Exploring Cultural Heritage in Fashion with Encargos y Envios Founder Joshe Ordonez

Joshe Ordonez is an Entrepreneur and Creative Strategist with expertise in fashion and culture. She focuses on the combination of cultural heritage and contemporary art and design in order to preserve and promote techniques and practices from ethnic minority communities. 

Born and raised in Cuenca, Ecuador, Joshed Ordonez found inspiration in her family where she was able to absorb her passion for fashion, social impact through creating and building, as well as kindness. Today, Joshe’s passion continues to grow through new and inspirational connections. 

Now that my sister and brother are grown-ups they became a constant source of inspiration for their strength and motivation.

Before incorporating her passion for fashion into her own entrepreneurial journey and career, Joshe faced some challenges in the process. “The hardest thing for me has been trying to get people to listen. With so much noise in the world, it is hard to have a voice,” stated Joshe. To overcome those obstacles, this inspiring Leading Latina continues to focus on building her confidence as well as demonstrating that fear will not keep her from speaking up or becoming the successful businesswoman she aspires to work towards everyday. 

Her work today, now manifests in a variety of mediums including photography, video, design projects, garments, visual arts, workshops, and symposia. Her work has been published in local and international magazines, newspapers and blogs. Ordonez has won several awards and recognitions such as XPOTEX, A National Fashion Design Competition in Ecuador for two consecutive years. One of Joshe’s proudest works is her thesis, Ikat – Ancient Technique, prior to receiving her degree in Fashion Design, which took a lot of research and practical work to complete.  During her thesis, Joshe traveled to an artisan community far from where she lived in Ecuador. She enjoyed the approach of the project where both the artisan and herself used one another’s skills to fulfill their own capabilities in co-creating something magical. “I learned a lot about my culture and the importance of ancient techniques in the story and development of a nation. This experience has shaped my approach to creative collaborations and leadership,” expressed Joshe. 

In 2017 Ordonez was invited to the United Nations as a panel during the 55th Commission for Social Development to talk about sustainable and social development in the fashion Industry. Joshe cited this opportunity as being that moment where she was finally heard. She was able to express the importance of cultural heritage in fashion, and how artisans have the wisdom to create techniques or materials which can help the fashion industry become less damaging to the environment.These processes can still generate income for emerging communities. Joshe also explored some myths about sustainable fashion and the steps we can take to reduce our footprint, such as buying less and becoming educated consumers.

When I had the opportunity to speak at the United Nations Panel I felt that finally I have a voice and people are taking my ideas and opinions seriously. I felt that the hard work was worth it.

Ordonez is a graduate of the Design Management Master program at Pratt Institute (2018) and received grants to execute her projects from Pratt in 2016 and 2017. One of those projects is Loop Fairtrade, a digital platform that connects Ecuadorian artisans with global designers to co-create ethical products.

In 2018, Ordonez launched the first Toquilla Straw workshop ever made in the U.S.A and was part of the Tek-Tiles Team, a project of the BFDA that focused on integrating technology into smart garments and functional textiles.

This year as one of our nominated Leading Latinas of 2019, Joshe’s biggest advice to aspiring Latina entrepreneurs is to take risks. “Try to fight your fears and go for what you want, your dreams won’t fall from the sky, you have to work for them,” expressed Joshe. After all, in her best words, nothing great has ever happened without risks. Her goal for this year’s campaign is to bring more talented Latinas into the network and encourage everyone to support each other in their collaborations.

I am really excited about encouraging Latinos and Ecuadorians to be proud of their roots, we have a lot of great things to be inspired about.

Currently, she is the Founder and CEO of Encargos y Envios, a peer to peer international delivery platform that helps travelers earn extra income by delivering products to shoppers abroad. When Joshe is not hard at work, she loves to read success stories about Latinos and Latinas. She believes in the importance of staying inspired, and keeping the momentum strong.

To read more about Joshe Ordonez’ work, visit her personal and professional website below: