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Meet Vanessa Ilias of Our Miami in Miami-Dade

Today we’d like to introduce you to Vanessa Ilias.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Vanessa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Our Miami was founded on the idea that local businesses and the community need to be more intertwined. Many locals aren’t aware of the immense about of products and food that are cultivated/created right here! in our own city! I started Our Miami as a passion project and for the love of the city I grew up in.

I’ve seen the drastic changes Miami has gone through, as the city has multiplied by thousands to millions in just over a decade, and I’m not just talking about the skyscrapers. What hasn’t changed along with it is the improvement in public health resources, education, and accessibility to health. As a practicing nurse, I’ve seen first hand how Miami has unintentionally created a huge inequality leading to more hospitalizations, a decrease in social trust within the medical community, and a lack of resources to educate the diverse culture of people we have. Many have now realized that one huge public health issue can weigh down millions of people—prevention matters in ALL types of situations.

This is where Our Miami Box makes a difference, giving back to the improvement of health education & promoting health prevention through our sister partner Health Education Promotion and Prevention Inc., a public health non-profit we collaborate and donate proceeds to. In collaboration with local businesses that create products in our city, we’ve curated the Our Miami Box, which has a little bit of everything! Every local business that contributes looks to give back to the community as well. What I like to say, ” Together, we’ve created a full circle of community connection.” It’s been a roller coaster of ups and downs like all start-ups but the amazing business owners and locals I’ve met along the way have shown me there’s not only a hidden gem of businesses but of the people themselves.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh smooth! Understatement! As I’ve mentioned It’s been a roller coaster. When we started the concept in January 2020, it was originally pitched as a company that would integrate events with the healthcare field. Such as visiting elderly facilities, Hospital drives, Hospital pop up events, etc. You can see now why this went down the drain in March. So as a nurse fighting the frontline of the pandemic, we started getting all these local donations. It was everything from food to bath bombs, Hair products, Cards. You name it! Which sparked the idea HEY, Why not keep this going? and continue to benefit the healthcare field, not just us frontline workers. This is how Our Miami Box was created and, most importantly, the Our Miami Project.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Our Miami story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a company focused on using its profits to improve public health. Our goal is to build a community that has a better understanding of how to take control of their health through education and preventive practices. From our experience, increasing awareness of health minimizes disparities and leads to the improvement of a healthy and safe community. We created an innovative and integrative approach to help increase awareness. Including local businesses in the process!

As a team, we have come together to bring a little bit of Miami to you that will continue to come in a full circle. Helping the small Miami businesses thrive while giving back to the community’s health.

What makes me proud and still surprises me is how I’m able to keep Our Miami going! Since Our Miami is a passion project, I juggle being CEO, Part-time Nurse, and currently a Graduate student. You can say I very much spend all my “free” time working on Our Miami. I believe what sets us apart is we are the ONLY local product box company that exists in not only Miami but in the U.S. We are able to include  full-size variety products and ship all over the U.S. Not only that, Our Miami integrates local businesses by connecting them with community events and sponsorship opportunities.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck… I think my drive for working hard and seeing this idea through is what has gotten Our Miami where it is today. I believe my higher power has definitely placed the right team in my hands to keep this going. If that’s luck, then I’ll take it!


  • Our Miami Box 35$

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