Denise Hernandez is the founder of Jitana, a sustainable, ethically-sourced home decor brand—it’s been a dream of hers her entire life. She worked in the fashion industry for 10 years and used that experience to tell her own story with her own products. After falling in love with Bali—the culture, the people, the ambiance—she knew the island would be where she would ultimately source her collection. She started by working with a few artisans to create the first Jitana collection in 2018, and since has expanded to working with over 15 artisans and sourcing in Mexico as well.
Like many other children of immigrants, Hernandez honors and values all the hard work her parents did to provide a better future for her and her siblings—they always encouraged her to go after her dreams. Hernandez’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador in the ‘70s and lived in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. So, it made sense Hernandez always felt a certain wanderlust. All of this led to her curiosity to visit new places, and ultimately Jitana was born.
On How She Got Her Start.
“As I got older, my interests veered towards fashion, but I was always so intrigued with business administration. After college, I landed a buying internship at Revolve which tied in all of my interests into a career. Having an eye for forecasting trends and working with budgets led me to my initial career as an international buyer—which moved me to Australia. While living in Australia, I started a lifestyle blog which ultimately turned into a full-time job. This allowed me to build an online presence, connect with others, and share my ventures."
“I landed my dream job at Chanel’s headquarters in Australia, and this was a major accomplishment for me and my career. While working at Chanel, I was able to expand my knowledge in the fashion and business world. That experience is what led me to start a business of my own. When it was time to move back to the U.S, I was ready to start Jitana.”
“One thing my parents instilled in me was the importance of hard work and confidence, which has held through the success of my business. Confidence is key when you’re a business owner, especially when my online presence is a major aspect of my life. I strive to be a great leader and role model for my team and my followers. I love sharing my daily routines from work days to self-care habits. For me, confidence starts with my haircare. On days when my hair needs a little extra love, I use the Herbal Essences Repairing Hair Mask with Argan Oil + Aloe, which gives me that extra boost I need for an eventful day. I look forward to my wash days with Herbal Essences Hemp + Potent Aloe Shampoo + Conditioner. Both smell amazing and have great plant ingredients like aloe and hemp, which leave my hair feeling strong, moisturized and ready for the day.”
On What Really Matters.
“I spend a lot of time focusing on sourcing and building relationships with artisans to create ethical products for Jitana. My brand’s mission is to curate unique collections with treasures from around the world—which is why I hand select each piece. I use the same amount of attention when it comes to the ingredients in my hair products. That’s why I love Herbal Essences’ Hemp + Potent Aloe collection: it’s sulfate- and cruelty-free. It’s infused with real aloe vera and moisturizing hemp and smells like sparkling citrus and jasmine. It honestly makes me look forward to my morning rituals and gives me the boost I need every morning.”
On Her Accomplishments.
“I had no idea every step I took was preparing me for this moment. I could never have accomplished as much without the guidance of my parents. They continue to show me hard work and consistency are key to being successful. My brand's mission is to continue to supply meaningful and ethical products by giving artisans an opportunity to create unique pieces and share their stories. Each Jitana piece has a story to tell and enlivens people's home with unique decorative home decor.”