Allow me to introduce you to mi amiga, Andrea Romeo, the shop owner next door and a true chingona! I first met Andrea about four years ago, when she opened her beautiful shop, Painted Swan.
Did I mention the fact that she has a cult-following for her signature Painted Swan candle? It’s so good, that we even like to light it at the Mexico In My Pocket shop!
shop mazahua silver jewelry
Andrea is also the reason I came to find out about Mazahua jewelry and inspired me to learn more about this ancient indigenous craft.When I first walked into her shop she showed me the beautiful silver filigree pieces that “Frida Kahlo once wore”––even gifting me my first pair, which we now call the “Luisa earrings” on our website.I will treasure this birthday gift for the rest of my life, not just because they were a gorgeous pair of silver earrings, but also because she understood the significance they held for me in wearing them as a proud Mexican-American woman.
The Heard Museum
Earlier on in her career, Andrea worked at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, where she specialized in Native American art. For about five years, she was a jewelry and fine art buyer at the museum and traveled yearly to Santa Fe, learning about Mexican art during her visits to the Traditional Spanish Market.
A Champion for Other Women
In a world that can sometimes feel discouraging, Andrea has always managed to make me feel important and like my work matters––so when I wear the earrings she gifted me I not only think of the pride I feel for my culture, but I also think of how wonderful it is to have a female friend who supports and empowers other women around her.
Even though, we now sell the same earrings, she never once questioned the importance and passion I felt in doing so.
Instead, she encourages me to continue my research, writing, and promotion of the craft so that we can continue spreading awareness about these beautiful traditions.
Today, we continue to uplift each other and discuss ways that we can both collaborate and empower one another. A win for her is a win for me and vice versa.
I know this feels like a puff piece, but the thing is––Andrea really is that freaking awesome. Like I said, she’s a CHINGONA.
Designing the Mexico In My Pocket Shop
When I mentioned that I was looking for space to house my online products, Andrea was the one who proposed I rent the small space next door (full disclosure: her husband is my landlord) and helped me create an ambiance filled with Mexico In My Pocket magic.
She is also responsible for helping us design the bookshelves with Mexico In My Pocket pink, helping me decide to paint the front of the shop with Navajo white, and creating a beautiful Otomi-inspired stencil for my register.
Even though she had a million things on her own plate to handle, she showed up every single day to make sure my preparations for my shop were going okay.
When I asked her if she would teach me how to hang my antique coconut masks (gifted by my mom), she gladly came over and even gifted me my own hammer and special nails so that I could hang things on my own in the future.
I Love You Amiga, Gracias Por Todo
My hope is that one day I can be the same woman, Andrea is to me, for other young female entrepreneurs.
Because the truth is, everyone needs an Andrea in their life to make their dreams come true!
And although I am so grateful for the help she has shown me throughout my career, I am most grateful for the conversations, laughter, and companionship that we share when we are together.
Andrea, I can’t thank you enough for being one of the most important people in my life.
I love you amiga…gracias por todo!
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