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Inspiring Conversations with Diana Lamas of The Modern Cactus Co.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Lamas.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I was raised in a home of entrepreneurs, so in my heart I’ve always felt my purpose would involve supporting business building- and I’m happy it led to me building my own business. I love being a stay-at-home mom, but three years ago I really felt a calling to small business. I’ve always had a passion for retail as a consumer, so I thought it would be best to begin my entrepreneurial adventure selling what I was familiar with, leather goods made in Mexico. My first product was handwoven cowhide huaraches- aiming to marry my traditional cultural aesthetic with a bohemian twist. I eventually added vegan suede hats and traditional Mexican blankets.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I never expected a smooth ride when I began my business. I pray hard, work harder, and try to be a good example to my young sons. It has not been easy, and I actually took a year away from the business to prioritize my family. When I dove back into fray of small business ownership, it was important for me to source the right manufacturers and to ensure fair wages for the artists creating my products. It took some time and effort, but I was finally able to find incredible manufacturers to bring my beautifully handmade artisanal goods to life with quality craftsmanship and fair wages. I am still growing and learning everyday about what works and doesn’t work for my business. After many requests from retailers, I have ventured into the world of wholesale and I’m now working with other small shops to allow more access to my products. Another new experience for me! I am blessed to have wonderful customers and people that encourage me to keep growing.

As you know, we’re big fans of The Modern Cactus Co. . For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
The Modern Cactus Co. is inspired by my culture and my personal bohemian aesthetic. I’ve always had an eye for unconventional, eclectic beauty and a great appreciation for art. Bright and vibrant color, patterns and rich textures are prevalent in my culture and in our products. I work closely with my manufacturers to ensure that I curate high quality products that capture the essence of my culture and my personal style. These are products that I love and am excited to present to my customers. We are currently offering vegan suede hats, handwoven leather huaraches, traditional Mexican blankets, and gorgeous totes handwoven on a waist weaving loom. Our collections of traditional Mexican goods are crafted by artisans all throughout Mexico from small towns known for their production of specific artisanal goods.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
My father greatly influenced my approach to business. He migrated from Mexico at the age of 15 and worked hard to become a successful and respected business owner. I learned from him that in order be successful, I must be willing to take risks- but you can also mitigate that risk with a strong work ethic. With that in mind, I invested our savings into building The Modern Cactus Co. and dedicated myself to developing the business. Seeing my business grow and mature motivates me to continue to take the risks and work hard to see where this journey takes me.

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Image Credits:

Michelle Badillo Photography

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