We had the good fortune of connecting with Esthepany Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Esthepany, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It was 2019 and I was about to graduate from college and its such an exciting and fulfilling time but it’s also such a life changing time. I’ve always been someone who really plans out her life, and dreams and I always work hard to follow Gods will in my life, and I really just sat down and had a moment in class where I was in my own little bubble really putting everything into perspective and having a full on convo with God. I was like God you’ve opened up so many doors for me but which one is the one that’s really for me. To be quite honest I was scared! I was scared of making the wrong decision. My options were going back to London for my masters and accepting the job offer, or going to Italy for a job I was offered there, or starting my own business. I loved working in London and getting my masters was something I wanted to do because I really do love to learn and in this industry there’s always so much more to learn. I had loved my previous experience in London in general as it was such a life changing time for me. It was where I got even more connected to God, I learned to be on my own, and to truly put myself first. And Italy was an exciting opportunity…but I kept being pulled to starting my journey of owning my own business. I felt like God you’ve prepared me so much, I’ve gotten such a great education, really worked hard to learn both retail and production aspects (and so much more), and I just knew that’s what was meant to be the next chapter of my journey. And from that very moment it was official I started doing research filing paperwork, and making all the moves towards Eclai’s launch. It was definitely not easy. I first had to turn down both London, and Italys offer which was scary because they both sound so exciting, and were such great opportunities that in back of my mind I was just praying I had made the right decision. But now I can truly say that I know all along it’s been God molding me, and preparing me for this very moment.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I think one of the things I’m most proud of for Eclai is that in every decision, every design, color, concept, branding and/or idea it hasn’t been something that I’ve taken very lightly. Its been such a fulfilling process when deciding the color/s I wanted to use it was a very easy decision as I’ve always loved neutral colors, especially the color beige/cream. Even to the detail of pampass grass when I was in 6th grade my mom would take me to my middle school and I’d always pass this house that was full of them and I remember just being in awe of how beautiful it was, and ever since then it became my favorite thing. Now pampass grass is the aesthetic thing to have and I 100% agree but for Eclai its deeper then that. I actually even created an Eclai newspaper and it was something that was special to me because I remember growing up and getting the newspaper with my dad and getting to cut out the “Love is…” cartoons. So really what I’m proud of is that in everything I do for Eclai it has such a deep value, and it has a deep meaning in my life. I truly think that its been something that’s set us apart as its a very tangible authenticity, and passion. Ive been able to speak to so many customers especially at pop ups and its been so moving to see how much they love Eclai and how they can perceive the passion I have for what I do, as well as for them to love and applaud all the details that go into Eclai. Its always my favorite thing to do at pop ups to be able to talk to someone and have even the slightest of impacts in their life. I really do love encouraging others to follow their dreams, and to stay true and authentic to themselves.
I love that Eclai’s story is real and it truly has been a Dream Come True, and it it’s been a beautiful story to tell. And if I can inspire others while making my own dreams come true it makes it that much better!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
So currently my favorite ice cream shop is Salt & Straw I’m truly obsessed. So I’d definitely take my visiting bff to San Diego where we’d eat at this beautiful and delicious Mexican restaurant I love, and we’d then have dessert at Salt & Straw. I also love going bowling and going to the movies so we’d definitely have to make time to do that. I’d also like to make more time to road trip in CA since I feel like there’s so much I haven’t seen of it because life gets busy so I’d definitely take advantage of that week to go exploring.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
#1 I want to give all the glory to God, he truly has been my rock, guide, and molder. I know I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for him. And of course I want to shoutout my family. Especially my parents as they’ve been the ones who’ve instilled and shown me what a great work ethic is. They are both entrepreneurs as well, and have definitely worked so hard to get to where they are. My mom in her thirties was diagnosed with lupus and a couple of other things so growing up with a loved one especially your mom wasn’t easy but I never saw her break down, or give up. She always pushed thru the pain, and was the best mom I could’ve ever asked for. As for my dad he has been the hardest working man I’ve known my entire life. Its funny because even my male friends will point out the fact that he’s so hard working. Im honored to be his daughter and super thankful to God for the family he gave me. My sisters have been super supportive and truly my #1 customers and as for my nephews they encourage me all the time, motivate me, and even are my little helpers every weekend for our pop-up prep. I know my grandmother would’ve been so proud and I owe a lot of my creativity to her so she definitely deserves a lot of credit. Lastly I have to thank my friends who’ve been super supportive, encouraging, my right hands and the best friends I could’ve asked for. Shoutout to CB, LS, DR, AND LS.

Website: shopeclai.com

Instagram: @shopeclai

Facebook: @shopeclai

Other: TikTok: @shopeclai

Image Credits
Shopeclai Esthepany Rodriguez Carlos Segoviano Maritza Valos

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