In the spirit of supporting businesses that are created and run by women of color, this week we sat down with the dynamic and powerful founder of Stitch Lab, Karina Rosendo, to learn what it means to not only honor our heritage by supporting entrepreneurs that look like us but also how to create a platform for those brave enough to launch their own lines.
Rosendo, who was born in Caracas, Venezuela, came to the U.S. as a child with a dream of working in broadcast journalism — that dream would later lead her to be a leading catalyst for emerging Latinx entrepreneurs.
After working as a TV producer and digital marketing strategist for many years, she knew she would soon need to take a step back from Corporate America to find more career fulfillment. Shortly thereafter, she attended a New York Fashion Week show and noticed the lack of Latinx designers who were showing (and who could afford to show) their collections.
It was then that everything clicked.
“There is so much great fashion coming out of Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico,” she said. “We’re talking about beautiful, high-end, artisanal, indigenous clothing.”
Her realization ultimately led her to launch her brand in hopes of pioneering more inclusivity in the fashion industry and creating awareness for Latin American designers.
In 2018, she launched Stitch Lab, a Miami-based talent incubator for emerging Latinx designers. It has since catapulted over 50 brands through its curated pop-up shops where women can come out and shop from these designers that they otherwise would not have access to.
Stitch Lab focuses on helping fashion brands garner awareness outside of their home country and builds exposure for brands from all over Latin America through these pop-up shopping experiences. Its upcoming pop-up will take place on April 26 and 27th in Miami, under the theme “Oasis.”
The pop-ups are highly curated with the help of Fashion Director Camila Straschnoy, who has hefty experience in the industry, having written for InStyle, ELLE Mexico, and other leading fashion publications. Each event brings out the cities’ who’s who of influencers to a beautifully designed location sponsored by leading brands like Neutrogena.
In addition to hosting pop-ups in cities like Miami and Las Vegas, the brand also hosts panels to help empower brand creators with tools they need to be successful.
As Rosendo continues to focus on shedding light and opportunity on these small, yet high-fashion and exclusive brands, she hopes to expand their reach in the U.S. even further — she even hinted at a possible partnership with MACY’s in 2019.
“In November, we’ll be hosting our next pop-up with a Dubai meets Palm Springs vibe,” she explained.
If that’s any indication, Rosendo and her team show no signs of slowing down on the pathway to supporting Latinx business.