Cueva
Hope Cueva- Vape Influencer and Creator of #hope4hope
Hope Cueva, @texasvapelove on Instagram, is one of the vaping industry's most influential figures. Though she doesn't see herself as an influencer, her story and passion for the industry have touched the hearts of thousands of people. With a name that resonates with her true essence, Hope faces challenges head-on and inspires others to do the same.
Hope's story is a story about perseverance, love, courage, and authenticity. To understand her is to know the challenges she has and continues to overcome.
Hope is a certified personal trainer and works part-time as a master trainer. It is hard to imagine that her fitness journey began at a time when she weighed in at 450 pounds. She was working out intensely but also smoked during this time until she was diagnosed with Lupus. Smoking was no longer possible. She had to start undergoing chemotherapy for lupus, which she has now been battling for over a year. However, more importantly, quitting meant adding more years to her life. She decided to turn to vaping as an alternative.
“Vaping saved my life because if I die, my daughter has nowhere to go and I need to be around as long as I can for her. So, she's the reason why I've stopped smoking, to begin with,” she said.
In addition to undergoing chemo, and all it entails, Hope is also a loving caretaker.
“I'm the mom of an autistic daughter whom I home school, and I take care of my mom who has Alzheimer's. I'm just devoting everything I have to my family and obviously taking care of myself,” she shared.
After a suggestion from someone that she shares her story on social media, Hope created an account on Instagram to post about her life, her love of vaping, and her fight against Lupus.
She used the hashtag #hope4hope as an identifier to her posts. However, the hashtag has since been adopted by others to represent lupus and the vaping community overall. The hashtag has been used in flyers to support the Purple for a Purpose campaign by the Lupus Foundation of America.
Her Instagram live posts have garnered much attention from people who are inspired by her courage to be authentic and stand in her truth. Hope is the opposite of what the vaping industry has long marketed women are like in the industry.
“I didn't feel, and sometimes I still feel this way now, that I don't fit in. I'm not the typical woman that you see that out there as an influencer, I saw these other beautiful ladies, and I didn't feel that I could fit in with that. I didn't feel people would be drawn to me because I don't have the same look as they do,” she said.
It turned out that her appeal was precisely the fact that she wasn't like these other women.
“People are interested in me. I finally released my story of being on chemo and having Lupus. That brought more people to me because I was more approachable,” she discovered.
Hope would like to see the industry move away from the vape babe stereotype because it is not an accurate representation of the industry. The vaping community has more substance than how it is perceived.
“We're not just vapers. There's more to us than, than that,” she said.
The vaping community does a good job supporting people who are in similar situations as Hope. That is why Hope uses her Instagram platform to talk about more than just vaping products. She talks about the person behind the vaping; their stories, their hopes, and their struggles. The message of vaping as a product that can help people and save lives is at the core of what she does.
“Hope4hope is not just about lupus and hope anymore, it's about mental illness. It's about people. Some people are starting chemo now and tag me and under there about what they're going through. It's been an amazing ride. It's not just about me; it's become about our community as well,” she shared proudly. "I don't care about how many followers you have, and I still don't know how many anybody has to be quite honest with you all.”
Hearing the stories and connecting with so many people has been a whirlwind for Hope. Knowing that she is a part of this community has given her a sense of hope and that she matters.
“I matter, I actually matter. When a guy told me, Oh, I'm your biggest fan, I cried because that meant the world to me. I don't understand how 200 something odd people like my pictures. It just blows my mind that people look for me as I look for them. And, and I learned a lot about myself that I do matter in this world. I do have a place in this world no matter what. I have a place in this world that's what this community has taught me.
To learn more about these vital players, keep up to date with our weekly articles throughout the month of March. The fifteen part of VR Labs LLC series on The Innovative Women of Vape in the U.S. In the meantime, customers can visit our website at www.vaperite.com. Businesses can get in touch via our online contact form or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by, Angela Betancourt