Celebrating Cuban-American Culture in Miami: Denise Miqueli

Denise Miqueli, Principal & Author of Pin Pan Pun + Co

This interview is part of a series celebrating Cuban-American business owners in Miami. For the full list, click here.

+ What does Miami mean to you and why is it so important?

  • I think its synonymous with home and not just because it’s where I was born. I think to a lot of people both native to Miami as well as native from other countries that have moved here Miami is like a really unique melting pot to them. And people seem to understand each other without even having any history together.

+ How did you get started with your business?

  • I’m a user experience designer at Zumba Fitness. My side hustle – Pin Pan Pun Co –  started out as a passion project for my husband. My husband is half Cuban half Spaniard. He was born and raised in NJ – a lot of times when I talk to him and use a Cubanism they go over his head. So, one day I decided to write them down. Ese huveo quiere sal  was the first one and I made it an anniversary gift. I added graphics and within two weeks I printed it out. Someone later saw it and asked me for a copy and it kind of snowballed from there. I put it online and I don’t even think I had a website, I had Instagram and the guys from @OnlyInDade reached out to me. They asked me for a coupon code, and by the end of the day I had both a website and custom coupon codes. They re-posted it and I sold out that day.

+ Has it always been your dream to own your own business?

  • I think everyone kind of has that dream to work for themselves and to create something unique. Anyone can have an idea but to maintain and sustain a business let alone with employees is a little scary –  but if it’s not scary it’s really not worth it.

+ What are some of your recent successes?

  • Besides launching the book, I think a personal success is getting over being so public. I was never into social media, but now with the advent of business profile pages and social media publicity, I’ve started to put myself out there and engage with people. I also stopped comparing my products to others and just do what I want. It’s all pretty empowering. 

+ Who are some of your favorite businesses in CITY? 

+ Any advice for others out there who’d like to start their own business?

  • If I could go back and give myself this exact advice it would be- just start. You can start big, you can start small – just start, and fail fast. Anyone can have a good idea but if you don’t put it out there you are never going to know. It’s a scary thing. If no one likes it, no one likes it – but just start, fail fast and start again.

Learn More:

You can find Pin Pan Pun + Co’s online and follow them at @pinpanpunco.