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Community Highlights: Meet Ana Maria Certain

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ana Maria Certain.

Hi Ana Maria, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I have had amazing adventures, and that is what has gotten me to where we are today. I moved from Colombia to Miami with my family when I was 12 years old and did my middle school, high school and college here. I have worked in corporate for over 15 years with really cool jobs at Sony Ericsson and then in the media world. It’s been challenging at moments but then again, so is everything that’s worth it. Around eight years ago, I participated in a marketing and sales master’s in Barcelona and met my husband.

After careful consideration, I started looking for a job and ended up living the European life. I was in Barcelona for the past seven years, where I was able to get married and have my first two baby girls. It was an amazing experience. COVID and our surprise triplet pregnancy made us reconsider our situation, and we moved back down to Miami to have emotional and physical support, with my family, in Miami. My triplet babies were born at 25 weeks due to a PPROM and were in the Holtz Children’s hospital for five months. Our firstborn triplet, Miguel, sadly passed away on December 6th from pneumonia complications. Pablo and Gonzalo are now home with us and thriving.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I think that with everything in life, there are always struggles. Some of the obstacles are even stuff that we make up in our minds- preconceived notions, fears, insecurities. I’ve learned with losing my baby, moving in the middle of a pandemic and relocation across the world that these challenges and obstacles help us grow and help us come into our own skin.

The most rewarding things in my life have always come with lots of obstacles, and I’ve always understood that it’s my job to make the best out of it. I also honestly believe that true happiness comes even in the hardest times by finding the beauty of living in it. Suffering, love, sadness, happiness, they all come from living life to the fullest, so yes, it hasn’t been a smooth road, and I honestly feel it will never be a smooth one, but who cares! I’m here to enjoy my life, my family and my experiences one day at a time!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
My business, El Rincon de Maria, was actually born when I was pregnant with Maria. My mom had owned a children’s store in Colombia while I was in elementary school, and I spent my afternoons helping out at the store. Let’s say I grew in love with the business while doing this. She closed off her store, Beatriz Alicia when she divorced my dad and decided to focus on raising all four of us but her love (and my love) for children’s fashion was always there.

When I got pregnant with Maria, we traveled all over Spain to get the prettiest clothes for her and decided it would be fun to open up a side hustle where I could offer European fashion to our Latin friends and family in Miami and Colombia. The first three years of El Rincon de Maria were focused on seasonal pop-ups and selling through Instagram. With time, it became a more organized business, I launched the website, which is our main communication channel today, and here we are! I honestly believe it was God’s fate for it to be launched as an online business because I feel that’s the only reason why we are surviving COVID.

What do you specialize in?
We specialize in European clothing for newborns and toddlers and all things baby, let’s call it, baby essentials.

What sets you apart from others?
Customer service. We strongly believe in helping our clients as much as we can. We’ve become friends with many of our repeat customers, and it feels like a little family. I feel the knowledge of the European market, having lived there and understanding the Spanish culture, helps me offer true European style to the US market. We also carry many small, artisanal brands that you won’t be able to find in any other boutiques here as well.

What are you most proud brand-wise?
Being able to create a great business while juggling a full-time career and having five kids!!!! I am so proud of myself and those other mompreneurs who go through it all in order to achieve their dreams!

What do you want readers to know about our offering?
That At El Rincon de Maria, you will find a curated selection of European children’s brands at great prices for newborns, babies and toddlers. I strive to say Great prices because we don’t believe in huge markups and we want you to get the same brands, the same styles at a very similar price you do If you would get it in Europe. For example, we just launched our Fall collection, which is the same one you will find in stores across Spain in September.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
I have been able to network with a great group of moms through my business. I would suggest reaching out to your favorite small business and asking them for advice. I believe a lot of people are willing to help others out. I currently connect with local influencers and brands to collaborate and develop fun events or activities, even online. Anyone who wants some advice acn also feels free to reach me!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Martin Aranda Ximena Peñuela

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