On a rainy cold day, Stephanie Muñeca the owner of Muñecas Vintage talked about her childhood, her business, and her love for inclusion fashion with Epifania Magazine.
Muñecas Vintage is a denim apparel line that focuses on empowering women of all sizes by breaking society standards of beauty. Muñeca specializes in finding vintage denim, distressing it and showcasing it on beautiful models that she finds and photographs herself. She and her husband collaborate on several pieces as he is an artist, he paints her ideas/designs on denim jackets.
Muñecas story begins as a child of Mexican immigrants. She was born in San Jose, raised in Hayward where she witnessed her mother taking her own typical Mexican wife duties such as cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the kids. Muñeca knew her mother did a lot but she always wanted a life outside of the household. At 17 she married her boyfriend and became a young mom at 18.
“My husband and I moved around a lot. We lived in Los Angeles for four years. We were just trying to find the right home for us. We came back to Hayward to be close to family,” shared Muñeca.
According to the CDC, only about 50% of teen mothers receive a high school diploma by 22 years of age, whereas approximately 90% of women who do not give birth during adolescence graduate from high school.
Muñeca not only graduated by 17 but also took courses in high school that gave her college credit. She soon became a certified preschool teacher. After a few years in early childhood education, she soon realized she wanted to do something more, something that aligned with her entrepreneurial self. This is where Muñecas Vintage came to life, check her for constant photos, products, and discount codes @munecas_vintage.
“Since I was an eight-year-old I was always trying to alter my clothing items in my design. Thrifting is a great way to find that one of a kind pieces. It’s like treasure hunting,” Muñeca stated.
One of her favorite things to treasure hunt for was denim. However vintage denim was always out of her price range.
“When I had my son I was young. Like most women I wanted to look trendy, however, with vintage jeans at $82, I couldn’t afford them. Again, I had a kid, and bills to pay,” shared Muneca.
In 2018 she decided to make her side hustle into a business, and that is how Munecas Vintage came to be. As a beauty brand, she works on working with different types of models.
“We have messed up standards of beauty. I will never tell a plus-size model that she cannot model my product. I am here for girls that want to look cute and fly,” shared Muñeca.
And she is here for all girls. This last year she did several charity events, from providing feminine sanitary products to a women shelter to delivering a Thanksgiving meal to the only shelter in the Bay Area that accepts single fathers and boys. She even takes her young son out every Thanksgiving with hot plates to give to homeless people.
“We are so focused on what is going on our Instagram, and our problems and our bills. I want to remind people that there are people in the community that can use their help and that a little goes a long way,” shared Muñeca.
Now with her husband and son in hand, she is set out to launch her fitness apparel line, lashes, t-shirts that symbolize her pride in her roots and her parents, and opening a store.