Meet the Lesbian Latina Power Couple Behind Apparel and Lifestyle Brand JZD

Meet the Lesbian Latina Power Couple Behind Apparel and Lifestyle Brand JZD

It’s not every day that you wake up to a “Hey, Mom, I made it” kind of moment. And it certainly doesn’t occur overnight. But when that incredible accomplishment happens, there are no words to describe that unforgettable feeling. At least that’s how the founders and lesbian Latina power couple of Jen Zeano Designs, aka JZD, feel about their historic debut at Target, which officially launched at the beginning of Latinx Heritage Month. The brand known for its iconic “Latina Power” sweatshirts and T-shirts has a whole new line of apparel and lifestyle offerings exclusively for Target and all available at affordable prices.

“Honestly, at that moment, I was so emotional, and I still am. I haven’t been able to stop crying,” cofounder Vero Zeano shares. “To think back to how we started, there were so many obstacles in our lives, and then, this is us now. I think about my inner child so much, and I’m like, that little kid is so proud of you.” Her wife, Jen Zeano, launched her namesake label in 2016 after quitting her job working for the state of Texas. “Ever since the beginning, I knew it just had to work because I did not want to go back to working in that field,” she says of launching JZD. At the age of 7, she moved with her parents from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico, to Brownsville, TX, where she and Vero met, married, and later launched their brand.

“We were super young. We were very comfortable with struggling. And it wasn’t anything new for us because of our childhood and early adult life. We were from humble beginnings so it wasn’t a big deal for us if we went broke for a little while,” Jen recalls. After months of handling the business on her own, it had grown to the point where she could no longer be a one-woman show. For the business to grow the way it needed to grow, she required her wife’s help.

At the time, Vero was working with a nonprofit that helps kids from Central America remain legally within the US. She was supporting them with special cases, and for a while, that was their paycheck. “It was our first year of marriage, and we had nothing,” Vero shares. “We lived in a small little one-bedroom apartment. We just had a bunch of dreams of love,” she adds. “I was like, ‘If we can do it then, we can do it again. Let’s just do it.’ And if anything, we had our degrees to fall back on.”

Taking the risk certainly fell in their favor, as six years later, JZD is thriving on culture and community with a cult-like following thanks to its more-than-relatable Latinx-inspired merchandise across clothing, jewelry, accessories, and stationery. Everything from the cute and quirky art to the funny, inspiring, and catchy phrases are symbolic of growing up Latinx.

Much of their current success is attributed to Jen’s mom and dad, who are also part of the family business. “They’re our biggest inspiration. Jen is an only child, and her parents have turned into our whole world,” Vero says. “The people that mean the most to me in the entire world are with me all the time,” Jen adds when asked what it’s like working with her wife and family. “I love working with everybody, and we have so much fun.” The couple share that at the end of the day, it all comes down to boundaries and knowing when they should be present as friends, business partners, and wives. “If we’re having a tough business day, we’re like, ‘Pause; I need my best friend right now.'”

Jen and Vero were best friends for five years before they began dating, and it wasn’t long before they took the next step in their relationship and tied the knot. And in case you had any doubt this couple run on fire, Jen is a Leo and Vero is an Aries. “We’re both workaholics. We have goals to meet, ambition, and we know what we want,” Vero says.

Image Source: JZD

That initial passion and determination are what led them to reach their most prideful moment yet: launching at Target. “It was beyond anything we could even imagine. The retail world is its own universe, and it’s been such an amazing journey for us,” Jen shares. “I actually found out because somebody DMed us and was like, ‘Congratulations on the Target launch!’ We were in a meeting with our entire team, and I was like, ‘Guys, it’s live on the Target website!’ Almost everybody in the room was crying.”

Jen explains that getting JZD to where it is today is beyond their hard work and more of an honor to their ancestors. “It was a huge feeling of immense pride and everything that came with that. It wasn’t even just like I’m proud of us, but I’m proud of my parents for everything they sacrificed to get me here, and I’m proud of my grandparents for everything they did to give my parents a better life so they could give me a better life. It was just like a trickle effect of how grateful and proud we were of everything to get to this point.”

Although it was an unexpected surprise to most, there was one person who wasn’t at all taken aback, for she always knew the megaretailer was a sight in their future. Jen says, “Two or three years ago, when the first Mas Que collection came out, she [Jen’s mom] came to me and said, ‘Un dia, ustedes van a estar ahi.’ And after I got the first call, I went to her house and I said, ‘I need to tell you something,’ and when I did, my mom was so chill and she said, ‘Yo te dije.’ She wasn’t even shocked! She just had so much trust and confidence that it was going to happen.”

Image Source: JZD

The Target collection is now available both in stores and online as part of the Latino Heritage celebration, and it features 13 exclusive products, including a not-so-basic No Pasa Nada Hat ($10), an essential Corazon Latino T-Shirt ($16), a gilded Guerrera Necklace ($15), Poderosa Hoop Earrings ($15), a very handy Cositas and Mandaditos Notepad ($10), and more.

“There are so many people behind the scenes that have helped us on this journey, and it wasn’t easy. It was so much that we didn’t know and learned along the way, and so just seeing our logo was the biggest shock because it was like, we did it.”

Image Source: JZD

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