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

Hi Veronica, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I didn’t really set out with the intention of starting a small business. I had just started a job with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), which is a regional repertory theatre in Ashland, Oregon, when the pandemic hit. Like many theatres in the nation, the effects of the pandemic were felt causing closures and mass layoffs. I returned home to Palmdale, California, shortly after I was laid off. Initially, I thought my world was ending, but having some forced time away gave me room to explore all the other passions of mine. I took a chance during lockdown and started a small, online clay-jewelry business. Though I’d like to say the process was easy and something that came natural, it did not. I recognized how crazy the idea of starting a small business during an economic collapse sounded, and I knew nothing about business. There was a lot of self-sabotaging, and it really did stop me from making any decisions and taking action. It’s all to easy to get wrapped up in doubts and negative thinking. Sometimes all you need is a leap of faith. So here we are!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets me apart from other businesses is my soul intention. I do not look at my business solely in terms of profit. Verano Y Sol goes beyond selling a product, it is a connection to cultural ties that my customers can experience. My purpose is to allow people to feel like they too can create something beautiful with their hands and enjoy the process. The art of hand-making is something deeply involved in my culture; and with society’s fast-paced style of living, handmade products are overlooked due to large corporation’s abilities to pump out products to people. I feel like we are losing the meaning and value a handmade product can produce. Therefore, Verano Y Sol is my way of saying come, join me, you too can be part of something beautiful.

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?
We’d be doing lots of eating! We have a diverse food scene here in Los Angeles and the best street vendors. It’s also inexpensive and authentic so, that’s a plus! I would love to show them some of my personal favorites. I’m a sucker for seafood, so we would kick off the week with a drive down to Boyle Heights to Mariscos Jalisco for some delicious shrimp tacos. Stroll the streets of L.A. for some corn and other goodies (you simply cannot be in L.A. and not pick up a corn from the corn man). Knowing my friends, they’d probably want to do some type of outdoor activity. So we would take a trip to Descanso Gardens or the Huntington library and explore some botanical gardens. Finally, end our day with a hike in Griffith and catch the sunset.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family of course. My families love and support have always been a tremendous force in my life. My mentor Gabriel Barrera for his enthusiasm, sincerity and always pointing me in the right direction. My talented, skilled and intelligent friends, Paul Wolf Wilson, Lyzett Gutierrez, Alessandra de la Torre, and Jed Moncayo for their knowledge and encouragement. To our dedicated Verano Y Sol costumers who keep returning, and everyone who has touched my life one way or another. Thank you! It’s indeed a privilege to know people of substance who add value to your life. When you are just starting off it’s nice to have family and community behind you while you attempt your crazy idea. Sometimes you jump into something not seeing the whole thing through until the end, the support gives me trust in my ability to pull through and accept failure graciously when things don’t work out.

Website: veranoysol.com

Instagram: @veranoxsol

Other: Email: veranoxsol@gmail.com

Image Credits
Paul Wolf Wilson

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.