We had the good fortune of connecting with Camila Vargas & Claudia Bueno and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Camila & Claudia, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
One thing that outsiders are probably unaware of is the amount of work, the mistakes, and basically everything that happens behind the scenes. When we started Unfolded Bloom there where so many questions and basically, we didn’t know where to start and how. The only thing we knew was that, as new business owners, we wanted to create everything ourselves with our own effort and dedication. For instance, we designed our logo, stickers, and business cards with the help of YouTube videos. When we first started, we printed and cut all of our own packaging material, and the only things that we had printed by a second party were the stickers and the business cards. When it came to marketing and putting our name out there, we knew that for us to stand out in social media our pictures had to look better than the ones taken with our phones. That’s why we decided to learn photography through blogs and videos. It hasn’t been easy. We still believe there is a lot we need to learn. Yet, we are so happy to see how much our pictures have improved by learning more about the different settings in our camera and how to play with light and shadow. These are just a few examples of things we have done for our business, but to be honest this is a learning journey. Every challenge comes with something new to learn!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The thing we would love for people to know about Unfolded Bloom is the fact that we handcraft everything we sell. The knitting and wirework that you see in every pair of earrings, bracelets, and necklaces are entirely handmade. We even hand-pick all the pearls and beads, because we always want to give our customers the best quality. We are very passionate about each piece we design, and we constantly learn from our trials and errors. We take our time and pay close attention to every single detail of our pieces, and we feel satisfied when we finally see those pieces adorning the beauty of our clients. Unfolded Bloom started in mid-2018, but our creative career started long before that. Art has run in our family for as long as we can remember. My grandmother has worked as a seamstress her entire life, making and designing dresses for women in her hometown. She even sewed my mom’s and aunt’s wedding dresses. She is truly talented and an inspiration to us. My mom (Claudia) has always been into home décor and interior design. Her interest drove her to start her own business where she sold indoor wreaths to hang around the house. She would also give free classes of découpage and pottery painting to friends in our neighborhood. Later on, her friends started asking her to help them decorate their kids’ parties. It wasn’t until 2009 that we started to work together. Back then one major fashion trend was fabric- flower hair clips. We would design them together, my mom would sew them and I would sell them to friends at school. That was basically the first business we had together. It was when we lived in Venezuela. In 2010 we moved to the U.S and put our business plans on hold until 2016 when J’adore Store was born. This business was completely different from what we have done before. The main idea was to sell paintings, home decor pieces, and party supplies handmade by us. We were new to Etsy and didn’t know much about marketing or entrepreneurship. J’adore Store failed, before it even started because at that point, we didn’t have a clear vision of our business. We took a two-year break, time during which we did all the research and learned all the things needed to make our dreams possible. This is how in mid 2018 we started Unfolded Bloom, a business that truly represents us, and that has taught us so much. We are not yet where we want to be with Unfolded Bloom, but we are truly thankful for all the good and bad experiences that have taken us to this exact moment. Pursuing a creative career isn’t easy, but it is a quite rewarding experience. You envision your business going uphill and then you realized that it is rather a constant rollercoaster. When you hit a low point, you tend to doubt yourself and feel like you should quit and start something new. Then you go to an event and people come up to you showing interest in what you do and it reminds you why you decided to start your business in the first place. It is not a smooth road. It is not monotonous, but is a journey full of excitement. There is always something new to learn, new people that will support your work, and new experiences that will help you grow as a person.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many things to do in Houston, but if we have a friend in town we would definitely take them to the museum district to visit The Museum of Fine Arts, The Houston Zoo, and The Museum of Natural Science. When it comes to food, we would go to our favorite Italian restaurant Da Vinci Ristorante Italiano located in Katy, TX for them to try their Pappardelle Aragosta and tiramisu. Or if we are feeling Japanese food, Kokai sushi would be a great option as well. Then we would end our night with a lavender latte or cappuccino at Cocohodo. The Gallerias and River Oaks areas are always on our to-do list when we have friends and family in town. Shopping at the mall, taking pictures at the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall Park, and trying delicious restaurants like Post Oak Grill and, Yia Yia Mary’s. And let’s not forget about the gelato-flower at Amorino, a must-try!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We truly want to thank God for all His blessings and for giving us the creativity that makes Unfolded Bloom possible. Claudia: I want to thank my husband for all his love and support, and my friend Constanza, for believing in me since the beginning. Camila: I want to thank my Dad because he has always been there for us. He supports us in everything we want to do. I am also grateful to my aunt Olga for always encouraging me to pursue a creative career. We also want to thank all of our friends and clients that have cheered and motivated us to continue pursuing our dreams. It means the world to us!
Camila Vargas, Claudia Bueno, and Eduardo Vargas