We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeaiza Quiñones Ivory and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeaiza, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Before it became an earring shop, I started Masha as an online thrift store. My goal was to reduce clothing waste by selling my unworn clothes and helping others do the same. Unfortunately the business and revenue side of owning an online thrift store is a lot harder than people think. Eventually I started making earrings as a craft just to have some down time and decompress. I fell in love with it and realized how lightweight the earrings were (heavy earrings can be a dealbreaker for so many women) and decided that I’d keep my store going with earrings at the center.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I don’t know that my interest in constantly trying new materials sets me apart from others but it does keep me fulfilled when it comes to creating. The proudest moment I’ve had so far is when my earrings began to evolve because my technique had evolved. Others noticed and my craft began to receive love and appreciation from others. It’s always a challenge – materials aren’t cheap. The process takes a long time and only yields a few earrings at a time. Most of the time I’m working early in the morning before I have to clock in to my full time job or late at night after I’ve clocked out. I’ve made so many mistakes, materials have gone to waste while trying something new, and I’ve had moments I didn’t want to do this anymore. But the lesson I’ve learned is that when you keep going at it something beautiful will always come of your hard work even if it’s not what you originally had planned. What I want the world to know about The Masha Company is that it comes from deep love and a history of hard work and gratitude. I named the company for my late grandmother who dedicated most of her life to caring for others and making them feel loved. That’s what I want people to feel when they support my business.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
My favorite thing about living in Tucson is that the entire state of Arizona is at your disposal and can be accessed in just a few hours. If you’re in Tucson – you need to grab some birria tacos from “El Chivo De Orro.” Then visit Barrio Viejo, Mount Lemmon, and Gates Pass. If you’re heading up to the Phoenix area and its summer time? Absolutely go salt river tubing. If you’re a hiker or outdoor lover then Sedona’s Pink Jeep Tours and UTV rentals should be on your bucket list. Lastly never miss an opportunity to see the Grand Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. In the few years I’ve lived here I’ve done them all and would do it all again.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband and friends have been huge supported in every aspect of my business. From dedicating time to helping me create earrings on their days off (literally learning how make earrings in day) to constantly sending me ideas for new styles. They’ve been so much more invested in the process than I even asked them to be but it’s kept me motivated especially on those days when I’m exhausted from working full time and running the store. They deserve every ounce of gratitude I have for being the support system that keeps my small business going.