Erica Cardenas

Success in Stitches

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Partners in Lola y Lola: Miriam Navarro, left, and Yesenia Puente.

With an eye for fashion and a hand for detail, the founding partners of Lola y Lola are making a name for themselves, one stitch at a time.

From trendy, one-of-a-kind dresses to embellished tank tops and skirts, Miriam Navarro, 25, and Yesenia Puente, 29 have big plans for their unique line of clothing.

The two have imagined and created this dream together.

“Since we were young we always talked about having our own business … we both loved clothes and I knew how to sew. It began there,” says Puente.

Rhinestones And Rags Beginning

They found inspiration during a trip abroad to France in 2001, and the two best friends of 11 years knew their calling was in the form of a needle and thread.

Starting with “bedazzling” jean skirts, tank tops and thrift-store finds, the two began dabbling with a dream that would later become a reality.

Three years later, Navarro and Puente knew that Lola y Lola could be possible.

“We weren’t sure if people would like or buy our stuff,” says Navarro. “We had always made clothing for friends, but never for complete strangers.”

Their First Fridays art walk showcase was a success: the clothing sold out.

Since then, they’ve sold their line at every First Friday in downtown Phoenix, primarily in galleries and boutiques.

“We consider each item a unique piece of art and want to display it in a nice way,” says Navarro.

As for their brand identity, both say they liked the Lola y Lola name because it has personality.

“One of my favorite designers is Dolce & Gabbana,” says Puente. “We used that same name structure in the Lola y Lola name…it almost contradicts our pieces because not one of our pieces is ever the same.”

When it comes to the foundation behind their creations, both agree that their Mexican culture has contributed to what Lola y Lola represents.

And though both were born in Mexico and moved to the U.S. as small children, their culture remains close to their hearts.

From a Loteria design line with bright colors, to dichos and the detailed Mexican bordados, the company brings to life a love of their culture.

“Our backgrounds have been very influential in our pieces,” says Puente. “From games we used to play to Aztec symbols, we try and implement our culture in our work.”

As far as the chemistry between each, there is no question that there is a balance like no other.

“Miriam is the more ‘artsy’ one of Lola y Lola…one of her biggest talents is screen printing; she can touch a fabric and remember it. She has a great eye when it comes to patterns and textures,” says Puente.

And Navarro also speaks highly of her partner’s talents.

“Yesenia brings the ability to actually reconstruct the clothing and put everything together. We just have such a good balance, we’re like family.”

Left: A lola y lola stitching detail. Right: “Metropolis” dress, $55. Model: Brenda Rascon, Photo: Benasi Rose.

Shaping Their Future

Both hold full-time jobs, but they remain focused on growing their line.

With the goal of spreading out their line locally, as well as entering into the Los Angeles and New York markets, Navarro and Puente remain optimistic. They have an even bigger dream for their company.

“We eventually want our pieces to expand internationally to include Mexico, Brazil and even London and Paris. And we also want our own shop,” says Puente.

With prices ranging from $25-$60 for their pieces, the Lola line is currently being sold at the Propaganda Gallery, 1023 Grand Ave., during First Friday and the Way Cool Hair Salon/Art Studio, 1524 E. McDowell Rd.

More information on Lola y Lola can also be found on their web site at www.lolaylola.com.

When every button has been sewn and every thread stitched, Puente and Navarro both agree on an overall mission that keeps their young target audience in mind.

“Our goal is to create unique and affordable pieces. That’s the basis of Lola y Lola,” says Puente.

“Life for us has been about trying new things, taking risks and bringing our culture with us along the way. That’s who we are.”

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