Failure wasn’t an option.
From a young age I knew that nothing would be handed to me. I was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Orlando, Florida by my single mom—a proud Colombian who spoke very little English, working eighteen-hour days to keep us afloat. For both my brother and I, we knew our fates were in our own hands. I lived my life by one mantra: Failure is not an option. I didn’t have the luxury of not making it work.
I earned a full-(ish) ride scholarship, worked full-time throughout college, grinded through the summers. Things were tough, but it made me stronger. I applied to a study-abroad program in Spain, asking my mom to cosign for the loan. When I received the letter denying approval, it was the first time I realized that my determination wasn't enough to get what I wanted. It was the first time I felt my socioeconomic status limited my future. I wanted more.
After college, I miraculously landed a job at a boutique investment bank in Manhattan, clinging to my mantra like my life depended on it. New York changed everything. Two years later, I met Jesse.
Office banter turned into emailing which morphed into a full-fledged long-distance relationship. I thought I was Carrie Bradshaw; he thought he was David Guetta. I knew it was the real thing when he moved across the country for me and proposed a few years after. Our wedding in Cabo San Lucas was magic. The food. The mezcal. The vibrancy of it all. Mexico stole our hearts.
In 2017, my expat dreams had come true. Jesse got accepted to an MBA program and we boarded a plane to Barcelona, Spain. We traveled. A lot. I learned a ton about the culture and, well, wine. It was the best two years of my life.
We left Spain with an appetite to settle down and start a family. Before I knew it, I got pregnant after our first try. Frankly, I was more nervous than excited. It happened so quickly. After eight weeks, I miscarried. That was one of the most isolating and painful experiences I have ever gone through. I was in a hazy fog for months. My hormones were a wreck. My body was out of whack. I felt like a failure. I decided that I needed to do something for myself.
So I booked a trip to Cabo and invited a girlfriend to join. I needed Mexico to lift me up, to reinvigorate my spirit again. My soul needed that vacation. Little did I know that something incredible—an idea—would come out of that trip.
Months later, I left for Oaxaca, Mexico to do some soul searching. I fell in love with the city, spending my days sifting through local markets and learning about the intricacies of the Otomi coasters and more handmade treasures that I lugged back. Oaxaca was the turning point. I wanted to figure out how I could share every discovery I made with the world. Pass the Salt was no longer just an idea, it was an opportunity. It was the thing I needed to pull myself out of that gloomy haze.
This entire entrepreneurial journey has reminded me of what I’m capable of. That I am enough. It reminded me to never let the lioness inside me go to sleep. That failure is still not an option.
I hope our hosting boxes bring you joy, like curating them does for me.