We had the good fortune of connecting with Atziri & Yajahira Peña and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Atziri & Yajahira, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor behind our success and the brands success is most definetly the community that constantly supports us. We have been able to help our undocumented community through funding for DACA renewals or crowdfunding for other resources that can be hard for people without status to obtain. We know that we always have our community to back us up just as much as we help them. We have also been blessed with brands and artists shouting us out such as Vive Cosmetics, María Del Pilar, Cusi Coyllur, and Goods Perdido. People often forget that a shout out goes a long way for brands that are small like ours, so when people tell others about our shirts and our stickers, it has allowed us to grow little by little.
We are an immigrant owned business run by two Latinx sisters. We sell shirts and stickers that represent the issues that we are passionate about. Our business is different from others because our focus is not about profiting but about uplifting our communities. We currently teamed up with the Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation to raise money to support undocumented families during the current COVID-19 pandemic and now we have started our own fund to help other undocumented immigrants to pay for their DACA application. At the same time we have used profits off of stickers and other apparel that we have to help provide other essentials such as groceries and masks for families in our communities. Our goal is to use our platform to continue to uplift others whether it is financially or by providing them with a community that is accepting. We have been lucky to be supported by a community that is so unapologetically themselves and has constantly looked at us as family. Without the support of this community we wouldn’t have been able to be here where we are today. Running a business is definitely not easy especially without having people backing you. The challenges that come from owning a business is finding the time to run one because shipping and designing takes a lot of time. Another challenge is finding ways to bring in more products without charging so much for them but we, thankfully, have been able to meet people who share resources with us to help us grow instead of looking at us as competition. We have learned so much from our communities and the people that we have gratefully been able to interact with. Our politics have grown and we have become a brand that is constantly learning from our supporters which we find to be very unique. Our separate identities come together for the brand but it’s great to get to know us as well. We love who we are as separate people and love being able to get to know everyone at a more personal level. As for our brand, our story is the story of many other immigrants who want to give their parents and themselves a better life. We are women owned and want to make our identities be heard through our appare and through the platform that we have. We want to encourage everyone to live their truths and to do so unapologetically.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Our favorite spots in the city has to be the taquero from Tacos Naomi on Obama road, Our grandmothers house because that is just the best food you can ever get, and going to the Rodium swapmeet on a sunday morning. The swapmeet is one of our favorites to go because you buy from people in the community instead of big corporations and we grew up going there setting for our moms spot. Another one of our favorites spots is any Tierra Mia coffee spot because their coffee is delicious. Last but not least we love museums such as The Broad because they have Yayoi Kusama art work or the Descanso Gardens.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We want to shout out our Parents Jaime and Lorena Peña, Mony and Gaga (our aunts), Jaime (our brother), Emilia (our grandmother) first and foremost and our entire community as a whole. We have been embraced by our undocumented community and they deserve so much recognition for allowing us to get to where we are now. This community had not only given us so much support but also has allowed us to share so many resources to people that need it with the platform that we have been thankfully been given. We would also like to shout out our professors (special shout out to Professor Benveniste) for sharing and supporting us and every single person who has ever shared, commented, and purchased anything that we sell.
Angela Benveniste Norma Ramirez Yajahira Peña Atziri Peña