What inspired you to start Sira & Mara Accessories?
I started Sira&Mara to let my creative side run free. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, I worked for the U.S. Senate. While I enjoyed my time in politics very much, I needed an outlet for my creativity. That’s how Sira&Mara was born.
How have you seen your work impact others?
Sira&Mara has allowed me to impact others in a way that I did not anticipate when I created my company. My initial goal was to offer affordable accessories for the everyday fashionista, but over time Sira&Mara has become a vehicle for me to tell my story as an immigrant, a female entrepreneur, and a dreamer.
Who or what inspires you to think big?
I feel very fortunate to always have been surrounded by amazing people who have inspired me to think big. The very first one is my mother. She’s the definition of a warrior. She became a widow at age 40, and had to raise us alone. She proved to me that a woman can make it through huge adversity. I am the independent and driven woman that I am today thanks to her. Additionally, I’m inspired by my husband. He is the wisest person that I know. Living with somebody like him makes me want to continue to improve myself. I am proud of him, and I want to make him proud. Last but not least, my biggest source of inspiration comes from my heart. I was born a dreamer, and I do not believe in obstacles. This attitude has always kept me motivated and focused.
What is your advice to aspiring and established Latina professionals?
My advice to aspiring Latina professionals is “get ready to be comfortable out of your comfort zone.” There is no such thing as a comfort zone in entrepreneurship. Accept that challenges are an everyday occurrence, and you will save yourselves lots of headaches.
My advice for established Latinas is “forgive yourself.” As women, we tend to be caregivers. We want to care for our families, our friends, our community. As an entrepreneur, you always find yourself scratching for more time. Forgive yourself for not being able to do it all.
In what ways has your culture impacted your career or business?
Latinos are all about our people. This has had a very big impact on my business. I care about the community that I have created with the more than 30,000 combined followers we have on our social media channels. I chat with them daily, I know many of their names, and where they are from. They know I see a person behind the financial transaction, and that is very important.
What makes Sira&Mara unique?
What makes Sira&Mara unique is the story behind the brand. Sira&Mara’s loyal customers can see beyond the product. They identify with the immigrant woman who came to the U.S. with only $800 in her pocket. They identify with the girl who taught herself English by watching TV with subtitles because she could not afford to pay for classes. They cheer on the girl who created a business from her home office with a laptop and a smartphone, and who then ended up being featured on the #1 morning show in the USA (“Despierta America”).
What makes Sira&Mara unique is that it proves that the American dream is alive and well. I know that those who follow me closely feel as if they can also do it because they are seeing my evolution. And I take the time to let them know that YES, THEY CAN!