Texas lady grew Black-owned enterprise with $53 to her title

Texas lady grew Black-owned enterprise with  to her title

AUSTIN (KXAN) — “There’s energy in not having something to lose,” stated De Juana Lozada, founding father of Soul Popped Connoisseur Popcorn.

Everybody calls her De J. She constructed the soul-food-flavored popcorn model when she had little to nothing about seven years in the past.

Now, the demand for her popcorn is rising. She runs her enterprise out of a store within the Arboretum procuring plaza in north Austin, referred to as Soul Made Collective.

Texas lady grew Black-owned enterprise with  to her title
A wide range of soul food-flavored impressed popcorn (KXAN pictures/Jala Washington).

Her distinctive popcorn flavors, like fried hen, Austin smoked barbeque and hen and waffles, are an ode to the African-American tradition in a approach, Lozada stated. It’s the form of taste in meals you get from those that cook dinner it, placing their coronary heart and soul into the method.

“All of us have grandmas, mamas and aunties that once we go to their home, you may style the love of their meals, proper?” Lozada stated. “I can just about make popcorn style like no matter I would like. It’s a superpower. Don’t ask me to clarify that as a result of I can not. It’s simply what I do.”

Lozada by no means thought she’d be making popcorn full-time. That’s till she had no different alternative. 

“In 2006, I simply stood up and fell and hit the ground with a ache episode that I’ve by no means skilled earlier than,” Lozada stated. “That began me on a journey that lasted virtually 9 years of debilitating, un-diagnosable ache. That stored me out and in of the hospital each month for eight and a half years.”

Finally, she discovered she had a uncommon uterine situation referred to as adenomyosis. Nevertheless it practically value her all the things.

“It left me with $2 million in medical debt,” Lozada stated. “$2 million.”

So, with two children to care for, she did what she needed to do. 

“In my late 40s, I discovered myself beginning over from scratch,” Lozada stated. “My product was born out of ache.”

She constructed her product with solely $53 to her title. 

“I took half of it, and I purchased popcorn seed and coconut oil,” Lozada stated. “I knew that that was one thing that I may make rapidly. And I may flip and make a revenue with it rapidly… it was only a God-given message, ‘Go stand up and go make your popcorn.’”

Lozada stated she began promoting popcorn out of her SUV. She felt she had nothing to lose. 

“There’s energy and never having something to lose,” Lozada stated. “There’s energy in that.”

Some “Soul Poppers,” as Lozada calls them, have been alongside for the trip along with her.

“I like her,” long-time buyer Larry Bios stated. “She’s a folks particular person. I keep in mind she had her children serving to her as nicely.”

Lozada credit her trials and tribulations in life, to her with the ability to begin a enterprise when she had near no cash to her title. She stated as a child, she was dwelling on the streets homeless for some time.

Now, along with her personal store, she has new alternatives to companion with shops and resorts to promote Soul Popped.

“Typically I simply sit again and giggle, and I say, ‘I’m doing all of this due to popcorn. It’s loopy, proper?’” Lozada stated.

Lozada stated she desires Soul Popped to be a nationally-recognized model.

“While you assume popcorn, I would like it to be synonymous with Soul Popped,” she stated.

At Lozada’s store, she additionally sells pure merchandise like candles, important oils, home made purses, garments and different magnificence merchandise. Most of this stuff are from principally Black-owned companies.

She stated it’s her approach of uplifting others like herself as a result of she is aware of how onerous it may be to make a approach out of no approach. 

Lozada now stated she’s fundraising to attempt to transfer to an even bigger house to maintain up with demand for her product.