We recently discovered this gem of a picture, and we knew had to share it on our social media platforms, because it’s just too perfect. In the moment that this picture was taken, who would have guessed that years later, those five munchkins would come to work together in their adulthood?
This photo was taken in the summer of 2000. I am the baby in the picture. Hi, my name is Juliana (you can call me Juli), and I’d love to get personal with you and share a bit more about the lovely individuals in the image above.
I am close to six months old in that picture. I was born earlier that year in January. I have three older brothers, Juan Fernando, Juan José, and José Alejandro. The guy to the very left, that’s Juanfer, and the one next to him in the red shirt, that’s José. Our other brother, whom we call Juanjo, he is the one that took this epic photo. To José’s right is my cousin, Juan Pablo, Artisan Tropic’s CEO. And who is so lovingly holding me and trying to get me to look at the camera? That’s my cousin Maca, Artisan Tropic’s co-founder and the reason this company became reality. I am happy to report that we all love each other so much. We have since day one. I am much younger than my brothers and cousins, so they really were partners in crime when they were little. Juanpa being the oldest, he was the leader, of course. But when I came along, they all took me under their wing. Maca was probably extremely excited to have a girl added to the family, someone she could teach about clothes and other things the boys weren’t interested in. Maca and I are still close to this day (and will be to the end of time). When we see each other, we suddenly morph into teenage girls that can’t help but talk way too much and a little too loudly. But this warms my heart because we become a reflection of our mothers.
My mom and Maca’s mom are identical twins. They are best friends and when we all get together you just know that at one point our moms will be disappearing somewhere together. It’s because of them that I believe in twin telepathy; it’s real, I have seen it in action They always have something to talk about, and my brothers and cousins and I always look forward to seeing them together. I like to think that even though there are a lot of factors as to why we are all so close, the fact that our mothers are twin sisters is definitely one of them.
A GEN-Z GIRL AND HER FAVORITE MILLENIALS
This is the running joke these days with my brothers and cousins. I am their token Gen-Z individual. The one that keeps them in the know with what’s trending, what’s cool, what’s not. And these days I don’t really notice the age difference. We are all working professionals and we are all genuine friends. But, of course, there were many years where the age gap was more evident. By the time I was 11 years old and entering middle school, my brothers and cousins were all either in college or already working. Maca was the first of us to get married back in the summer of 2017. I was 17 years old, about to be a senior in high school. Now all three of my brothers and Juanpa are married. It was always so nice to have their perspective when I was younger. It allowed me to see that life moves on and the best is yet to come. And even now, as I watch them be in the early stages of marriage and parenthood, I get to reap the benefits of being an aunt before my time comes to start my own family. I don’t have the words for my gratefulness. I feel blessed to know in my bones that we will never stop being friends. That Juanpa will never not make me laugh, and my brothers will never not call me to see how I am doing, and Maca and I will never stop sending each other pictures of the new clothes or make-up we recently bought.
WHEN WORK AND PLEASURE DO MIX
Of course, when it comes to the actual work of it all, it can be just like any other job. A job that requires discipline, organization, focus, communication, procedures, etc. But it is a genuine pleasure to work with the people I love most in this world. When I tell people I work with my family their first reaction is one of concern, and they usually ask if it’s more challenging. But the truth is quite the opposite. The challenges come from trying to get the job done as a company, not from working with my family. We work diligently and professionally despite our relations, and when the clock reads 5:00 pm, I want to keep talking to the same people I work with all day.