Venecia Quezada founded Un cuartito verde, an online community that seeks to promote environmentally responsible alternatives with an emphasis on self-care.
Tell us about you, and Un cuartito verde’s story?
Un cuartito verde was born in 2019 after some personal stress crisis and changes in my life (moving to another country, frustrating jobs, etc.) where my health was affected. I started seeing ways to reconnect with everything nature-related (my parents were permanently attached to alternative medicine). Still, there was a time when I moved away from this part altogether for things in life.
My passion for nature, cultures, stories, and processes led me to create Un Cuartito Verde 2 weeks before the pandemic (and lockdown) started.
I wanted to create a community where I could share accurate information/with a lot of scientific support about the benefits that the earth brings us through processes such as the distillation of plants (which we now know as essential oils)
but also everyday products that have a less negative impact on our planet and ways we could try to reduce our carbon footprint in our consumption through the local economy.
It was an idea that had been developing for years, but an impulse to share my personal experience could inspire or make other people question their daily habits.
I had crazy ideas to create an account that was not only informative but a place where I could share my passion for beautiful photos, aesthetics, design, and the warm spaces that I was creating from the room where I slept at my parent’s house (I wasn’t married yet).
What values identifie Un cuartito verde?
Honesty, responsibility and gratitude!
Honesty in accepting that I don’t know everything, but responsibility to share what I do know.
Honesty in always giving access to all the ingredients or sources for each product and responsibility to provide the best I could find.
Gratitude above all things. Gratitude with the land that gives us many benefits to eat, create and heal;
and gratitude to each of the people who decide to make Un cuartito verde a small part of their lives.
What makes Un cuartito verde different from other brands?
I would say that it is a community before a business.
My intentions have never been to be an “unattainable entity” but rather a constantly changing and growing knowledge resource. I wanted to make that resound even with the name;
I wanted to highlight that this is “a” little green room, but that it does not pretend to be “THE” unique and final little green room in the galaxy I would say that it is a community before a business. The idea has always been that this inspires many more small businesses (in their unique way to create). It “sticks” much more when something makes you feel identified than something that looks “different and unattainable.”
What are your thoughts about female empowerment and the role of women in the entrepreneurial ecosystem?
This topic brings me back to history. Men used to go out to hunt and fight, while the women stayed at home creating and dreaming about ideas to produce their land and diversify it.
They began to exchange with the surrounding families and transform the same vegetable from a garden into medicine, soups, stews, dyes, decorations, and more!
The men came back, saw what the women had created, and they were the ones who went out to other worlds to trade, recognizing them as entrepreneurs/traders. They didn’t steal the role from women; I see it as teamwork and how the world moved back then.
But our worlds have changed, and now women are empowered to stay and create and go out and present.. That’s a beautiful thing to see in this new ecosystem.
The role of women in the entrepreneurial world did not come to “do better than men” or vice versa. Women came back to give their personal touch while strengthening the economy. Perhaps the special touch was missing to give more movement to the entrepreneurial world. At least that’s how I see it all. I love this wave of female growth in many areas.
How can we change our buying habits to take care of ourselves and the environment?
Educate ourselves first. It is very, very important to start questioning stuff. What is our product made of? (and I don’t mean just reading the pretty label and that’s it), but being able to go further.
I feel that it is almost our responsibility to do so (I always give the example that it is the same as providing a responsible vote when electing our rulers). First, educate ourselves and then decide.
The second thing is to take baby steps. Start with a single change and empower yourself throughout the process. What does this mean? Rejoice when it’s become your habit, fail a few times, pick up where you left off, and share it with everyone!
If you want to make a post telling your friends/family how you drink more water now because you bought a cute thermos that helps you consume fewer plastic bottles. Suppose you want to keep it to yourself.
Do that little thing and hit it with everything. Then start with some other routine, I don’t know, Go to bed an hour earlier? Set up a mini garden? Start using a natural deodorant? Whatever it is in your life, start small and keep going until it becomes a habit.
How long have you known about LUPWI?
Since the end of last year (2021), I remember watching “How I Met Your Mother” with my husband at night, and I got an ad for this drink. I saved it to my “things to try” Instagram album, and we continued watching the series.
How did you find LUPWI and what do you think about our drinks?
I found them on Instagram (the magical ocean of beautiful recommendations). I fell in love ever since I read some posts and blogs about their work with the community. I’m a fan of “chocho” (Andean lupine, just entered my vocabulary three months ago, so let me keep saying “chocho” for a while, haha).
So as a mega “chocho” fan, I said, “a chocho beverage? Yes, please! I have to try this crazy thing, and I have to connect with these crazy people who came up with this delicacy.”
I love that it is a creative Ecuadorian company taking something ancestral to adapt it to people who want a different and crazy drink extra 100 points for putting it in a glass bottle.