For Marina Carolina Fela-Castillo, it all began in October of 2019 when she decorated a shot glass for a friend of hers that was turning 21.
The present was a hit, and many people at the party asked her where she got it. When she told them she had made it herself, she began to get requests to make custom shot glasses and mugs.
Fela-Castillo is the founder of Pintamar, a company that sells handmade gifts like stickers, earrings and tote bags.
When Fela-Castillo first started taking commissions, she just saw them as a way to make money. Over time, it became her side hustle, until March of 2020 when the coronavirus hit and the University moved to remote learning.
“Lockdown happened, and I hit a very low point in my life where all I was doing was going to class and then lying in bed,” she said. “It was awful, so I turned to my artistic side again and I started making things.”
Fela-Castillo realized that creating and selling her art was what brought her joy and got her out of bed in the morning, especially during a tumultuous time in the world.
She decided to create a website and begin shipping out her products. Pintamar officially launched on June 10, 2020.
It took a month to decide on a name for her company, and it was her dad who finally came up with Pintamar.
“He put ‘pintar,’ which is painting in Spanish, and the first three letters of my name which is ‘mar’ and put it together,” she said. “I just had this feeling that this is the name I want my business to be called.”