Category Archives: Retail

Faith Inspires Launch Of Blessings Box

Kim Edwards-Garza holds her premier Overflow of Blessings Box.

Most mornings, while enjoying a cup of coffee, Kim Edwards-Garza spends this quiet time before her workday with God. “I fill up my soul with His Word, and it enables me to tackle any problem or stress I may have that day,” she said.  Born and raised in McAllen, and a graduate of Memorial High School, Edwards-Garza earned a degree in marketing at St. Edward’s University in Austin. She later…

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Latina Empowerment Finds It Way

Bracelets with pro-Latina messages of confidence and strength.

The bracelets at Jen Zeano Designs define the brand Jennifer Serrano is selling. “Fuerte,” says one bracelet with the others reaffirming the theme of strength with “Poderosa,” and “Jefa.” Being a boss and exuding power all flow into the pro-Latina vibes Serrano and her partner and business co-owner, Veronica Vasquez, live everyday. The 20-something business owners ship out 50 to 100 orders monthly from their Levee Street location in downtown…

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Retired Teachers Find Calling In Vintage

Former McAllen ISD teachers Debbie Garcia and Alicia Garza are now living their retirement dream as owners of Treasures From The Attic & Co.

Debbie Garcia and Alicia Garza met at a neighborhood block sale on Nyssa Avenue in McAllen over 15 years ago. It was a chance encounter neither guessed would lead to a sisterly friendship and a business partnership. That is exactly what happened. The two women already had a few things in common when they met. Both were teachers in the McAllen school district. Garcia was an English teacher at DeLeon…

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El Disco Blossoms Into Success Story

El Disco features an array of curio products from throughout Mexico.

Up in his son’s second floor office, Francisco Pulido pulls out a book of family photos. He then smiles at the sight of a skinny 19-year-old youth. “That’s me,” he said, pointing to himself in the late 1970s, standing in front of a record store in Nuevo Progreso.  He was a young entrepreneur then. He was the son of Tamaulipas farmers, opening up a record shop in a town already…

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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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