To Top

Community Highlights: Meet Cristina “Yali” Ayala

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cristina Ayala.

Cristina, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
You’ll be shocked by the interesting roller coaster of events. I knew that I wanted to form a small part in supporting and celebrating others at a young age. I help established dazzling and visionary leaders by supporting them with their podcasts to create binge-able content to reach and connect with their ideal audience, amplify their reach, and scale their brand. The goal is simple, to get as many ears and eyeballs on leaders’ content to bring their audience through their funnel so they can serve them.

I also co-own Savage Boxing Gym with my husband, Antony Cardenas, in North County, San Diego, where we instill a healthy lifestyle in our community’s lives. Additionally, we promote confidence and help our youth lead an amateur boxing career.

> I’ve spent most of my life in supportive roles, such as cheerleading, U.S. Navy, and event coordinating.
> Former event coordinator & Jet broker to an entrepreneur.
> I work with companies and entrepreneurs who have a fun-loving and freewheeling organizational culture.
> Featured in Off Da Cuff, Share On Air, and in the Indie Pods Virtual Summit.

I was born in South Texas to two immigrant entrepreneur parents in the late ’80s. My mother is Nicaraguan, and my father is Mexican. I am the youngest and only daughter of three siblings. I grew up in the early ’90s when Selena was still alive, and I remember wanting to be an entertainer because she inspired me. I’m rebellious and a non-conformist, and I attribute that to my Manifesting Generator qualities.

I annoyed my mother that she kicked me out of the house at 15. I lived with a friend until I was able to work at the age of 16, and I learned to work hard and a lot! I held three part-time jobs and went to college full time at 17 for one year. I wanted to fast forward into adulthood because I was always too mature for my age. Somehow I felt like an old lady on the inside.

I was pursuing acting (in Laredo, Texas). After being in several comedic plays, I was awarded a scholarship to A.M.D.A. in Hollywood, California. Still, it wasn’t enough to cover my first year’s tuition, so I decided to join the U.S. Navy to afford to pay the cost. The plan was to serve four years and get out to pursue acting, but instead, I met and married my son’s father. Who beat the happiness out of me, and after three years of misery and domestic violence, I divorced him during my deployment.

My first enlistment was up, but I was a mom. So I left the dream of becoming an actor behind to find a way to feed my son. I discovered that joy is a worthwhile pursuit and that I wanted to spread enthusiasm and support others. So I went to Old Dominion University in Virginia to major in Tourism Management and then spent the summer of 2016 at an internship with the Real Madrid Soccer Team as an event coordinator. I graduated, and when my student visa expired, I decided to relocate to San Diego County because my friend convinced me that this place was gorgeous! She was right!

However, I didn’t have a job, my savings were running out, and I had to find something fast because my son and I were homeless at that point. I’d sold all my belongings and driven 54 hours cross country to live here. So I HAD TO MAKE IT WORK. So, I found an entry-level job as an event coordinator at a non-profit. Still, they didn’t pay a living wage and worked me like a mule! Don’t get me wrong!

I was proud of staging memorable social events, corporate workshops, and parties for companies like Stone Brewery, Toyota, and Rady’s Children’s Hospital. I was planning and hosting events of 500 + until enough was enough! (I even threw an intimate private party for one of the stars from the cast Bones!)

Living in America’s finest city isn’t inexpensive, and I was married to an immigrant and had a son raise. So, I had to find a way to support my family. Fortunately, I was hired at a start-up as a private jet broker, making a lot of money, booking private jets for actors like Jennifer Lawrence, NFL players, and other athletes. My boss was a badass, and my colleagues were chill and fun to work with. I thought, “I’m set for life! I’m not going anywhere.” Besides, I loved my job and was so proficient and fast, BUT the company ran out of funds and laid my department off.

Then I went to work at one of the top 25 residential golf courses in the U.S. It was a full-time gig, where I was to event coordinate, serve as the membership assistant and concierge on the weekends. Yup, I can multi-task. It was good pay, in a gorgeous location, with elegant and classy guests. I couldn’t believe it!

I was brushing elbows with actors from the Office and baseball players from the San Diego Padres. However, the concierge and membership assistant roles bored me to tears! All I wanted to do was throw parties! These people didn’t want to party enough, though!

My life motto: Be yourself. Be free.

Whenever the members spotted me, they’d treat me poorly and ask what I’d done to be there and not in the kitchen or cleaning. As if Latinos can’t do anything else. They’d give me their coats and unfinished wine glasses, and it would piss me off!

