In 1989, I graduated from the Patterson School of International Diplomacy and International Business and traveled to Antigua, Guatemala to study Spanish. I fell in love with the country and the culture. Later that year, I opened my first retail store in Antigua, Guatemala. I carefully selected and developed the products we carried from artisans and cooperatives throughout Guatemala. I traveled to many remote villages and worked side by side with the artisans as we transformed their unique products into more functional and marketable products. Gradually, we expanded and opened two other stores. I met my husband and partner, Eduardo and had two children in Guatemala.
In 2004, we decided to return to my home state of Kentucky. Our longing to continue our work with the Guatemalan artisan led to the development of our wholesale company, Lucia’s Imports, L.L.C. This allowed us to continue our working relationships with the artisans in Guatemala. We could now develop new products to meet the needs and desires of consumers in the US market.
We missed our retail operations in Guatemala. In 2007, we opened Lexington’s first and only fair trade store, Lucia’s World Friendly Boutique in the Woodland Triangle. Having a retail storefront, allows us to highlight our Guatemalan imports and offer to our customers an eclectic array of ethically produced clothing, jewelry, gifts, and folk art from around the world. In October 2014, we moved our retail store to 328 N Ashland Ave to be under the same roof as our parent wholesale company Lucia’s Imports. Our new location is in the up and coming Warehouse Block, near the historic Kenwick neighborhood and just outside of downtown Lexington. In the changing retail world, we decided to launch our online retail website in 2016 and in 2018, we opened a seasonal retail location on the waterfront in Saugatuck, MI.
Learn more about Teresa here:
If you are an entrepreneur, what motivated you to start your own business?
To be able to work with and improve the lives of the artisans I had met in my travels.
What does success mean to you?
Feeling satisfied with the changes we make in ther people’s lives
What is your mantra or favorite saying? (If it's a known quote, please let us know who said it first!)
It will all work out in the wash
What failure taught you the most about life or business? What was the lesson?
A poor partnership decision led me to be cautious before jumping into a new venture
If you could teach the world one five-minute lesson, what would it be?
Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently when you were first starting out?
I don’t think so. I like being my own boss and decision maker
What does women's empowerment look like to you in action?
Being treated and feeling equal
What would you tell 19-year-old YOU?
You can do it!
What will 86-year-old you want you to know TODAY?
Stop and smell the flowers
Does anyone call you by a nickname? What is it?
What is your favorite place for our audience to reach you?
What is your favorite quote? (It can be yours or from someone that you look up to.)
Learn to change the things you can and let the ones you can’t go