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Meet Ana Avila of Hecho en Mexico in Placentia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ana Avila.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ana. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Hecho en Mexico is a family owned business that started 13 years ago in swap meets where I would set up a booth with my items from Mexico. As time went by, I started paying attention to the crafts that I was selling and learning more about the story behind the craft and its maker. I started researching the items we were selling and taking courses to learn more about the Mexican culture and traditions. We would attend different swap meets and farmers markets until finally in 2010 I opened up my own brick and mortar business in Placentia, CA. I use this space to sell handmade Mexican art pieces and to teach the community more about its rich history and culture. I host different events like Dia de Los Muertos events every year along with Craft Fairs where local artisans can come and share and sell their craft with the community.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We bring all our merchandise from straight from different parts of Mexico. It’s all handmade there and we have it brought to us which takes quite a bit of time and effort to get new merchandise in the store. Starting a business can be tough for anybody but what we have found difficult is generating attention to our little shop in Downtown Placentia. When people walk in they love our stuff but the issue is that not many people walk in.

Oldtown Placentia has such rich history and many historic landmarks located around the area and it’s quite a beautiful part of town with architecture similar to traditional Mexican towns. Not many people are aware of what’s around the area and drive right by or walk straight past us to get to one of the many popular restaurants we have on the block.

Hecho en Mexico, The Mexican Art & Gift Store – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We bring everything in from various parts of Mexico. Walking in is like being transported into Mexico and we won’t even ask for a passport. Most everything we carry is handmade and so it makes each item unique because it’s impossible to paint or sculpt the exact same thing every time. We are popular for our colorful Day of the Dead decorations. We have lots of hand painted ceramic skulls in all sorts of sizes, designs and colors.

We are also known for our pottery and home decor. We have lots of Talavera, Guerrero, and barro pots and planters as well as other garden decorations like Talavera sun and moons. We are proud to teach our customers about the history and culture of Mexico. We offer space for the community to come and teach arts & crafts classes along with craft fairs where local vendors set up tables in our shop to display their own unique handmade items.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to us is being happy with what you do. We take joy in sharing our culture with the community and hope there are many more people out there who can appreciate the artistry and hard work it takes to create these beautiful unique pieces. Success for us would also include gaining a noticeably larger audience to come in and admire the pieces we have for sell and would like to have them shown in their own home too. A marker we would look out for would be an increase in foot traffic to our little downtown area in Placentia. There’s so much to see we just want to share it with the world.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Calvin Ferniza of Your Golden Hour Photography

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