Name: Esvanyeli Oyervides
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Words to live by: Perseverance. My mom came as an immigrant to the U.S. when I was only 3 years old. She had no family here, no friends, and did not understand English. She became my inspiration. I do it all for her. She taught me to never give up and that no matter what one does in life, one must strive to be the best at it. That is my goal. I am dedicating myself to a brand that I believe in 100%. I know that with perseverance I can achieve anything I put my heart and mind to.
Interview by Zaida Diaz
Tell me a little about what you were doing before you started your business.
I have worked full time ever since I got out of high school, always making sure that my family was supported some way by me. I have always strived to be at the best position I could in every job I could take on and that is when it all happened. It all started at the beginning of 2017. An idea just popped. I needed to do something for myself and for my family. I am a dreamer. I asked myself, how can I create something that everyone can relate to? I thought about clothing, but it did not go as well as I assumed it would.
What is the meaning behind your brand name?
The name UNiiQUE came from my name. After I noticed similar businesses were popping up, I told myself I had to do something related to the brand name — something that was UNiiQUE and I finally came across my products.
When and how did you learn hand embroidery?
I have family in Mexico who manufacture our products. They’re one of a kind. All of our products are one of a kind designs. I make sure that all of our styles are not repeated (including our clutches, wallets & home decor). Everything is handmade which is what gives my brand a unique kind of love. As I keep growing, my goal is to expand my brand and in a year or two, open a coffee shop. Rustic decor with a style of UNiiQUE products.
At what moment did you decide that you wanted to open your own business?
This idea started back in January 2017. Yes, very recently and with the help of my mom, we managed to import our products directly from Mexico. My 17-year-old brother is my personal photographer and has done an amazing job at it. My fiancé of 9 years also helps me with my business with whether it be with accounting or managing my website.
Honestly, I don’t know if I would have been able to bring this brand to life without the help and motivation of the three people I love.
Family is everything and that is something I try to show in all of my products.
Did you ever encounter any obstacles along the way? How did you deal with this?
I try to look at every obstacle as an opportunity to make things better. Of course, there will always be problems whether it is criticism from others or things that don’t go the way you plan, but if you focus on just the negativity, you will never get anywhere in life. Rather than listening to others or getting upset because you did not get things done your way, take it as constructive criticism and as I always say, do you boo boo. Focus on the finish line and keep striving for better.
Looking back, what piece of advice would you give your younger self?
I think I would tell myself to trust more. Growing up I was always taught to do things for myself, be an independent woman, because at the end of the day people will leave. Yes, you can be Wonder Woman, but even Wonder Woman needs help.
What’s the best/toughest part of being your own boss?
The best part of being my own boss is that I decide each style I want. Every unique design that someone chooses has been chosen by me first. I think that bringing that smile to someone when they choose your product is what makes me happiest.
The toughest has been having to be on top of every post, every picture, every event, every delivery and making sure things are on time. Yet, this still makes me happy.
What has been essential to helping your business grow since you first began?
Instagram has really been my biggest platform. When someone comes up to me and says “Hey! I follow you!” Wow! That really means the world to me. I think it’s not all about the followers, but about the people that have been throughout my journey and supported it since day one.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I have always been in love with my Mexican culture and at the same time I have always been a modern Latina. So, I thought to myself, how can I incorporate both? And that is why I think UNiiQUE has been able to relate to many.
Handmade embroidery has existed for over more than 5,000 years and is one of Mexico’s most important crafts.
How would you describe your brand?
I would describe UNiiQUE as the modernization of handmade embroidery.
What business goals have you realized at this point?
Many! I never imagined UNiiQUE would grow so quickly. It’s awesome to see so many people who love our products, making us part of their daily routines and carrying us around as they run their errands. We still have way more to do as far as our short-term goals go though.
What new goals are you setting for your business?
As I previously mentioned, my goal is to expand my brand and open a coffee shop. Rustic décor with a style of UNiiQUE products. I know that with my previous job experience as general manager I can and will make it happen.