This family business is ready to shake the jewelry game
( @hijas_de_puka / Instagram)
This article was made in paid partnership was Hijas de Pukas
For many of us, the summer days of quarantine dragged on. The future felt uncertain and the world fell flat. But that didn’t stop one family from using the time as an opportunity to make something great.
Just as the country was settling into quarantine in March, sisters Kiana and Irina Perez and mom Irene Ulivi founded Hijas de Puka, a new family-owned jewelry company based in Miami, Fl. For them, quarantine was a gleaming moment to not only heighten their creativity and strengthen their bond but to also spark joy in others — via handmade jewelry.
“We were born out of a crisis. It [the founding of Hijas de Puka] is kind of like our beautiful story of how it brought us all together, closer as a family,” Irina said. “The three of us have never been this close.”
Each necklace is made from an array of delicate, cone snail shells known as puka shells — a staple accessory for any ocean lover.
“We wanted to do something different...something that would stand out. And we kind of got lost in the creativity,” Irene said.
Hijas de Puka's first batch of necklace sets glistened in colorful, tropical hues. Afterward, darker, animalistic tones were used to emulate a jungle-esque femme power.
Each of the three shares their input. Irene, however, is the main creative genius behind the many collections released thus far. Each necklace is inspired by nature or random sights from her day.
“We don't have one specific look,” Irina said. “It kind of goes by seasons and whatever we’re feeling.”
This kind of spontaneous brainstorming is what inspired the naming of the business. Hijas de Puka, translates to "Puka’s daughter." For all you Spanish speakers, if the name shocks you, it should. Puka is a play on the Spanish word puta, meaning b*tch.
“We're from Venezuela. And we never really thought the business would grow into what it has become,” Irina said. “We kind of wanted to make it like a funny name. And then it's kind of a play on words.”
“It sticks and people don’t forget it,” Kiana added.
Hijas de Puka focuses on connecting with customers. There are no boundaries to their business and unlike other retailers, custom orders are highly encouraged and directly sent to Irina, who is mainly in charge of all social and communication aspects.
Customers can choose anything from how many necklaces they would like stacked, to colors, tones, and even charms ranging from religious components, personal names to straight-up snake charms. This customizability is what helps attract their growing list of customers, so much so that Hijas de Pukas has already begun expanding overseas, stretching from Puerto Rico to Costa Rica.
They not only intend to expand clientele but to contribute to organizations they each hold dear to their family morals. As of now, they have been donating proceeds to Guatemalan-Mayan Center, Code/Art Miami, and United Way in the South Florida community.
“The migrant workers suffered so much, and children couldn’t go to school, one of the parents will have to stay home, so their income was cut in half,” said Irene. “So proceeds from part of the mask chains were always given to help migrant workers.”
They hope to eventually share their success back home in Venezuela, specifically with children’s orthopedic hospitals.
To find out more or place an order, check out Hija de Puka on Instagram.
Necklaces range from $65-95 and your spirit is guaranteed to be emulated in the most fearless fashion — Hijas de Puka will stand for nothing less.
Sam is a staff writer at Rowdy Magazine. She enjoys long summer days, funk music and drinks her coffee black because she's a tough guy. You can follow her on Instagram @samanthax1999x or email her at email@example.com.