We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie and Jennifer Castillo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie and Jennifer, what inspires you?
We are inspired by our roots, nature, travel, music, art, and our surroundings.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We are artists and weavers who make handwoven baskets and other woven products made in California. We named the shop ‘Coronado Ave.’ after the street we grew up in in sunny SoCal. where we learned the art of basket weaving and where we had some of our fondest childhood memories.
We learned to weave a couple years back but we really got back to weaving again in early 2020 during the midst of the pandemic. This helped us destress, connect with nature, and unwind. It was art therapy for us and it still is. There was no better time to start weaving again and creating woven art. After weaving too many baskets during quarantine, we got the idea to open a little etsy shop, especially since our friends and family were encouraging us to do so.
Our art sets us apart from others because we use all natural locally sourced fibers and supplies, and we intricately hand weave every single product ourselves. There is no second or third party involved it’s literally just us weaving away. A lot of the baskets you see in stores nowadays are mass produced but with our work, each piece is uniquely handmade with the intention of bringing beauty and peace into each home/space.
Weaving is such a creative outlet for us and we often draw inspiration from our surroundings here in California. We love weaving outside in nature too, whether it’s at the beach or the park this helps us feel more connected to mother earth.
It also takes about a week to a month to weave a medium sized basket which is why our art is considered ‘slow art’, but the end results are the best part. Weaving is such such an ancient art form that is so meditative and rewarding at the same time.
There were definitely a few challenges for us in the beginning, since we were clueless about starting a small business, even today we’re still learning something new everyday! But we love learning about the process and especially meeting new people along the way who truly appreciate our art.
One of the lessons we’ve learned along the way is patience, although it can be stressful running a small business online while having our regular day jobs, patience is always a virtue and we have also learned to always go with our gut feeling. Some days are super exhausting but its been worth it so far!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We may be biased but growing up in Long Beach, CA of course we think this is one of the coolest cities in SoCal lol. So we definitely have our favorite spots.
First off we would take our friend to Sunday brunch at Starling Diner, they have the best french toast ever! Afterwards we would take them to Retro Row on 4th street for some thrifting and window shopping and finish off the day going to Steelcraft outdoor food court in Bixby Knolls for some dinner.
Monday mornings will consist of chill beach walks along the peninsula and afterwards we would ride some scooters to Tru Nature Juice Bar for some acai bowls and smoothies.
Tuesday will involve breakfast at Vibes Cafe followed by a kayaking session at the Long Beach peninsula harbor. For lunch you can’t miss out on Roe’s fish tacos at Belmont Shore, they have the best fish tacos in town and afterwards we’ll go walk around Belmont shore and check out the shops.
Wednesday morning will be all about coffee shop hopping, we’ll start off the day by going to Colossus Bread for some delicious pastries and lavender caramel lattes, afterwards we’ll ride our bikes to Ubuntu Cafe for more iced coffees and snacks. To end the day we’ll go to the local farmer’s market by the marina and stock up on organic fruits and produce.
Thursday will consist of morning beach walks and yoga at bluff park and then some shopping at 2nd and PCH, followed by lunch at Urban Plates. After that we would take them to get yummy iced matchas at BLK Dot Coffee and hop on a free boat ride to downtown Long Beach and end the day walking around Shoreline Village and The Pike.
Friday will start off at Berlin Bistro for some breakfast and then we’ll walk over to Fingerprints Record store next door to check out some vinyl and books. This is our favorite record store in the city and it’s also super close to East Village District where we’ll go and check out more thrift stores and other fun small shops.
Saturdays will start off at Nature Center for a morning nature walk and then we’ll head over to Long Beach Exchange, which is a huge airplane hangar turned into a huge food court to try out their different foods and drinks for lunch. After that we’ll check out Urban Americana for more browsing/thrifting and then end the day driving along PCH until we end back in Long Beach 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We want to shoutout each other and our family for their support especially during COVID times which is when we decided to start our little business.