Three brothers from Guatemala create the business, Variedades Lopez III, during COVID lockdown
Small objects from a home country means a lot to people who are home sick, and that was the case for the Lopez brothers.
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many families were either separated or closer to each other than ever before. Yet, for the Lopez brothers, the idea of selling Guatemalan products came to their minds instead.
The Lopez brothers have been running their business, ‘Variedades Lopez III,’ for two years. It all started with bread, chocolates, coffee and a couple of pictures on their social media accounts. People then started asking them for their prices and then orders followed.
“We sell many things, even my favorite: T-shirts and shoes of different sizes, colors, designs, and for prospective genders and ages. Customized designs are also possible. But the work at times takes a week or two. Time needs to be considered,” Erwin Lopez said in an interview with AL DÍA News.
The brothers are from the south coast of Mazatenango, Suchitepequez, Guatemala and all of their products come from Santiago Atitlán, Sololá, Guatemala. Yet, they live in an area with few Guatemalans.
“There are few Guatemalans where we live. Yet when we go live on our social media accounts, many see us,” Esau Lopez told AL DÍA. “We send things all throughout the country but interestingly enough, our customers are Mexican, are from different parts of Central America or are just anyone who lives in the United States.”
The brothers mentioned that where they are from and the material comes from may be difficult to pronounce because they come from a mix of the Maya and Qʼeqchiʼ language. In Guatemala, there are 25 different languages, including Spanish as the country’s official language.
No matter the language, communication is not a problem for the brothers.
There are many craftsmen and craftswomen in Guatemala with their own shops and teams. Still, they only focus on one because they want to keep the connection, trust and know that their money somehow is helping the many workers economically.
The three brothers understand that larger companies with more experience exist but they currently have their customers and are growing. They have learned that most Guatemalans live in Maryland, Boston, Arizona, Texas, New Jersey, New York and Los Angeles.
“There is competition, but we sell quality handmade products for everyone, which is good. We also make everything affordable even though inflation affects people everywhere, even in Guatemala,” David Lopez told AL DÍA News.
Inflation affects everyone, yet the amount of money sent and merchandise lost coming from Guatemala is also a complication.
If one sends an abundance of money, investigations will occur. So the brothers have learned that sending smaller amounts is better from past experiences.
The brothers have lost food products that travel from Guatemala to the United States, yet never clothing and products related.
“The idea of this business is to bring something from Guatemala so that people have reminders of their home country. Sadly enough, so many people can’t leave and return to this country so having something means a lot,” Esau Lopez said.
The three agreed that if one wants to start a business, one needs to have the desire and lose the intimidation and fear. If one does not build the dream, it will never happen.
The brothers have plans to start a food truck which will operate from Monday to Saturday. The location has yet to be determined, but they said that the food they will offer would come from a mix of Spanish-speaking countries.