I had to dress fancy all the time and behave with proper etiquette and gracefulness. I’m just a laid-back misplaced Texan who prefers to kick her boots up on a desk, speak in Spanglish, and in the business of producing fun experiences. I wanted something different, so I began to dream about having a laptop lifestyle like the people in my I.G. feed, and I wanted to be an entrepreneur like my parents. I spent nine months in my two-hour commutes listening to podcasts until one day. Then, I found Ashley Stahl’s You Turn Podcast! She talked about switching careers, and I was hooked on the idea!

During my research, I found Andrea Valeria’s YouTube Channel, where I discovered 90 Day VA. Finally, I went back to college for another degree, this time in Entrepreneurship. (Thank you, G.I. Bill!)

I spent many months learning in my spare time and started my side hustle serving podcasters. Now, I get to interact with podcasters from all walks of life. Most importantly, I’m able to be myself and be free! I’m able to launch podcasts in one day or take clients through my 5-week signature course and get to be their cheerleader. I enjoy serving magnetic, dazzling, and charming people launch their dream podcast that they can utilize to draw the crowds. At the same time, I helped my husband Antony found and launch Savage Boxing Gym in Vista, CA. He was an amateur boxer in Spain (where we met), and he brought his skills, and we made the most of it. We help youth in North county perform at regional USA Boxing events and build the confidence they need to lead a healthy lifestyle.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It was a struggle, but I love a good challenge. I’m a firm believer that when there’s a will, there’s a way, and as long as we’re alive, we can find solutions to anything! I drove 54 hours cross country (from Virginia to San Diego) after graduating from Old Dominion University and getting out of the Navy with less than $6k to my name, a 6-year-old, a sedan filled with our belongings.

The friend that convinced us to move here flaked on us when I was in Tennessee on my way here and said that we couldn’t be roommates after all because her mom didn’t want us to live with them. (It was only going to be until I found a job and a home for my son and me.) So we got here and didn’t have anywhere to live, and the only person we knew was her. (I’m a daughter of two immigrants and I only have one brother in Florida.)

It was tough, but having been in the military and lived on my own since I was 15 years old, I consider these obstacles and challenges to only build character. I’ve been able to do a lot of what I’ve done on my own or with little to no help or funding. However, I wish that I would have had someone to help me along the way.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My name is Yali Cristina; I own a podcast launch agency. My team and I help amusing and delightful leaders and experts launch or manage their podcast. We guide and assist in creating a sustainable one, and we can even transform their current one. We know they’re tied up with other aspects of their organization, and we’re in the business to give them a leg up, so they don’t miss a beat.

Cristina has been an athlete all of her life. From six years of cheerleading to four years of Marine Corps JROTC. Before co-owning Savage Boxing, she interned as an event coordinator for the Real Madrid Soccer team in Madrid, Spain, where she met Coach Antony. Today she manages Savage Boxing and assists her husband in molding youth boxers into savages in the ring who compete at an amateur level in the regional USA Boxing events.

Location: 1589 E. Vista Way Suite A Vista, CA 92084, (760) 622-9898 office,

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
The podcasting industry has become very popular in recent years, although it’s existed for over a decade. We saw a booming growth last year with the pandemic when everyone was indoors and bored. However, there will be a shift in listenership. Some podcasters may lose confidence as they see that their downloads aren’t as high as last year. Many podcasts will suffer from pod fade in the coming months now that businesses are opening back up, and people will have more to do. (Pod fade: when podcasters stop producing their show)

However, those who will remain in production will reap the rewards of continuing to release episodes. Their supporters will continue to binge on their podcasts during their workout sessions and on road trips. (Which is when most people consume podcasts). Podcasts will receive more attractive ad investments from businesses allowing podcasters to have more variety to decide who to collaborate with.

USA Boxing is slowly rolling out events in the region for youth boxers. Boxing is a classic sport that hasn’t seen many changes and I think that it will continue to gain the interest of youth who seek to build confidence and lead a healthy life.


  • Savage Boxing Memberships start at $60 up to $110 per month
  • Podcast Wing Woman (signature 5 week guided challenge) $450
  • Podcast Launch in a Day (starts at $1,000)

Contact Info:

Suggest a Story: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in Uncategorized

  • SDVoyager FAQs

    We’ve prepared this FAQ about SDVoyager in an effort to ensure that anyone who is interested can have a full understanding...

    Local StoriesSeptember 23, 2018