Two besties, one business, a million possibilities. Learn more about the creators behind the craft!
Soph, aka Sophia Rivera (they/them/theirs), is a Peruvian non-binary, metal-working badass. They discovered their unique artistic vision through power tools, soldering, and wire wrapping. Sophia hopes to use their acquired skills to start a one-of-a-kind, sustainable designer jewelry line in the future.
In receiving a bachelor's degree in animal science, they've managed to connect their love for science and the environment to their artistry. Sophia currently lives in LA and works at a fine jewelry store, while spending their free time finding news ways to master metalsmithing and spreading their love for sustainable fashion.
Sophia owes their creative drive and spunk to their family, Al, Jennifer, and Diego. They'd also like to extend a huge thank you to their biggest supporters, Kacey, Dani, Karla, and Abi. And all the love in the world to their beautiful partner in crime, Julz.
Julz, aka Julianna Quihuiz (she/her/hers), is a Chicana self-taught artist who loves to experiment with new mediums and ideas. Julz is most passionate about community activism, sustainable fashion, and her loved ones.
When she's not working on her latest creation, you can usually find Julz working on her studies or rollerskating around town. She's currently a graduate student and teaching assistant at Fresno State University.
Julz owes it all to her mom, Lorena, and her Abuela, Julia. She says their creative and firey souls inspire her every day. She also wants to thank Daniel, Edith, Abi, Cristian, and Athena for always believing in her and her brilliantly talented business partner, Soph, for bringing so much light into her life. And to anyone who has supported Piezas Únicas: Gracias por su amor.
By a stroke of fate, Soph and Julz met while working at their college grocery store during their freshman year. Bonding over their love of all things fashion, art, and sustainability the two quickly became close friends. Fast forward to New Years 2020 during their junior year, the duo decided to take a chance on their goal of incorporating more artistry into their lives by enrolling in a campus jewelry smithing class. Little did they know that this would be the spark that would ignite a passionate art-crazed flame within them.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit a few months later, Soph and Julz turned to their crafts as solace. The two then roommates launched their new business, Piezas Únicas, in April 2020. Not long after, they began planning craft sales with the local art community in San Luis Obispo, CA. They saw these sales as an opportunity to support local artists and give back to underrepresented communities by donating partial proceeds to community aid organizations. The craft sales soon became known as the Coastal Creators Alliance Markets and have been able to raise over $11,000 for organizations such as R.A.C.E Matters SLO, the GALA Pride & Diversity Center, and SLO Undocusupport.
After graduating from Cal Poly in June 2021, Soph and Julz have begun to embark on their next journeys. Though 200 miles apart, their commitment to Piezas Únicas remains stronger than ever. Purchases from Soph and Julz will now be shipped separately, but their gratitude for your support is always connected. Just as it was in the beginning, the possibilities remain endless.