Today we’d like to introduce you to Leidy Macias and Jazmin Soto.
Leidy and Jazmin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We were both separate artistic entities that were encouraged by community members from Undcou Twitter to merge into a cohesive brand. The beginning for us seems so delirious due to the fear that we had released raw pieces with specific importance to us. After much thought, the birth of our website and first few designs were created with a slight case of anxiety. It’s taken positive reassurance from our chosen family for us to be able to acknowledge that we have accomplished as much as we have. Now that we have entered our third month since opening we are eager to say we have a timeline of ideas we want to put out. In these next coming months y’all can expect to see our little business expand to include a myriad of new items and collaborations.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has definitely been something new for the both of us. We are also both full-time students in addition to having other separate jobs. It was mostly logistical and technical issues that we struggled with, having no clue where to start or how to sustain a business. The art and the passion was always there, but we just needed some guidance, and for that we thank other community members and other brands such as Adelitas Apparel for always sharing resources, providing tips, and overall supporting us. We are also co-owners and live separately, which can be a little challenging to co-run a business, but thankfully with communication and understanding we have been able to find a rhythm and balance.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Kaleidoscope Cultured – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
We are an undocu-queer brand that cultivates art from our own personal journeys. We started with stickers and recently expanded with prints and are currently working on projects for apparel but regardless of what the products are, it is all art made with the intention of unifying the undocumented community and queer community regardless of where we are. As undocumented creators, we know how borders and discriminatory laws restrict interactions with our loved ones, but we have also learned how to create community despite these circumstances. Our art is meant to resonate with community members beyond borders, to unite us under similar experiences and to serve as a reminder that we are not alone. Everything we produce is from our own lives, our own experiences—we are not some big name brand that fakes allyship with the immigrant community in order to profit off of trauma. We are the community, our work exemplifies that.
Just recently a community member reached out to us to tell us how their eight years old nephew interpreted our print “Act of Sharing.” The piece shows five community members, each with their own pot of flowers, sitting together. Our member’s nephew went on to interpret the piece by saying “it looks like the middle robot was wandering alone with his little bit of flowers and he randomly ran into a group of robots who were better at growing flowers. And maybe he had been alone for a long time so the group of robots took him in and are going to show him how to grow more flowers and be happy.” In the end, we are most proud not of our products themselves, but the way our art resonates with community members. We feel most proud when we know the relationship we have with our buyers is not just client-seller basis, but it is a strong community relationship that ultimately makes us feel more connected as people. It is knowing that while we are still in the process of healing ourselves, our community members are also healing with us.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We believe that the quality which sets the pace for our definition of success is rooted in healing and community. The pieces that we create explore that idea into fruition for us, it allows our artistic presentation to create dialogue. The mere idea that we set out in the beginning of our journey was never to become rich, but it was to force ourselves into a space that is unfortunately often times robbed off undocumented creators. It’s also reminding ourselves that we’re human and success isn’t merely reliant on capitalism and profit.
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaleidoscopecultured/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaleidoscopeCul
product pictures taken by: Leidy Macias and Jazmin Soto, Pictures of co-owners taken by: Ana Souto & Aztiri Pena & Brenda Heredia