For sister and brother, Yolanda and Rafael Beltran of Watsonville, owning their own retail store was only a dream a year ago.
Now they are the proud owners of the online woman’s clothing Wicked Wayz. Both the owners working previously for major brands like Calvin Klein and Billabong, the Wicked Wayz founders studied the craft of retail for over 15 years, but the aspirations to build their empire and change lives began in the heart of Watsonville.
“We didn’t go to college. We worked and learned all the business ways from the best people in retail," Yolanda said.
They opened Wicked Wayz in August 2011 and have had a successful run with help of their staff. Marketing, led by Anthony R. Barrientos, has helped the popularity of Wicked Ways Inc. grow to other states—such as Portland, OR—and abroad in Europe.
“We love Watsonville, it has been a great start-up location," Yolanda said. "The members of the community have been extremely supportive."
The siblings have plans to become mass distributors and expand their products to dressed-up looks. Early on, Wicked Way Inc. had a Watsonville storefront, but closed it as they prepare to move the shop to the Bay Area. The new location should open next summer.
Some may be puzzled by the name Wicked Wayz but as Yolanda elaborates. “You have to get rid of your wickerness… change your negative lifestyle to a positive.”
The Wicked Wayz owners believe their company will be more then just another retail store but community building. Yolanda and Rafael Beltran grew up with the street violence and gang culture with nobody to actually steer them right.
“Our goal is to create a support system for the youth in our community—give them a place to hang out without falling to the violence and peer pressure that kids face,” Yolanda said.
With this new business it opens a new chapter of life, they hope to bring community youth groups to at least give an alternative option of living and providing future for kids that they never had.
But that requires a lot of work to create a company that can provide that support. The siblings are showcasing their works through fashion shows, photo shoots and are designing a custom suit for LL Radio, an upcoming artist from Miami, to wear at the Latin Grammies on Nov. 15.
“We are all family here, everyday it’s exciting to see us grow as a business and see that it is worth all the work,” said model and stylist Eunice Tellez.
Wicked Wayz Inc. is mainly focusing on women’s casual street wear but hope to add shoes and accessories to their collection by partnering with other designers.
For the members of Wicked Wayz, it is not just another mainstream retail store but an empire that will be continued and passed on to their children.