Flor de Jade Shop
Colorado Latinos/as to Know and Support: December 2022
Carolyna Espinoza Jackeline Ruiz
Flor de Jade Shop is a modern artisanal boutique featuring Latin American ancestral roots. The shop sells artisanal Latin American clothing and accessories. It was founded in Denver, CO in 2021 by two Latinas with the vision to bring the joy, beauty, and good vibes that Latin America embodies.
Flor de Jade Shop works directly with artists/artisans from Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Panama. Their products are artisanal, sustainable, and one of a kind. Their products are made with traditional methods but have a modern twist!
Sweaters by Creatibaby
The women behind Flor de Jade:
Carolyna - I am Mexican-American, born and raised in Southern California but I now call Colorado home. I am proud of my roots and the ingenuity of Latin American artisans and artists alike. The beauty and passion of my culture has inspired me to share a piece of it with the rest of the world. With Flor de Jade, I feel that I am doing my part in contributing to ‘La cultura’.
Jackeline - I am Venezuelan and my family is from Colombia. I lived eight years in Panama before moving to Colorado. I got to know Latin America and fell in love with its colors and shades. This inspired me to keep showing more of my roots! I love Flor de Jade Shop because we seek to bring artisan products with an inspiration that combines a modern style with traditional practices! The talent and genuineness of each culture deserves to be shown to the world...
Is your heritage/identity/culture a part of your business?
Yes, our Latin American heritage inspired us to share the abundance of creativity and ingenious arts that are being created by the new generation in Latin America. Traditional goods are plenty throughout the world but we wanted to highlight the new style and art that the descendants of those artisans or the new wave of artisans is creating. We hope people can learn more about our culture with each purchase and that they can be proud of their purchase because when you buy from us, you are supporting mostly women artisans in Latin America who are able to lead an independent and stable life.
What sets your business apart from others? Our products represent our cultural heritage but have a modern twist and a touch of pop art feel. They are completely unique and handmade, not mass produced or bought from a redistributor.
Jewelry by Doris Merchan
Being a small business owner is not easy. What challenges have you faced? Have you ever thought of giving up? If so, what inspired or motivated you to keep going?
It has been very challenging. We have faced a journey of learning new things and how to run a business in general. We have felt discouraged but do not want to give up. Both Jackie and I (Carolyn) are headstrong and don't like to give up. Our vision to be our own bosses, to create a legacy for our families, and to share these wonderful and whimsical products is what motivates us.
Tell us a bit about being a Latino/a business owner or the Latino/a business community.
We love representing our community and supporting other Latino businesses as well.
What is the most joyful part of your business?
The most joyful part of our business is seeing client's reactions to our whimsical products, especially our best sellers; pop art Peruvian sweaters, Peruvian llama plushes, bright pompoms and hand painted clay products.
What are you most proud of?
We are so proud of ourselves that we actually started this without thinking twice and have kept going despite the challenges. We are also proud of the artists that we work with and have been honored to see their journey as well.
What qualities, characteristics, or people have contributed to your success?
We love how the Latino community has supported us; the community of clients in Colorado, and the non-profits that have helped us with the development of our business. We definitely could not have done this alone.
What advice do you for others who want to start their own business?
Our advice is to seek help and accept help from non-profits, professionals, and others who offer their assistance or knowledge in business. Also, be a student and learn from others. Don't assume that you can't do something or that it's not possible. Please speak up, communicate, and ask others when in doubt. This is general advice to anybody that wants to start a business, no matter the race, creed, or ethnicity.
All images are the property of Carolyna Espinoza & Jackeline Ruiz.
Some content may have been edited for clarity.