Making an impact in our community is one of our core values. We’re always looking to empower women so when we found out about Isabel’s brand, Sololi, and the project behind it, we knew we had to feature her.
She empowers and gives opportunities to artisans to showcase their work and get an income from it, thanks to their shop Sololi. She also created a collection inspired by all the stories and work from the artisans and encourages people to help and make an impact on these people’s lives through it.
Get ready to know her!
Who is Isabel?
Oh wow, let’s see! I’m a 40-year-old Latina, Newyorker, and Dominicana. I’m a mother of two teenagers and a wife of 20+ years. I’m funny, loyal and love helping others. I’m in love with love too! I love hugs and also, I’m extremely grateful and thankful for everything and everyone in my life.
How did you start Sololi?
It started with about 1000, at a farmers market in Yonkers, NY.
What's the story behind the name Sololi?
We wanted something special for the name and after a long time looking, we came across Sololi. It comes from the indigenous language Nahuatl and it means something old. The symbol on top comes from Tstosil language, and it means “star”. All together means that our ancestors are guiding us to continue sharing their handmade traditions with the world.
What inspired you to create this brand and project?
It started with my need for helping others. I’ve always wanted to help others travel and help communities in need but I started a family early, so I couldn’t just go travel or take my girls with me.
I’ve always wanted to be part of something bigger than myself, and as time went by, that need never went away. It was there always, saying “one day you’ll be able to give back. You wait and see”. I had no idea how or when or what that was going to happen, but I never lost faith that I was going to be able to do what I love. Then, one day on vacation in Mexico, a light bulb went on as I was buying from all the artisan stands on a small fair on my father in law’s town. As we were buying from this stand, there was a little boy around 8 or 9 years old with the biggest smile you could imagine. While I was chatting with his family, they were telling me that Ivan doesn’t go too school because they are traveling artisans that go from fair to fair and there’s no one to stay in town with him. It broke my heart to know that he couldn’t have the opportunity like other kids to go to school. When I went home and told my husband the story, I came up with the idea of opening a shop where I could sell artisan-made merchandise and it could help as many families as we can and he said: “GO FOR IT!”. We only buy directly from the artisan because want to make sure that all the money goes to them. After a couple of years and research and a lot of close doors, I found a family that dedicates to the Otomi embroidery, and from there, more artisans started coming and they kept directing me to other family members that do different crafts, and now after a couple of years, I get to design my own collection with their help.
How do you think female customers get empowered whenever they shop from Sololi?
They get empowered when they know that shopping with us means getting a really special item made with so love and that their purchases are providing living wages, and sustainability, in the lives of our artisan and our family! That makes a big difference in the lives of everyone on the team.
Which one of our tops you think resonates with your personal story and your brand's story? Why?
Definitely DARE TO DREAM because I dare myself to dream that someday I will be able to help other communities in need and now I’m starting to see those dreams come true and I couldn’t be any happier to see how my dreams are able to help so many people and provide great opportunities to others.
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Shop Sololi HERE
Follow Sololi on Instagram HERE