MEET SANDRA ESPINOZA OF THE THORNY ROSES


Q: Sandra, tell us a little about your background.

Thank you for the opportunity to share a little bit more about myself and my beloved Thorny Roses!

I am originally from Acapulco, Mexico. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for almost 30 years (I’m dating myself lol) so at this point I’ve been here longer than I ever lived in Mexico. I consider myself an Angeleno at heart, no matter which city I’m in; Los Angeles is always my home. I have been married to Jorge Espinoza for about 9 years, he’s in charge of producing the line.

Q: What inspired you to start your own Jewelry line & how did you come up with the name Thorny Roses?

I’ve always been a jewelry lover, I was the girl wearing too many accessories at once. I used to wear up to 20+ bangles (and a watch) on my left hand and layers and layers of necklaces. At first; I started making handmade jewelry with my friends Semma and Fatima as a hobby.

About 7 years ago I finally made the decision to fulfill my dream of starting my own fine jewelry line knowing virtually nothing about the business. I called it “The Thorny Roses” as a play on my maiden name and my husband’s last name which literally mean The Thorny Rose in Spanish (De La Rosa-Espinoza)

Q: How long did it take you to launch Thorny Roses Jewelry and what piece of advice would you give to other entrepreneurial women trying to launch their own business?

It probably took about 3 years to get the line to look like what I had envisioned. I knew virtually nothing about the business so it was a very expensive couple of years making pieces that weren’t working out because they were either too big (and expensive) or not made exactly how I had designed them. It was also challenging navigating the industry and finding the right vendors and materials to make the line a reality. I knocked on a lot of doors and had a lot of humbling experiences but I am so grateful because we learned so much about the process, materials, pricing, etc. I feel like we invested in real life jewelry school and got hands on experience so it was worth the sweat and tears (and money!).

My advice is to focus and get clear on what your vision is, make a vision board or write your vision down to the last detail. Get meticulous with it so you know exactly what you want. Also reach out for help, people are always willing to help out those who have big dreams. Knock on every door, leave your ego behind and don’t give up until your vision is realized. I believe that creativity makes the world go around and we need people creating new things, bringing fresh excitement and sensitivity to old established industries.

Q: We feel honored to be partnering with you for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and selling the Tits necklace, what inspired you to create this necklace?

“You’re the Tits!” I love this necklace so much, it’s a cheeky “I see you” to all women, and anyone who identifies as a woman. Because we literally are the tits, we’re it, we’re making things happen, we’re stepping up, we’re finally being seen for who we are: Badass Goddesses!

Breasts are such a symbol of femininity, motherhood and strength. They represent so many things: love, nurture, sexuality, etc. But they also represent a great deal of pain; my stress mostly manifests as pain in my breasts. It’s something that I’ve dealt with most of my adult life, and I feel like a lot of woman can relate to it. Then there’s the 12% of women in the U.S. who suffer with breast cancer, cysts, mastectomies and other hormonal issues that manifest as pain in their breasts.

So I really wanted this to be an homage of all the things that we are: beautiful, feminine, shiny, dainty but very strong. I want women to wear their breasts out on their chest proudly and say “look at my tits, aren’t they beautiful?”

Q: Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry you’ve created?

Yes, I love my “Madre” necklace which means “Mother” in Spanish. It’s the best-selling piece in the line. A few years ago when I was pregnant with my late daughter Lumen; my good friend Debra suggested that I make a piece of jewelry in honor of Lumen so I made the “Madre” necklace for myself. People started asking me to make one for them and I ended up adding it to the line, it warms my heart when I see women wear it. I think that Lumen would be proud of her mama.

Q: What is your favorite piece of jewelry you own?

I have so many favorites, it’s hard to choose! Here are a few: My Lumen nameplate in honor of my late daughter. My engagement ring; it’s a vintage diamond ring from the 1920’s. A vintage gold and turquoise bangle I bought at a tiny consignment shop in San Francisco a few years ago, and a bespoke necklace my husband gave me this last Mother’s Day with my children’s names on it: Milo + Rose.

Q: Who would you most like to see wearing Thorny Roses Jewelry?

Harry Styles, every person in LA, oh and Meghan Markle, wink wink.

P.S. Stay tuned for the launch of our Thorny Roses candle!