Sometimes when you reach the bottom the only way is up. This couple watched their dream literally burn in front of their eyes. It was a moment they found themselves on the bottom, but also they found strength to push themselves back up. This is a story of resiliency and strength. This is a story of Juan and Martha Piña.
Juan and Martha Piña are from Villanueva, Zacatecas, Mexico. This happy couple has been married for 27 years and they have two children. Like most immigrant stories go, Juan Piña came to the United States when he was 14 years old in search of a better future for himself. Martha Piña migrated to this country in 1993 with the same goal in mind.
The Piñas have always been good with their hands, that’s why in 2007 they took a risk and opened a small business where they sold different kinds of furniture that they made.
“When we just started our business, we sold furniture that we made with our own hands,” Mrs. Piña said.
Through hard work and sweat they reached moderate success.
“It cost us a lot of hard work to grow our client base. It was not easy,” Martha Piña stated,
As it turns out sometimes fate throws you a curveball and in November of 2016 the Piñas found themselves devastated and on the bottom.
“November 26, 2016 because of a fire at our business, we lost everything,” Martha Piña painfully remembers the moment she literally saw her dream go up in smoke. “All our hard work, the dedication to our clients, our dreams, our will to go on, it all went up in smoke just in a matter of a couple of hours. It was lost and it was difficult and painful to see everything turn to ashes, that all the hard work and dedication disappeared in such a short time. Even now it is hard for me to talk about this. Even though it was a material loss, it still hurts.”
Mrs. Piña shared that this pain was so deep because she knows full well how hard it is to run a business. She told us that although many people dream of opening their own business, not everyone understands how much work and responsibility it requires.
“You have to follow a schedule, have a good attitude and treat your clients well,” Mrs. Piña shared. You need to be well informed about your product so you can give recommendations to your clients. You have to be here 100 percent.”
Unfortunately, even though the Piñas knew how to successfully run their business and accommodate their clients, they still lost everything to the fire, something that no one expected to happen. The fire was devastating for them, but they supported each other and pulled through it.
“In spite of losing everything, the fire happened at a challenging moment, because we felt like giving up, we felt as if we were working to hard with little results, the fire was like a new beginning for us,” Mrs. Piña shared what kept them going to try again.
She explained that it was a long process dealing with the people involved with the investigation of the fire and a constant fight with the insurance company that lasted for more than a year and a half. Despite all of these difficulties, the couple still was planning on launching their business again. At that time they did not have enough funds to get a new location, so they started from the bottom and started selling at their bodega (warehouse).
“We were located at the bodega for 3 years,” Mrs. Piña remembers. “Meanwhile, my husband Juan was here every day remodeling and fixing everything.”
In November 2019 they reopened their business in the remodeled building. Grand Furniture and Mattress sell furniture, beds, mattresses and clothing and items for charreria.
She is very proud of the work her husband did and assures that today her store seems to radiate a positive vibe and that this is the right moment and the only direction is up towards success. She also added that the fire and pandemic helped her to value her customers even more than before.
“I value my clients a lot more now because every person that enters my business brings me joy because my clients are my motivation. I love to communicate with people and I don’t care if they buy, the fact that I get to show my product is what gives me satisfaction,” Mrs. Piña explained how much more she appreciates her clients. “After the fire the thing that hurt me more was not being able to talk to my clients. It was depressing.”
Juan and Martha Piña do not make their own furniture anymore, but they can assure you that they get their product from the best providers. In this new version of their business, Juan Piña focuses on selling wardrobe and products for charros. But the main focus of the couple for this business is to make sure their clients leave happy and satisfied with the service they received.
After going through the difficult experience of seeing your dream go up in smoke, the Piñas pushed up from the bottom and are now working again to reach success. Martha Piña believes that on the road to success one has to surround themselves with positive people, the fighters. Her painful experience showed her that a good and strong team of workers will carry you to success.
“If your team is well constructed, then success will be in your hands,” Mrs. Piña shared her final words of advice and encouragement. “Always thank God for the good and the bad because we need to learn from everything to value and not to lose our footing because a bad turn does not last forever and never give up.”
Reaching the bottom does not mean reaching the end. It only means that one gets a chance to push up to get even higher than before.
If you are looking for furniture of the best quality and a big selection of specialty products for charros please, visit Juan and Martha Piña’s business located at 1944 E Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA and their number is (515) 262-0098. You can also follow them on Facebook at Grand Furniture and Mattress