In 1967, Ibiley still did not exist. All that existed was a family. Two parents, Ibis and Efrain Valdes and their 2 children, Lely and Efrain Jr. They had collectively immigrated to Miami escaping the political pressures of their homeland, Cuba, and left real estate properties and years of financial gains in order to start over in a foreign country. They sought freedom through opportunity, equality and education. Arriving in Miami they had limited means but unlimited spirit and hope they believed in themselves. The mother, Ibis, took on work sewing garments and creating dresses for the neighbor’s wives and daughters. Soon her reputation and professional work acquired recognition and she had more work than she could handle alone. She hired her first three employees her husband and her two young children. Ibiley was born. The Ibiley name is a combination of the two women in the Valdes clan, Mother Ibis and Daughter Lely. They worked side by side, equally, to create an assembly line system by which they could improve efficiency, scale their services to fulfill neighbor’s needs and together they clothed the community with the fabric of family.
After 20 years of manufacturing textiles, daughter Lely married Eddy Barea. He was a 24 yearJold bright eyed and ambitious man born in Cuba and raised in Mexico. He came to the United States to learn English and find his opportunity for success and freedom. They came from similar backgrounds and both had the same core values and vision. During their courtship and marriage, Ibiley began dealing with the exporting of textile manufacturing to overseas plants and slowly began floundering. Lely and Eddy put their heads and hearts together and jumped right back into the family business by opening a small retail store in an that believed school uniforms could make a significant positive impact for their city. They began servicing the neighborhood schools closest to where they lived and worked. The manufacturing facility began hiring the women in their community to produce the school Polo shirts and Pants and the plant was saved!
Ibiley School Uniforms has thrived for the past 24 years in the Florida market driven by the collaboration of Ibis, Efrain Sr. and Jr., Lely and Eddy and now the following generation, Ibis and Efrain’s grandchildren Richard, Susana, Christina and Lelany. The success of the Ibiley brand has come from the integrated support of the community, attention to neighbor’s needs and sincere attention to stewardship. Layers of family relationships have formed over the years within our city and this bond has helped thousands of students, parents and teachers become participants in a journey towards equality, opportunity and education. Ibiley. Believe in Yourself!