BROWNSVILLE, Texas – After years of hard work and dedication, a small South Texas Latina-owned business has made its national debut with hopes of inspiring Latinos across the U.S with its exclusive new collection at Target stores.
Based in Brownsville, Texas, JZD is owned by wife duo Jennifer Serrano, 30, and Veronica Vasquez, 32.
The couple started the business in 2016 when Vasquez quit her job and took a leap to run a full-time small business. While Serrano worked with her degree in legal justice studies to pay the bills, Vasquez laid the groundwork for the two with an Etsy shop, $200, and a dream.
“[Jennifer] is a creative genius, and when she told me about the idea, I said, ‘Well, let’s do it,’ and we invested into it,” said Vasquez.
One product started the business’ growth as their “Latina Power” T-shirts began getting celebrity recognition.
The “Latina Power” tee has been worn by Zoe Saldana (Gamora in the Marvel Cinematic Universe); lifestyle mogul Jessica Alba; Stephanie Beatriz (“Brooklyn 99,” “Encanto,” “In the Heights”); Diane Guerrero and Dascha Polanco of “Orange is the New Black,” “Riverdale’s” Camila Mendes, and Princess Elena herself -- Aimee Carrero.
Demand for products began to grow, and Vasquez could no longer be the only full-time employee. Serrano said the two “took a gamble,” and they both became full-time employees, leaving behind any stable income.
“It was as a sacrifice. It was a gamble, but I told Veronica, ‘We either go at this full force, and we grow and make this brand bigger, or this as far as it goes because I can’t do this alone,’” Serrano said.
After becoming full-time employees of JZD, the brand made its first major retail partnership with Target for LatinX Heritage Month. As of Sunday, September 4, JZD’s products can be found on the retailer’s website and in more than 1.500 Target stores nationwide.
The exclusive Capsule collection features T-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, jewelry, and stationery with designs centered around the celebration of the “Corazon Latino.”
The pieces are inspired by the beauty of the Hispanic community’s growth while honoring its ancestors and their sacrifices.
The couple recalled feeling pure shock when Target reached out in hopes of creating a business relationship and collection.
“It was like a dream come true. After making sure it wasn’t a scam, we jumped on a call with them and started the process,” said Serrano.
With immigrant roots, the women are happy they took their opportunity as they now feel they are living their American dream.
The business owners said they hope the collection and brand will inspire Latinos across the U.S. to take their leaps of faith and do what makes them happy. They shared a piece of advice for Latino-owned businesses.
“Don’t give up before you get started. Don’t think that anything that is worth it will come easy to you. The more difficult it gets, it means you are closer to what you are working to. There were many times when Jen and I questioned if we should stop and fall back on our degrees. But once you have that dream, you just have to be on yourself,” said Vasquez.
“Surround yourself around people that support you and know more than you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s so easy to feel small, but just stay consistent, and you will grow,” said Serrano.