La Piñata Design Studio is an artistic business that specializes in artisan piñatas. Founded by Yesenia Prieto co-owned with Mia Baez, La Piñata Design Studio is led by 3rd generation piñata makers and designers reinventing the wheel on the traditional take on the craft.
Yesenia started her business at the age of 19 because she wanted to help her family out of poverty. At that time, her family was working on making piñatas, but she felt that they were not getting the right compensation for the work that they were putting into each piece. Each custom change or detail to a piñata takes a lot of work and should be compensated fairly. Yesenia wanted to change the way things were going for her family. To do this, Yesenia went to college and learned that to succeed her family business needed certain things like accounting and lawyers to guide them in the right direction. Yesenia shared that getting connected to lawyers always felt like the hardest part because lawyers are expensive, and she didn’t know where to start. Thanks to the LA Regional COVID-19 Small Business Owners Legal Aid Program, lawyers have provided Piñata Design Studio counsel and assistance through business incorporation, so La Piñata Design Studio is better positioned for growth.
Yesenia shared the following about the service:
“When I first got involved with the LA Regional COVID-19 Small Business Owners Legal Aid Program, I didn’t know how helpful and dedicated the team, would be. The response that everyone had to me was so serious and respectful. I felt like they sincerely wanted to help and showed up to help. I felt like I could ask any question and I would be respected, and my questions would be answered.”
Yesenia also shared that:
“The service was a pleasant surprise. I started doing everything myself because I thought I had to. I didn’t know what to do and felt like I was having to learn a lot of different things at once. When I started to receive services, it was a pleasant surprise to find people that dedicated their time and knowledge to help small business owners like me.”
The LA Regional COVID-19 Small Business Owners Legal Aid Program gives small business owners like Yesenia the opportunity to get free legal assistance. As Yesenia mentioned “entrepreneurs need to know that they don’t have to do it alone and that there are people that care. There are people dedicated to getting you things like resources and education to help you with your business.”
Helping small businesses with their commercial leases
A low-income, minority, and family-owned skin care business in Los Angeles County was forced to shut its doors for more than a year due to pandemic related stay-at-home orders. They had no income, and their debt continued to pile up. Before they knew it, the business owners owed more than $50,000 in rent that they had no way of paying back. They were lucky enough to receive a grant from LA County to help pay some of the rent that was owed. They thought they could work out an agreement with the landlord themselves. They emailed and called him several times, but he would not respond to them at all.
That is when they contacted the LA Regional COVID-19 Small Business Owners Legal Aid Program for help negotiating a settlement with the landlord. As soon as the landlord heard the business had representation by an attorney, he responded right away. With the help of the Small Business Legal Aid Program, a settlement was reached with the landlord—he agreed to waive $16,000 of the business owners’ rent debt and the business was able to stay in its space. Now the small business can focus on rebuilding without the stress and worry of owing the landlord money.