Early Years - Social Entrepeneurship
Orchid Boutique was founded in 2007 by the husband-wife duo of Mayra Jimenez and Ivan Rincon. Ivan and Mayra met in Washington DC in 2003 as they were both part of 'Yo Creo en Colombia' a non-profit organization that focused on showing the good side of Colombia a country torn-apart by violence over the last decades. Like Ivan and Mayra many Colombians had to leave their country to find a future elsewhere. For years Ivan and Mayra toured universities, schools, and organizations speaking about Colombia - the world's best kept secret.'Yo Creo and Colombia' partnered with different cultural organizations such as Meridian in DC to visit schools and create awareness about a culture and country - unknown to many of them. The pictures below were taken at a presentation at a DC area school in 2004.
Even though the conferences were very successful in creating awareness, Ivan and Mayra knew that more had to be done. They wanted to create a direct impact on the lives of fellow Colombians - jobs, opportunities and a way to showcase the Colombian story to a wider audience. These were the pillars of: theorchiboutique.com - an online platform that would showcase unique products by up and coming Colombian designers. After a lot of brainstorming sessions and long nights Orchid Boutique.com went live on July 1, 2017.
In this interview by Inc Magazine Mayra speaks about Orchid Boutique's story.
00:00 Mayra Jimenez: I am originally from Colombia, South America. I came to this country when I was 18, and along the way I met my business partner/husband. And at the time, we were both involved in an organization called 'I Believe In Colombia' because we were foreigners in this country, and we were looking for an outlet that would allow us to talk about the good things that our country has. We knew that there was a design boom going on in Colombia with young up and coming entrepreneurs, kind of our age, very creative, fashion-oriented, especially with the luxury swimwear industry. And we were looking for an outlet that would allow us to talk about the good things that our country has. So, that's how we decided to start the Orchid Boutique.
00:49 Jimenez: Some of the brands that we have, have very handcrafted elements to them. So, many of the owners, what they do is, they have factories in one of the major textile cities of Colombia called Medellín, but on the outskirts, there are native people who live almost in tribe-like circumstances, underprivileged people with very, very keen sense of artistic purposes. Many of these brands were virtually completely unknown to the international market when we started with them. Literally no one knew what we were talking about, what these brands were about, and now several of these brands have grown into multi-million dollar brands. Some are now carried at competitors like Nordstrom and other big department stores.
Mayra and Ivan in American Latino TV
Orchid Boutique Goes Global Revolutionizing the Swimwear Industry
Orchid Boutique's product were an instant hit in the DC metro area in the summer of 2007. Our following started growing online and we slowly spread to the whole US and internationally. We pride in providing unique products directly sourced from talented designers and artisans Orchid Boutique was the first online retailer to sell Colombian brands such as: Agua Bendita Swimwear, Maaji Swimwear, Ondademar, Mar de Rosas, Malai, and Maylana among others. Orchid Boutique revolutionized the swimwear industry by introducing designer swim brands that had never been seen in the US Market.
Our designer bikinis have reached clients in all of the 50 US states - 'yes' including Alaska and over 170 countries. Our worldwide customers value our eye to discover new brands. We are very proud of what we do - we do in with love and passion.
Over the years we have partnered with many up and coming designers. We believe in working with a select group of designers rather than filing up our shop with an infinite number of incoherent styles. Our selection is still personally curated by our co-founder Mayra. She is constantly looking for new brands.
We pride in offering the best customer experience possible. Our office is in South Florida and over the years we have personally delivered swimsuits to hotels, the Miami airport, condos, you name it. We always try to go above and beyond, We know that your swimsuit is an important part of your trip.
If you ever have an issue you can always call us: 1-877-288-9564 or email us at: email@example.com
If you had a GREAT experience or if we missed something you can always email our founder Ivan - he might take a few days, but he will get back to you:
A sneak peak at our office (his video is from a few years ago):
We understand that e-commerce changes every day. Over the years we have also evolved as a company, but never really forgetting the reason why this company exists. We started this company to showcase unique designer swimwear from Colombia - a few yrs into the venture we decided to open up our repertoire to include brands from designers we believe in. Our goal continues to be to offer a curated selection of products and create an impact on the lives of those 'unsung' heroes who handcraft this unique pieces and continue to work with designers such as Agua Bendita and Maylana who employee single mothers who support entire families through their craft. We will continue to work hard to offer a greater variety of products and expand on neewer categories such as men and kids.
Ochid Boutique on Deco Drive- Miami