MEET: The Mujer Responsible For Helping Me Achieve My Dreams

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.

When I first walked into her store, I absolutely fell in love. Painted Swan is filled with gorgeous refurbished antiques (including beautiful romantic mirrors) brought back to life thanks to Andrea’s design expertise.
shop glassware

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!

Anyways, I digress…while I am thrilled that Andrea opened this amazing shop, I am even more grateful that she has become a lifelong friend, “my Brooklyn mom,” mentor, and now Auntie to my puppy Holly!
Andrea has been a huge part of my entrepreneurial journey––witnessing my personal highs and lows and always working to open doors for me (and other members in the Brooklyn community).
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.

Today, she has an amazing collection of Mexican art books, magazines, and gorgeous artifacts that she has shared with me. One of my favorites pieces is an antique wooden tortilla press, which is now displayed in the Mexico In My Pocket office space.

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.

She is well-known around the Brooklyn community as someone who is inviting, warm, and welcomes everyone’s dogs into her shop for some delicious lamb treats! And she truly cares about the relationships she builds in her life.
shop books

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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About the Author


Mexican-American journalist, former national news producer, and graduate of Boston College and Columbia University School of Journalism. Her mission is to shed more light on the beauty and traditions of Mexican culture. This website is dedicated to her grandmothers, Tita Susana and Tita Lupita, who taught her to be proud of her heritage and to always remember where her ancestors came from.

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