Jennifer Serrano and Veronica Vasquez’s Queer Latina-Owned Lifestyle Brand Celebrates Their Culture
According to wife duo Jennifer Serrano and Veronica Vasquez, sometimes all you need is a dollar, a dream, and a fiercehustle mentality.
They are the founders of the Latina lifestyle brand JZD. You’ve definitely seen their iconic pink Latina Power t-shirt on celebrities like Eva Longoria, Camila Mendes, and America Ferrera. After all, JZD’s mission is to empower Latinas everywhere and remind them that they are Diosas.
Serrano and Vasquez are living proof of the American Dream, growing their self-funded small business with the help of social media and even bringing it into the aisles at Target stores nationwide. Today, their online shop offers a variety of t-shirts, loungewear, accessories, and more, with cheeky sayings that play off of Latino culture.
“We love creating pieces that make our customers say, “Wow! That’s me!” or, “This reminds me of my abuela,” the pair tells mitú.
The queer Latina-owned brand has widely resonated with the public, who proudly display parts of their identity when they wear a “Bien Gay” tee or a “Latina Magic” sweatshirt. We spoke with Serrano and Vasquez about why they started JZD and how their Latina culture impacts their business.
From scratch to viral sensations
Serrano and Vasquez founded their shop in 2016, selling products on the global e-commerce site Etsy before starting their website. Serrano quit her job and has been her own boss ever since. Vasquez quit her corporate job the following year to work full-time on JZD.
“She saw I needed the help, so that was also scary for some time because that financial cushion of a salary was now gone,” said Serrano.
The Latina Power tee became their first successful product, going viral on social media. It was created because Serrano and Vasquez needed a reminder of their power. After seeing its popularity, they realized that so many people in the community felt the same way.
Every time the essential t-shirt was posted online, in came the rush of orders and new customers. They gradually grew their website, team, and range of products, keeping their community’s feedback in mind.
JZD reached a remarkable $2 million in sales in under six years. They used Instagram to build brand awareness and amassed over 100,000 followers who share the same connection to their Latino roots.
A leap of faith
Going full force into JZD was a necessary risk for Serrano, who was unhappy at her job. She and Vasquez didn’t even have furniture in their Texas apartment, but they could see the potential of their brand. They just had to find a way to make it work.
“We were newlyweds, basically no money, but we had each other and a vision, so we knew with hard work and a plan, we could build something for ourselves,” said Serrano and Vasquez.
Serrano put everything she had financially into JZD, and once Vasquez followed suit, they no longer had her salary to use as a financial cushion. There were even times when they couldn’t make rent and had to pawn their computer to keep a roof over their heads.
Their culture is everything to their business
Vasquez is a first-generation Mexican-American, and Serrano immigrated from Mexico as a six-year-old. Having support from the Latinx community has helped their brand reach “unimaginable heights.”
It’s a mutual admiration between them and their consumers; their community makes them proud and keeps them going. Serrano and Vasquez are motivated by their culture’s drive to succeed and aim for more.
“Everything that JZD does, and every single item that we put out, is with our community and culture in mind,” said the duo.
They live by the phrase “no pasa nada,” which helps them push forward through whatever challenges arise. They try not to worry because they know they will come out stronger on the other side.
Serrano and Vasquez urge Latinas to go after their entrepreneurial dreams in full force. When it comes to starting a business, they might not have all the answers when they launch, but they will learn as they go.
“However, we’ve learned that hard, consistent work pays off,” said Serrano and Vasquez. “Eventually, the opportunities will present themselves, and you’ll want to be ready for them.”