Kathy Cano-Murillo is supporting her own dreams
Running a business

Kathy Cano-Murillo is supporting her own dreams

Name: Kathy Cano-Murillo

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Business: Crafty Chica, LLC

Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get started? 

I’d always had jobs where I loved what I did–from a gift basket designer to a features reporter to a national spokesperson. But those were all jobs that supported someone else's dreams. One day I decided I wanted to be my own boss and make a living on my own terms.

I started Crafty Chica 21 years ago. There were no craft tutorials, books, or products for Latinas. First, I made handmade pieces but became too overwhelmed so I switched to sharing how to make Latinocentric home decor and jewelry items. That led to so many opportunities like authoring books, leading workshops and retreats and my favorite: designing products for retail store shelves. Now my business has expanded to designing fabric, greeting cards, planners, journals and more!

What is the biggest lesson you learned in the first year? 

To always have an end goal in mind and stick with it!

What was the most surprising thing about becoming a business owner?

I thought I would have loads of time, but often the days seem shorter because I want to do everything. 

How does running your own business make you feel? 

It makes me feel empowered, and with every challenge I conquer, I know there is a reward. 

What are some of the challenges you’ve overcome or are working to overcome?

Making sure to build in time for my passion projects. I started this business because I love to craft. Sometimes my business is so busy with design work, I can go long stretches without making something that doesn’t have a deadline or paycheck attached.

How is your business handling recent inflation and supply chain issues?

It forced me to be even more creative. And be more intentional with my finances. I spent a lot of time sharing tutorials to help people save or make money.

What challenges do you feel are unique to Latino or Latina small business owners? 

Oftentimes mass retailers want to lock us in Hispanic Heritage Month, when really we deserve to have our products on store shelves all year round. I’m proud to have my Crafty Chica products out in stores all year. Also, I think many of us bootstrap too much. We need to build a strong relationship with our money so we can hire people, and invest in business courses, learn how to apply for grants, etc.

What do you like the most about the small business community you’re a part of?

Everyone is supportive of one another. They are there to help, share experiences, and cheer each other on.

How do you engage with the community?

All kinds of ways! Through my blog, social media, in-person events. I also like to do random gifts to my steady followers (ones that always comment, etc) and giveaways to show my appreciation.

What are your proudest moments? 

That I’ve had a thriving business for so long in the area of CRAFTS. I make a living from sequins, glitter, glue, fabric, clay. I learned how to scale up my business beyond selling finished goods.

quote image
Have intention for everything you do.

What are the next big plans you have for your business? 

I have two published novels about crafty Latinas: “Waking Up in the Land of Glitter” and “Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing.” They are on paperback, ebook, and on Audible. I’d love to see them made into a series or movie! I’m currently writing my third novel.

When you’re having a tough day, who or what inspires you to keep going?

My husband. He is always there with what I need. Sometimes it’s a big hug, other times it is the TV remote, a tough love lecture, or just to listen to me.

What advice would you give to other business owners just starting out?

Have intention for everything you do. Always know what you want out of every action. It may not always go that way, but at least you know you will have set the general direction. If it doesn’t work out, try another route.

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