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Meet Alejandra Aguirre of Cadena Collective in Coconut Grove

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alejandra Aguirre.

Alejandra, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I am a Latina in my late twenties who grew up in Dallas, Texas by way of Zacatecas, Mexico. I value my culture immensely and live in an in-between world as a first-generation Mexican American. Cadena Collective came to fruition after finding amazing talent in my backyard of south Dallas, Texas, an underserved community.

My background is in government and public affairs but given the polarized political climate, working with artisans and small business owners became a positive outlet where I was working with my local community. The shop has grown into a labor of love and I am continuously in search of hidden treasures and unique artisans in the United States and Mexico.

Since the official launch of the website in July, I have opened up two spaces inside a collective marketplace in Miami and travel between Miami and Dallas for vendor fairs. Cadena Collective has also gone from one woman-owned business to five and we are currently in the process of signing on new vendors.

Our model is simple, have a great product, identify as a woman and we’ll discuss a fair consignment price for your products. This model works because we have to work as hard as our vendors to make sure they are profitable and that means that as Cadena Collective grows so do our wonderful vendors.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve had plenty of challenges navigating the process of creating a small business and have had to learn a variety of things from social media and website management, to contract writing. As a first-time business owner, there are often feelings of insecurity where I am not sure if I am moving the business in the right direction and that can be the biggest struggle.

Additionally, as a small business, all of my funding comes from reinvestment of the current sales that I make. This is challenging because growing the business is dependent on my investments and sometimes I want to focus on big projects that require a lot of capital.

Please tell us about your business.
Cadena Collective provides a space for women artisans and small business owners to share their handcrafted products. Our goal is to uplift and empower women through our marketplace and to support their growth with small business consulting. This is the cornerstone of Cadena Collective. We recognize women artisans who have a lot of potentials and support them in the development of their business.

We are more than a shop where you can find a beautiful pair of handcrafted earrings or hand embroidered items. We are a movement guiding women to realize their full potential. Cadena Collective celebrates and uplifts women so that they feel empowered and worthy of everything they want to achieve.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Visiting Mexico every summer with my parents and siblings was instrumental in molding me as an adult. We spent over a month each summer, visiting with distant relatives and submerging ourselves into our culture. I remember those times fondly and credit them with the inspiration for Cadena Collective. Cadena is the Spanish word for chain. Cadena also happens to be the street name of the Mexico home in which I took my first steps and the home I left at a young age when my mother immigrated to the United States.

It is a symbol of how our life has changed and how moving from Calle Cadena to the United States has given us a world of opportunities. We want to share that opportunity with women who may feel bound by the expectations their family, friends or society has placed on them. Working with women artisans and sharing their talents is a revolution of love, empowerment and the journey towards self-realization.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Abraham Vargas – Intrique Productions

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