Opening up a brick-and-mortar store in the midst of a global pandemic when most people were doing their shopping virtually is quite a feat to take on. To have it become successful and survive its first year is quite the endeavor.
That is exactly what Yoselin Renata Espinoza did. While most of the world was shut down and standing still, Espinoza decided to change things around in her life and follow her passions. While working full time, she was setting herself up and planning to open up a shop dedicated to natural and eco-friendly personal care products including artisan soaps, skincare, perfumes, body lotions, baby care and more.
Espinoza says she was looking to create a space where, “customers can go, have a relaxed experience, knowing that what they are purchasing is full of only good stuff!”
Here’s how this business woman put her corporate job aside and followed her own path during a time when most were playing it safe.
Tell us about your business?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: Renata Alchemy specializes in offering clean, natural, organic and eco-friendly products in a boutique exclusive ambiance. Our suite of products includes artisan soaps, perfumes, body lotions, apparel, personal care items, eco-friendly products, accessories and more. Our products are primarily sourced in Florida. We are adamant on researching our products authenticity and ensuring quality prior to hitting our shelves—saving our consumers precious time.
Our vision is to support local, natural and eco-friendly manufacturers. Renata Alchemy’s mission statement is to promote holistic wellness and organic beauty.
How did this idea come about?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: While finding my niche in my business creation process, I had to dig in within and find a vision I felt passionate about. I had recently gone through a personal healing and transformational journey and had been switching all my personal care products to clean, organic, natural, eco-friendly and plant based—especially because I have sensitive skin and sense of smell. It was hard to find a one-stop-shop where I can purchase all of these. This is how the idea stemmed. I wanted to walk into a shop and not have to ask are these “safe, natural products?” as I used to find myself asking all the time.
What prompted you to starting your own business?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: I had been in the corporate world for over 20 years, although I grew professionally, I felt confined to the politics of it and hit a wall at the company I had been working at for 14 years. This made me reassess my professional and personal life. I have always been a hard working, self-motivated individual, therefore, I decided to re-direct my efforts to my own dreams and a new way of life.
What drew you to starting your own business in the middle of a pandemic?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza:
I was working from home at that time, which provided the flexibility I needed to start up my business research, implementation and execution.
How was starting a business as the world was mostly shut down?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: Ironically, at the time the world was on hold, I was at a point in my life where I was ready to make a change and start something new. The world was in hold, but I knew it would not be forever. I felt it was the perfect opportunity for me to “catch up” to a new life I had been missing out on.
What challenges did you face? What challenges did you face that were particular to starting this during the pandemic?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: There was delay opening the store due to lack of supplies, tools and labor work I needed in order to get the store display and set up ready.
There were not a lot of people out and about, therefore getting the word out and promoting the store was challenging. Foot traffic was slow and some of the businesses around had completely shut down, which gave the area a gloomy look.
What did you learn about yourself during this endeavor?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: I used to sell myself short. I now believe in my own potential, although everyone used to tell me how great it was, I was able to materialize it all on my own and make it tangible. I learned to shut down my inner critic, trust my instincts and just go, do and create.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: The delay in opening the store, I opened a month late, meaning I was paying rent with no income from the store. I was the sole investor and did it all, while still working full time. It was very stressful doing both.
What was the toughest thing you had to do?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: Although liberating, quitting my job of 14 years.
What has been the most satisfying part of this experience?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: Quitting my job while knowing a new life, based on my own creation and vision, as a result of a long, painful, transformational, but beautiful healing journey was ready and waiting for me.
What are you most proud of?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: My customer’s reaction when they walk into the store, they love the ambiance, the vibe, and of course, the products.
What advice would you have for other women thinking about starting their own business during a pandemic or even during regular circumstances?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: Go for it! If you don’t try it, you will never know, as cliche as it might seem. It’s time to break out of the boxes we are often placed in and start coloring outside the lines. And of course, make a plan, a checklist and start checking them off one by one.
What goals do you have for your new business? What do you want to accomplish with your new opening?
Yoselin Renata Espinoza: First, work a lot in marketing it, get the word out that my store exists. Introduce a new selective line of products (I have used and love previously) and maybe just maybe, give it a sister store (putting it out there in the universe).
Renata Alchemy recently celebrated their one year anniversary of being open for business in Miami Lakes. You can check out their range of products at www.renataalchemy.com.
If you’re seeking a unique shopping experience, head to the shop on Thursdays when you can also discover local talent showcasing their art and jewelry, as well as all of Renata’s unique personal care items. Treat yourself for some “me time” and indulge your senses.