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The Hispanic Culture of San Antonio

From Celebrating Dia de los Muertos to uplifting small business Latina women

Centro San Antonio brought three local small businesses together in a pop-up shop in downtown for the holiday season.

Located by the Riverwalk off E Houston St. is Holidays on Houston. Open Thursday-Sunday til December 30, the shop features three Latina businesses from San Antonio.

“Planning my ideas and putting them into clay is a lot harder than you can imagine.” Nadia Ramon, owner of Dezynr said. “There’s a pair that takes me an hour just to make one set.”

Ramon started Dezynr in May 2020. Anxiety from being at home during the height of the pandemic pushed her to start creating, said Ramon. She started ordering clay and experimenting, and found a passion for creating earrings.

She applied this year for the program created by Centro San Antonio to support small businesses. The city finds a location in downtown San Antonio for business owners like Ramon to set up shop temporarily.

“The next goal is to open a smaller retail experience in a larger space,” said Ramon. “And to continue expanding my products into different stores.”

Along with her online shop, Ramon has her products in 13 shops. Although she is based in San Antonio, her products stock shelves in stores in Victoria, Houston, Corpus Christi, Austin and one store in Georgia.

Ramon met both the other small business owners because of the program and now they work together every weekend. Karen Morris, creator and owner of TwoArtsyShop was another vendor to be selected for the program.

“I finally was like I am tired of the corporate life,” said Morris. “So I started selling on Etsy.”

Morris created her shop in 2019. She started creating candles by hand for her family and wanted to turn it into a business. The shop is her full time job, after she left her corporate life behind.

After being questioned about the future of her business, she decided markets would be a good way to connect with people, according to Morris. She said meeting people and remembering customers makes it all worthwhile.

“I feel like the small business community is really tight,” said Morris. “Everybody is really friendly.”

Morris handmakes all of her products, not just the candles. Her products range from bracelets to bookmarks to body oils. Every one of her products is designed by her and she creates unique scents for each of her candles and body oils.

“Sometimes I sell out of the candles and sometimes I sell out of the body oils,” said Morris. “It really depends on the community I'm in.”

Morris plans to transition to a fully online shop, to give herself more time to create and make the best products for her customers.

Another shop in the pop-up is Mi Perrito Lindo. Run by two sisters, Mi Perrito Lindo was created because of the sisters' love for dogs.

“We’re constantly rescuing dogs and we work with different rescues,” said Dominica Castillo, co-founder of Mi Perrito Lindo. “We just try to find homes for them.”

The Castillo sisters started this business to support the dogs of San Antonio, while also creating pet accessories. The shop includes handmade accessories such as bandanas, scarves, shirts, leashes and blankets.

“Our goal is to get into vitamins and nutrition for dogs,” said Castillo. “Something that will help them live a longer life.”

The sisters were nervous when applying for the program, but felt it was good to get involved with customers being in person. Their goal is to expand and have their own shop.

All three of these businesses are Latina ran and owned, and Ramon has a group that supports small business Latinas called SATX Chingona.

“It was just to empower and bring together San Antonio business women,” said Ramon of Dezynr. “I just wanted us to share resources and educate each other.”

Ramon created SATX Chingona in 2022, since the following has surpassed 2,000 people. Every third Monday of each month, she organizes a coffee meet up and around 20-30 women show up, according to Ramon.

“When I went into Dezynr I really feel like the one thing that kept me going was the fact that I was always learning,” said Ramon. “I’m always entertained, I’m always finding new ways to make new designs.. It keeps it really fun.”

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