CHICA Boss: Ylette Luis and Her Astrology-Inspired Jewelry Line
The success story of Cuban American CHICA Boss Ylette Luis was written in the stars. She talked to us about how she combined her love of family and her passion for astrology in creating her own jewelry line, XIO. The name itself comes from her grandmother Xiomara, her biggest source of inspiration. "Ever since I was little she was decking me out in jewelry, because that was something she loved and she passed on that passion to me," she recalls.
Her brand also has a bit of stardust. "Astrology is everything!" she says with a laugh. "I'm a big believer in the stars, in divine destiny. I believe our birth chart is a blueprint of our life. There is so much you can learn about yourself from it. I love people owning it and being proud of their zodiac sign. I brought that into XIO, that whole magical and celestial aspect." Her podcast, the Aura Room — available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify — "is all about energy and my life story, how I got to where I am based on synchronicities and how I believe that everything happens for a reason," she says. "I touch on angels and guides, and how the universe is here to support us when we have a dream."
XIO's designs include moons, stars, constellations, and zodiac signs. "I like to look up at the sky and all the beauty it has and incorporate that into the pieces," says the proud Scorpio, who works with her husband, a Capricorn, and says he is a big part of the brand's success. "I feel like we are a good balance. I am the creative director so I come up with anything that has to do with creativity — designing the pieces, anything that is art — and my husband does the numbers, the logistics. When it comes to planning things and implementing them, making sure things are on schedule and kept on track, that's all him."
The mom of four — she has a 9-year old daughter, a 7-year-old son, a 20-month-old daughter and a 2-month-old baby girl — says having children hasn't hindered her from pursuing her professional dreams. "We tend to feel guilty when we don't do it all. I definitely have help. It's a team effort," she says.
She took a big leap after having her third child and wanted to spend more time at home with her family. "It was scary at first because I was on maternity leave and we had to make a decision to go back to my old job or dive in and start this new business," she recalls. With the support of her husband, she founded XIO. Her sister, YouTuber and beauty influencer Kathleen Lights, was a big help with marketing and promoting the jewelry on social media. "It put our name on the map," she says.
She also proudly incorporates her Cuban roots into her jewelry, which includes pieces for babies and children. "I was born and raised with my jewelry on and that carries on to my girls. We grew up wearing hoops and bangles," she adds with a laugh. "I love bringing that into XIO, that Latina flavor and spice."
Luis, 34, knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur from a young age because her family owned a peluquería in Miami and she liked the freedom of managing her own time. Her advise to other CHICA Bosses in the making? "Find something you are passionate about because you are going to work hard to achieve it. When you feel joy in doing something, it doesn't really feel like work," she says. "You have to remove any limitations, any blocks, any doubts that you have, and stay focused."