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Starting Over!

#YYview on being an emigrant

Moving to a new city comes with a lot of caveats… but moving to NYC is a whole other story. Now add to that launching a new eponymous brand and it seems as if your to-do list will never end! I knew it would be a challenge but am surprised at how I never stop learning something new. 
Yliana Yepez handbags
Photo courtesy of Theresa Balderas
In Venezuela, I had gotten to the point where my business partner and I had our brand, BLUES by kyky, running like a well-oiled machine. We had people on staff, streamlined production and a presence in almost every large commercial shopping center. 
Yliana Yepez handbagsYliana Yepez handbags
Our little green bags became the staple for the cool girls in Venezuela and we quickly became a household name.  
Yliana Yepez handbags
Unfortunately, the situation there didn’t allow for our business to keep going, so we decided to move it someplace else and that led to me starting my own line.  
Yliana Yepez handbags
I have to admit it was a bit of a shock though when I came to New York not knowing anyone and without anyone knowing my name in contrast to the network of people and clients that I had developed in Venezuela. 
Yliana Yepez handbags
Photo courtesy of Memo Vogeler
I started in an empty office the size of my bedroom with nothing but a Costco table, my computer and twenty years of experience that I hoped would be applicable. 
Yliana Yepez handbags
Not to mention having to be my own administrative assistant, my own marketing team and my own PR person. 
Yliana Yepez handbags
Slowly but surely, I’ve started to build my team and I am happy with where we’ve gotten, but I know that there is still so much further to go.
Yliana Yepez handbags
Yliana Yepez handbags
Yliana Yepez handbags
Photo courtesy of Kathy Boos
In addition to the starting my brand from zero, there is also the culture shock of going from a vibrant Latin American country to the non-stop hustle and bustle of New York City.  Knowing that I won’t get to see my best friends and family everyday was not easy…how do you make a new city “home”? For so many years I had gotten used to the way things are done in Venezuela, the way that there is a joke for everything, the way that every woman on the street seems to be a runway model and who can forget those delicious treats from the panaderia? 
Yliana Yepez handbags
There are still days that I daydream of my days in Venezuela, it’s funny how you don’t realize how precious certain moments are until things have changed. However, I have to say I’m so grateful for the people I’ve had the privilege of meeting here and feel that for my brand, NYC was the right move. 
Yliana Yepez handbags
Yliana with designer of MILLY, Michelle Smith, at Whitney Studio Art Party
I guess what I am trying to say is that home isn’t always a place but it’s something you take with you.
Until Next Time!
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