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“From Engineer to Housekeeper”: The Journey of Joanny

Joanny's journey is a true testament of resilience, creativity, and tenacity. Her story represents our community of entrepreneurs who lead by example. Women who have defied the odds and forged their own paths in the world of business. 

This interview series aims to highlight JUST trailblazers and share not only their triumphs, but also their fears, moments of doubt and challenges.

Today, we interview Joanny Inojosa, 37, owner of Paper & Glue, a business based in Dallas, Texas that specializes in engraving and creating personalized items for every occasion.


Where are you from? 

I was born in Venezuela and migrated to the United States 11 years ago with my husband. We now live in Dallas and have two children.

What did you do before becoming an entrepreneur? 

In Venezuela, I worked as an industrial engineer for almost 10 years. When I came to the United States, I didn’t know English and started from zero. I worked in restaurants. I also cleaned houses and hotels. Jobs that taught me that whatever you do, it's important to give your best.

Tell us about a turning point in your life... 

One day, I had to clean a truly disgusting hotel room in unsanitary conditions. I remember they didn't even give me gloves or anything to protect myself. It hurt. I remember crying and telling myself, I have to get out of here. Eventually, I did. I learned English and started working as an engineer for a good company in Dallas.

Why did you decide to start a business? 

I've always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Becoming a mother was my deciding factor. Beyond a good salary, I value being with my children. It's priceless. I've always wanted to be a present mom. I won't lie; quitting my job scared me a lot. I was paid well, had health insurance, benefits—it was a stable job. Still, I'm extremely happy; it's the best decision I've ever made.

How was the transition? 

Before leaving my job, I dedicated myself to studying the business. I worked every day from 9 P.M. to 1 A.M. on setting everything up. Then I left my job and my Paper & Glue became my full-time job.

How did you grow your business? 

At first, I promoted myself everywhere—on the street, online, with my friends, everywhere. I made business cards, flyers, and went out to hand them to people. That's how I got my first clients. Then my first corporate order changed my modus operandi. A client’s company asked me for 150 personalized t-shirts. I remember being scared because I had never received such a large order, but I said yes. Nowadays, 90% of my clients are corporate clients.

Where did you get the idea of starting Paper & Glue? 

I prayed a lot for a business idea that would allow me to be a mother. At first, I thought about going into the food business, but the schedules are too strict. One day, my husband gifted me a Cricut machine. I started decorating mugs, shirts, and that's how the idea came about. It all started with that machine.

What is your biggest dream? 

I am learning to work with new materials; wood, and acrylic. I bought a new machine with one of JUST's loans and used another to take a course. I want to expand my business and be recognized in Dallas. I also want to open a warehouse.

What does JUST mean to you? 

I wanted a community where I felt comfortable. I wanted to belong to a group of likeminded women. JUST is that place for me.

Any words for other women with small businesses? 

Fear is very real. It's okay to cry, to feel uncertainty, but it's important to believe in yourself and hold on to your faith. I trust God, I believe in manifestation and in the universe. Things are there for you; you just have to ask and look for them.

What Makes JUST Unique?
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