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About Coqui International

coquiBorn in May 1998, Coqui International started out as a natural soap maker .  A few hundred bars later and a little bit of retail experience under my belt, I thought “why not open up a retail side of this business instead of just wholesale”.  Soon, local artisans & artists began calling.  A key chain here, a coffee mug there, add a dash of acrylic paintings and viola!—an artisan store was born!

 Before long, I had to run away as fast as I could from the artisans as I simply couldn’t buy any more product for my little 900 square foot store.  Yelling and screaming down the middle of the street, the locals came to love me and the artisans came to adore me.

Then one day, whilst making a batch of soap in the kitchen, a lady came calling.  She just bought the store across the street from me and wants me to be her tenant.  Bought the store?  What store?  Oh, the store that housed 30,000 used car tires…THAT STORE.  Ok!  I’m up for a challenge and so let the renovations begin! 

We are now housed in this beautiful 4,000 square foot facility featuring individual galleries of beautiful handcrafted gifts, paintings and a relaxing back yard, that, with a little time, patience and a line of credit on my Visa card, allowed me to renovate and Feng my Shui.

The Coqui (pron: ko-kee) frog is the symbol of Puerto Rico, so it was pretty clear to me from the beginning that I had to have this as part of my company name.  The Ïnternational” part came in after a bottle or two of wine on a Tuesday night when I dared to dream that I could have a location beyond Puerto Rico and also therefore carry products not just handcrafted from our island but Wow!---other islands and destinations, too!

Lucky for you, I’m doing just that!  Eclectic by nature, Coqui International carries a wide variety of products, mostly created in Puerto Rico but also seasoned with a dash of this country and that.

It’s now been almost 12 years since I left my former hotel career and spread my wings and dared to fly.  I have my sister in law, Molly, to thank for the ability to do what I am doing today.  You see, Molly started her own little soap company years ago in Sitka, Alaska & I was fortunate enough to follow her lead.  For this, I will always be grateful.