Small Business
October 6, 2021

With hope and effort a jewelry business emerges from the flames

A Phoenix business survives a fire, and the pandemic,  with the help of a grant through the Open for Business fund.

Nota del editor: También está disponible una versión en español de esta historia.

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“Emerging from the flames” is a very literal description of what Esmeralda Espinoza, owner of Esmeralda Fine Jewelry in Phoenix, had to overcome the last couple of years to keep her business from shuttering.

Esmeralda Espinoza immigrated from Mexico to the U.S. and says she was taught by her mom and abuela to “endure and overcome”. She got her passion for jewelry making from her dad, who worked with metals in Mexico. As a single mom, she says her son, who is now in his twenties, was her motivation for starting her jewelry business. She then went to college to learn more about business, and started to build one.

In late 2018, Esmeralda’s storefront business burned to the ground, and she lost it all. As she was slowly trying to rebuild, the pandemic struck. Remaining hopeful and determined, she turned to Raza Development Fund’s Hope Fund, created and funded with a grant from Wells Fargo’s Open for Business Fund. With that assistance, Espinoza has been able to re-establish her business and get into a new building. Her momentum to not only survive but thrive is greater than ever, as she recently gave birth to her second baby boy.

“It’s wonderful to be here for our community and it’s wonderful to help out in this prolonged pandemic”, said Commercial Banking Leader & Head of Diverse Segments for Wells Fargo, Patty Juarez . “The need is still there, very much there and we want to continue to be here assisting businesses with whatever they need to not only survive but hopefully thrive.”

Four images show a person at a jewelry pop-up; a close-up of an engraved bracelet; a person standing behind several portable jewelry cases, and some pieces of hand-crafted jewelry.
Espinoza got her passion for jewelry making from her dad, who worked with metals in Mexico. She continues to hone her craft and hopes to someday sell her designs through a jewelry store like Tiffany and Co.
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