A few years after Andres was born, his cousins Camilo and Santiago came along and turned into the little brothers he always wanted. Being that their families always lived in close proximity from one another they were pretty much raised together and formed a very tight bond. This bond became even stronger when their families made the difficult decision to start a new life somewhere else to try to provide a better future for the three of them.
Camilo, Santiago, and Andres migrated to the US in the late 90s. Leaving his homeland and his father behind to start off in a new country wasn’t easy for Andres. He remembers his mother making a big effort to start this new chapter of their lives in the US with few savings she had set aside with much effort, however it was all in hopes of a better future. While they figured out their options they lived in Connecticut and in the outskirts of Chicago for a while, but from the beginning their desired destination was Miami. After living on pull out sofas in the living room of some very kind hearted friends and relatives they finally caught a break. Andres gives us some detail of how excited he was when him and his mother found their first place to live on their own, “It was a small one bedroom apartment, and all we had was an inflatable mattress, a clock radio, and our luggage with whatever clothes we could fit. We had the basic necessities but it meant the world to us because we were finally starting to see progress towards the better life we were working towards”.
As the years went on Andres was able to start making a little money of his own working a retail a job at the mall. Later he went on to work in the hospitality industry for a luxury hotel starting in one of the entry level positions and worked his way up. These jobs helped him get through his college career until he got his degree in accounting from Florida International University. These jobs taught Andres the value of quality customer service, added to his business acumen, and showed him what a good company environment should and shouldn’t be like.
However, the career growth he had always dreamed of came at a cost. The long hours, stress, and lack of work life balance lead Andres to reevaluate if this was the path he wanted to continue on despite having dedicated 8 years of his life to one company. The tipping point was when he decided he wanted to dedicate his life to a job that gave back to the world and that he was passionate about. Around this period of reflection and search of ideas on how to make an impact on the world his cousins Camilo and Santiago presented him the idea of starting PalmEraMia. Off the bat he loved the concept and they decided that there would be a charitable factor to the brand, which is where the idea to help communities without access to clean water cane from. They then went on to put together a plan of action to figure everything out, as the world of fashion production was something that was relatively new to the three now co-founders of PalmEraMia.
The brotherly unity between Camilo, Santiago, and Andres, as well as their diverse tastes and career interests all came together to form the perfect PalmEraMia team. Andres tells us that until this day their best qualities have been their willingness to learn, figure things out when they don’t know how to do them, and maintaining a respectful yet fun team environment.
Leaving his long time employer of 8 years was a tough decision to make because it went against everything society had taught him to believe in, but he did it anyway. Going against the grain and pursuing his passion is one of the best decisions he has made in his life, and he hasn’t felt an ounce of regret.
Today Andres is the CEO of PalmEraMia 🌴