We had the good fortune of connecting with Sofia de la Vega and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sofia, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk taking is always scary, but as I learned after leaving my office job – the leap of faith is always worth it if you’re investing in yourself. When you know the risks but you jump anyway, the universe will always catch you. Leaving my role after 5 years to pursue my own ventures was terrifying and took a year of planning before fully committing to it. I was giving up what was familiar, my routine, and the scariest part as someone with an illness – incredible health insurance. But I reached a point where my health was becoming impacted by the stress and frustration at work and I knew things had to change. I told myself I would give myself a year to try it out and worse comes to worst I can get a new job, but I at least had to try. I put in my 3 weeks notice and finished only a few days after my five-year work anniversary.
After only two weeks on my own I had a number of major sales, two collaboration requests, and signed three new clients in my other business. Since then I’ve nearly completed an online academy program I’ve been in for two years and will soon be launching my third business in herbalism. In the (almost) one year on my own I’ve been blessed with success, consistent growth, and have been featured in different publications and podcasts. More than faith in myself has been the support given by those around me who have pushed me to aim higher, stand more confidently in my knowledge, and share with others what I’ve worked so hard to accomplish. Risk taking is scary no matter what aspect of your life it’s in, but so long as you’re as prepared as you can be and truly believe you have it in you, you should always try.
What should our readers know about your business?
I started my journey with crystals almost ten years ago while struggling to get a diagnosis on my health issues and looking for other ways to support myself emotionally. I launched The Salty Witch at the end of 2019 and we are still here and thriving! I think when you start a business out of love and a true desire to help others, it shows in your work. I have incredibly loyal customers, many who have since become friends, and have people messaging me daily asking for guidance in stepping into this world. I feel so honored to have strangers put their trust in me and know that I am a genuine person who is just happy to support in anyway they need. I believe that because I started this with the simple desire to help other find the support I did, I continue to grow today. It was actually the idea of a few of my clients to get me to start doing home visits to personalize and curate your crystal collection and find you larger pieces through my connections!
I will say, transitioning from being in the corporate world for 13 years to entrepreneurship is scary and definitely a new type of stress. While I left my job to pursue TSW full-time, I took the leap when I did because my health was starting to become impacted with severe flare-ups that lasted for months and I knew I couldn’t continue like that. Leaving was an almost immediate relief on my health but I struggled for a long time to learn how to implement a healthy work/life balance when I didn’t have someone else to report to. It’s hard to have imposter syndrome sometimes but I really have worked so hard to get here. It took me almost a year to learn not only what schedule works for me and to block out consistent days and times for tasks, but to truly feel worthy of success and the recognition that comes with growth. It’s okay to give yourself days off when you run your own business, it will not fall apart because you took a mental health day (or days) for sake of your own well-being.
I want others to know that The Salty Witch serves as a place for holistic and natural wellness. We are growing every day to support others on their journey by ways of crystals, eco-friendly home goods, and soon-to-be herbalism. I believe we thrive when we incorporate both eastern and western practices and that I am here if they need guidance for either. I am building a wellness network to make sure these practitioners get the recognition they deserve and are easily accessible to those who don’t know where to begin to look. Eventually I am looking to open a shop where I can combine everything in one location and serve as a safe community spot for events, meetings, and others to share their gifts.
Everything I do is to support my community and to bring Miami a little more magic.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh how fun! There are so many great spots in Miami that don’t get the coverage they deserve. I prefer a slower pace so my favorite areas to hang out are Coconut Grove and the Keys, so it really depends on what sort of trip they want to have. If we’re starting local, I love to grab coffee at Brewing Buddha – it’s a little coffee shop in Pinecrest that really knows how to make a great coffee or matcha latte, I’ve never been disappointed. Now because I’m vegan but still love to give the Miami Cuban experience, we would have to stop at Vegan Cuban Cuisine for their croquetas – the chickpea is my favorite. One of my favorite hidden gems is the dock at Deering Estate, you can sit by the water without needing to go all the way to the beach, still get that salty air and splashes from the ocean, really such a nice way to start the day. For lunch or dinner we would probably go to the Grove, I can’t pass on the gluten free dumplings or scallion pancakes from Minty Z or the crispy rice sushi and truffle noodles from Planta. I think about their food almost daily, it’s so good. Salt & Straw also has vegan options so if they want ice cream, plant-based eaters can enjoy it as well. The Grove is such a nice area to walk around as it really isn’t congested and there’s so many cute shops to browse, I always take out of town friends there. For the next day we can start at Aguacate Sanctuary of Love, not only is the food fantastic but you can start the day with yoga there and visit the farm animals! The cows are my favorite. From there we can go to Coral Gables and check out the art museum at UM then walk around Miracle Mile for a little and stop at L’Artisane Bakery & Bistro for croissants and gluten-free macarons. I almost always walk a few blocks over to Books & Books after because the atmosphere is just so nice. For dinner we can eat at Xixon in Coral Gables for some classic Spanish food and then to 8th Street to end the night at La Trova – a great time and a great experience for your guest, just make sure you have reservations if you don’t want to spend the night at the bar!
We can take a few days to relax, go to Key Biscayne if they don’t want to endure South Beach and go to the beach there but I definitely want to set a day aside for the Keys. I don’t go with too much of a plan, I just drive at stop at where ever feels good. If you choose to go down Card Sound Road instead of Overseas Highway, there’s a Nature Trail just before you hit Key Largo. It’s a hidden gem with a lot to explore, it’s best to go in the morning before it get’s too hot but there is a lot of shade from the trees! Continuing downward, there’s a fairly new cafe in Key Largo called Coco Plum cafe that has vegan options! it’s a hidden cafe you have to cross to the other side of the island for, with good food and smoothies and a cute shop. It’s really close to Shell World which is a must stop shop for me as it’s a great place to buy a souvenir for out of towners, and if they want we can also go to the Pinecrest Bakery location just before it. Once we’re back on the road I usually go from there down to the Rain Barrel, so fun! I love to see the work of all the artists there and I highly recommend their piña coladas. After some time looking around we had on down to Islamorada to browse a pricey but beautiful shop called Ocean Gardens, check out the centuries cannon they have on display and the stunning telescope! There’s also the brewery right next door if they want to grab a local beer. From there we can go to Robbie’s if the crowds aren’t too bad and they’re willing to smell like bait and potentially get bit by tarpon or attacked by pelicans. If they prefer something a little more calm you can always stop at the World Wide Sportsman to grab some clothes or fishing gear and check out the boats at the dock. Lately to eat we’ve been frequenting Morada Bay but I always love the atmosphere at Lorlei’s too, just make sure you have reservations!
There’s plenty of fun things to do in Miami and if they prefer the more common tourist destinations for photo ops we can always go to Wynwood or the Design District. Miami offers so much versatility and culture that you really can’t go wrong with whatever you choose to do, I feel so blessed to live here!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I truly never thought about turning my love for crystals into a business, it was actually my boyfriend Alex’s idea! I was having more and more people approach me for suggestions on what to use so it really just flowed organically from there, never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate owning a crystal shop, let alone it becoming my primary business! After a 10+ year passion of using plants for health and wellness, I started a formal herbalism program a few years ago and have also had unwavering support on turning my knowledge into a business from him, my incredible parents Javier and Aleli, and my closest friends Amanda, Alyssa, and Alex.
I know not everyone gets so lucky but I am so fortunate to have so much love and support. It motivates me in creating this business to do more for others and support my community. I wouldn’t be living out this dream without them and I hope they know I am forever grateful for their faith in me.
shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.