Category Archives: Retail

Using 956 Designs To Send Positivity

Part of Dalinda Gonzalez-Alcantar’s original “956” design with two of her latest designs, Sacred Reina and Justicia.

Dalinda Gonzalez-Alcantar felt the frustration growing during the 2015 presidential campaign as she listened to depictions of the Rio Grande Valley. During that time, she tuned into a National Public Radio series about the border. “Obese, crime-infested, dirty. It wasn’t the home I’ve known,” Gonzalez-Alcantar said of the descriptions of her region. “This is why we haven’t given ourselves permission to be proud of where we live. We have a right…

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Student Project Helps Women In Need

The front side of Knitted Knockers, which come in different sizes based on the woman’s bra-cup size.

McAllen ISD International Baccalaureate junior Gaby Markle learned to crochet during the summer of 2020.  “My grandma tried to teach me, but I am left-handed, so she gave me a book and a link to a YouTube video to learn,” Markle said. “I was not very good, so I wanted to create a club to improve and to get others involved.”  Rather than establishing an official school club, which means…

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Educators Extend Passion Into Business

Armonia Music Academy & Store owners and instructors Karina Vela and Ari Gonzalez.

Avi Gonzalez and Karina Vela have plenty to do with their day jobs as public school music educators.  In early 2020, they added even more to their duties in opening a business with a connection to what they know best. The Armonia Music Academy & Store in San Benito is their version of the School of Rock with an emphasis on violins, acoustic guitars and vocals.  The partners have turned…

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Authenticity & History Fuel La Placita Reemergence

What appeared to be a risky location choice has paid off for Thomas Garza and Bandera Coffee.

Thomas and Ashley Garcia were aspiring entrepreneurs in the summer of 2018 and looking for the right spot to start their coffee shop business. The location they chose to open their Bandera Coffee seemed unorthodox at the time. It was on Van Buren Avenue in the La Placita section of downtown Harlingen. Thomas described it as part of town that had “a rough reputation,” but he and his wife decided…

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Uniform Store Honors Paramedic’s Legacy

Aracely Salinas honors her late husband, a paramedic, through her business.

Aracely Salinas’ start in business was born of grief as well as inspiration from her late husband. Michael Bryant Salinas was a longtime Rio Grande Valley paramedic and CPR instructor. For years, Aracely accompanied her husband to classroom and training sessions. Here, her husband taught the essentials of emergency medical care.  When he died in August 2018, Aracely had life-changing decisions to make. One came fairly quickly when she decided…

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McAllen Business Inspired By Prayer & Service

The smiles on the faces of Jeanie Rowell and Ann Gamblin of The Lamb’s Loom in McAllen say it all. This little piece of heaven is, indeed, their Happy Place.

In thinking of entrepreneurs, we usually envision individuals who take on the risk of establishing a business because they have a product or service, which they believe potential customers want, knowing if they are correct it will lead to personal financial gain. The ladies who established The Lamb’s Loom felt the same way, though the personal gain they sought had nothing to do with money. For 14 years, these ladies…

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H-E-B Hosts Quest for Texas Best

Reynosa native and Nuts and Cows owner Elizabeth Davis with products she pitched in the H-E-B Quest for Texas Best competition in 2018. (Courtesy)

Every year, H-E-B goes on a quest in Texas, in search of the best Texas-made products for its store shelves. This year, submissions will come via video through April 7 at 5 p.m. H-E-B “Quest for Texas Best” is an open call for local, small food, beverage and general merchandise suppliers. The winners receive their products in H-E-B stores and $25,000. Creative submission videos to H-E-B should be two-minutes and…

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Beekeeper Keeps Family Tradition Alive

Busy bees work at Lozar Apiaries in Edinburg.

Miguel Lozano holds a tiny wooden box with a mesh top and points to what’s crawling underneath it.  There’s a queen bee in there of European origin. It’s an important distinction, he said, because when she’s put in a hive, this queen will center a cluster of bees with Africanized roots, the ones dubbed “killer bees.” “She will calm the box,” Lozano said, looking out toward several hives in boxes…

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5X5 “Bombshells” Into H-E-B

Brunette Bombshell

“Brunette Bombshell” from Mission-based 5×5 Brewing Co. is now available at seven Rio Grande Valley H-E-B stores. It is the brewery’s first beer to enter the retail market. The Mission EDC, in an announcement, says the release is made possible through an exclusive partnership with L&F Distributors. As the largest distributing brewery in the area, 5×5 Brewing Co. is one of a number of businesses receiving Mission EDC support over…

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Entrepreneur Finds Inspiration In Faith 

The Milagros are pinned to crosses, religious statues, hearts and other forms, and each charm symbolizes a specific request of saints.

Mari Rodriguez accepted a job with Central Power and Light and moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 1994. She thought it would be only for a year. Her plan did not include meeting a pharmacist from San Antonio named Cecilio who had also moved to the Valley. Mari would not return to Corpus Christi, where she lived previously. Mari and Cecilio would walk down the aisle. The couple then…

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