JESSICA AND MARISOL LUNA LIVE OUT THEIR DREAMS THROUGH ENTREPRENEURSHIP
by FERNANDA HERNANDEZ
Jessica and Marisol Luna, first generation Mexican- American sisters, have developed fruitful careers as boutique owners by following in their parents’ entrepreneurial footsteps. Born in the state of Illinois to immigrant parents, the Luna sisters were a product of the “American Dream.” “Our parents left Mexico to give us a better life,” recalls 27-year- old entrepreneur, Marisol. Their story began with a mother and a father making the difficult and heartbreaking decision to leave their homeland of Guanajuato, Mexico, in search of a place that would offer greater opportunities not only for themselves, but for their future children and every generation to come after them. The Luna sisters were born in the United States, and this country would be the place that would allow them to not only dream, but to also have the chance to make those aspirations become a triumphant reality.
As time passed, the Luna sisters navigated through their childhood and teenage years while watching their parents develop a successful business. They saw first-hand the hard work and dedication that goes into creating and running one’s own company, and both began to develop a desire to one day become entrepreneurs. “Our dad has his own underground directional drilling business since the late ’90s,” shared Luna boutique co-owner, Marisol. “We both really liked the idea of being your own boss,” she added.
After living most of their life in Round Lake, Illinois, Marisol and Jessica’s parents purchased a ranch and moved to Leary, Texas, in 2009. After relocating near Texarkana, Marisol began attending Texarkana College, and Jessica became a student at Hooks High School. “It was really different moving here, but we liked it right away,” Jessica says. Upon moving here, the sisters saw this move as being something temporary. Little did they know they would end up becoming partners and developing a business that would contribute in a large way to the community of Texarkana. “My original plan was to come here and finish college, so we decided to try it, and we ended up loving it,” explains Marisol. Both sisters attended and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University- Texarkana.
While attending school, Marisol found a way to make money for herself by buying and reselling brand name clothes on eBay, thus taking the first step that would lead her to becoming an entrepreneur. “I never knew what type of business but I knew I’d own it one day,” shares Marisol. After selling clothes and accessories online, Marisol came up with the idea to open a clothing boutique in a market that lacked in shopping centers, more specifically high quality and affordable clothing boutiques for women. Marisol decided to take the idea to her dad. “I talked to him that spring before the boutique opened in 2012,” recalls Marisol. “My initial thought was to bring the idea to my dad because that’s who I was going to ask for the loan.” Agreeing to the idea, Marisol’s father encouraged her to do more research and begin developing a plan, so she did.
In 2012, Marisol and Jessica teamed up as partners and opened the first location of Luna Boutique on Richmond Road, and quickly received a positive reaction from the community. The sisters used their knowledge of Business Administration, and the inspiration from their parents to seize every opportunity to become successful business owners, and opened the clothing boutique, expanding significantly in six short years, developing what began as a simple idea, into one of the most popular women’s clothing boutiques in Texarkana. Jessica and Marisol share their success with employees Daisy Aguilar, Viviana Martinez, Courtney Robbins, Jessica Martinez and Paola Luna, who have proven to contribute to the effectiveness of their boutique. “It’s not easy to make a business work, especially being Latino. We have a different struggle, but for me, seeing my parents start their own business really inspired me to do the same and to be successful,” explains Marisol. In six short years, the Luna sisters have not only expanded the size of their boutique, and grown as business partners but have created a close-knit team made up of faithful employees who help them carry out their vision daily. “We have an amazing team. We have some girls that have worked for us for over 5 years,” says 25-year-old, Jessica. “We always like to bring people to work for us who we know we can trust, and we know our business will be taken care of.” Their journey as business owners has allowed them to employ women in the community, as well as develop a large and loyal client base.
For the Luna sisters, the definition of being American and living the “American Dream” is something for which they are eternally grateful. “We are very fortunate to live in this country. We have been given so many opportunities living here,” says Jessica.
Forming a life in the United States has allowed the entire family to form a fruitful future through entrepreneurship, and has given them the life their parents left their home country of Mexico, in search of. Jessica and Marisol Luna had the opportunity to graduate with a university degree and fulfill their dream of being business owners. The Lunas carry their Mexican-American heritage with immense pride, and are reminded daily of the sacrifices made by their parents, in order to allow them to be able to dream and create a life in which they are proud. In every step of their life, Jessica and Marisol have seized every opportunity given to them, furthermore setting an example not only for children of immigrants in this country, but for young entrepreneurs in the community.