“women are the cornerstone of where business and society can meet and be in sync”
Debra and Laura founders of Amor & Rosas are brilliant examples of women bridging the gap between business and society. Recently I had a sponsored opportunity with Amor and Rosas. I typically review the company prior to working with them. This time however my review turned into a deep dive research and fierce admiration of Debra and Laura and their mission to empower women. So much so that I wanted to know more about these women.
Interestingly enough Debra and Laura met online. Debra needed a roommate for her upcoming masters program at Yale and realized from Laura’s FaceBook that they had many similarities. She reached out to her and the rest is history. As roommates, they survived the rollercoaster that is college life together and cemented a beautiful friendship that birthed Amor and Rosa. In this friendship Laura is the “strong, ‘go-getter’ type who is passionate about her culture and never forgot her roots”. Debra is the “stubborn, creative and marches to the beat of her own drum.”
While I appreciate the opportunities they give to underprivileged women in Mexico I really admire the way they highlight their artisans as integral parts of their business. Their “products are made by women, for women, with love.” With NewYork Fashion Week (NYFW) kicking off yesterday it’s only fitting that this week’s fashNcurious souls be the creators of the beautiful designs of Amor and Rosas. See what else Debra and Laura shared with us.
What made you want to start Amor and Rosas?
Amor & Rosas was Laura’s idea that came from her deep desire to help women in her country unleash their potential. She knew artisans in her country had beautiful techniques and designs to offer that were not accessible to the American market. Laura is from Culiacan, Sina Loa. Debra is from Canada.
You could have helped women without pursuing fashion. Why fashion?
We believe in a shared value business model. This means not giving money away but incorporating social good into the core business. We saw the opportunity to make a difference in fashion because it is often women doing the labor, and the fashion industry is filled with common practices that berate women and children, and is doing major damage to the earth (second biggest polluting industry in the world after oil and gas).
They say there is no friendship in business, how do you make business decisions?
We know each other very well and are able to have frank conversations. We don’t have set working hours (unless you count 24/7!!) so we are texting all the time to make quick decisions. At the end of the day we have a common goal of making our company as successful as possible so we let that be our guiding star.
Why do you have such a passion for helping women?
We strongly believe that women are incredibly capable and are just not given the opportunities they deserve. We believe that women are the cornerstone of where business and society can meet and be in sync. As highly educated females who had families who always supported us and made us feel like we could be anything we wanted- we want other females to feel that way too.
Will you ever expand to women across all of Latin America or just stick to Mexico?
We definitely want to spread the love across Latin America.. and maybe beyond!
What makes your artisans unique?
They are bosses.. and bossy!! They are strong willed, hard working but soften up once you build the relationship of trust. One of our artisans, Maria is a true matriarch. Its really inspiring to see how she runs her family, business and still had time to make us tortillas from scratch when we visit her in her mountain village.
What are 5 tips for taking your brand or business global?
Create an interesting and unique business model.
Understand different markets and cultures.
Research regulation and get professional advisors.
Develop a solid execution plan.
Implement your plan and iterate it when the market indicates to do so.
Where do you see Amor and Rosas in 5 to 10 years?
Growing! Helping more women! Bringing more authentic culture to the fashion world! Encouraging other fashion companies to look at better practices! Starting a fair fashion movement! Constantly innovating to lower our ecological impact.