Hola! I'm Luisa.
I’m a journalist, entrepreneur, and gift shop owner whose mission is to share the beauty of Mexico with the world.
I am a first generation Mexican-American, or, as we like to say in Texas, a Texican, who was born and raised in Dallas.
In preschool, I struggled to make friends because Spanish was my first language and I didn’t speak any English. This always made me feel like an outsider as a young child.
Eventually, classmates started to bully me because of my culture.
When I look back, I’m sad for that little girl, but I’m also grateful that I had my parents and grandmothers—Tita Susana and Tita Lupita—come to my rescue. They taught me to fall in love with my culture and heritage.
I started Mexico In My Pocket because of comments like that. They lit a fire in me to shed light on the beauty of our culture.
In recent years, I have grown even more passionate about my heritage, and want to ensure that not only my future kids, but whole future generations of Mexican-Americans are never embarrassed of their culture.
As a journalist, I feel deeply that it is my true purpose to help reshape the narrative of Mexico in the United States.
My dream is to create an online platform that reaches enough people around the world so that they will start saying, “I’m planning a trip to Oaxaca” with the same enthusiasm they’d use for planning a trip to Paris.
Telling stories about Mexican culture is my passion, but I can’t do it alone, which is why Mexico In My Pocket will always be a platform built around community.
Launched Instagram account “Mexico In My Pocket” to share beautiful images of Mexico with the world.
Founded in 2015, Mexico In My Pocket began as a place to share beautiful pictures of Mexico on Instagram.
Our mission has always been to counter negative stereotypes by spreading awareness on the beauty of Mexican culture.
Launched online blog to share recipes, stories, and travel content.
By sharing travel guides, recipes, cooking classes, and other resources, we wanted everyone to learn more about Mexican traditions and for Mexicans around the world to stay connected to their heritage.
Relaunched travel website. Pandemic hits.
In February of 2020, I relaunched our travel blog and I was excited to pour more time, energy, and money into content creation.
Then the pandemic hit and many people asked me, “Are you worried about your new travel business?”
Lockdown begins. I get furloughed at work.
When the lockdown happened, I was also furloughed. While I still had some work, I didn’t have a full week to keep me occupied and I was panicked.
That was when I decided to treat Mexico In My Pocket like my job. While all of us were dreading being stuck at home, I was enjoying working in spite of being locked in a tiny apartment during the middle of a terrifying pandemic.
I start receiving messages from artisans and business owners asking for help.
At first, working on Mexico In My Pocket was just something to pass the time. But then, things got serious once I received messages via DM asking for help.
Artisans and businesses in Mexico were struggling because tourism was dead and they relied on American tourists to buy their products.
Having very little retail experience or knowledge of what it takes to sell, I offered to promote their products through our online platform.
At first, it worked. Our community was interested in purchasing the products and they were also eager to help.
But then, we faced two major hurdles:
1. American customers were wary of wiring or sending money to Mexico.
2. The cost of shipping for one product was extremely high.
We reach out to Casa Paz (an online gift shop located in Oaxaca).
That was when I reached out to Casa Paz, a lovely artisan gift shop located in Oaxaca.
Days prior to messaging them, I had regrammed their “red clay pig vase” or the vase that many of you recognize as “the marranito vase.”
The post had gained lots of attention and people were loving it.
I thought to myself, if people love this, maybe I can try to get Mexican artisans and businesses in touch with American audiences by serving as a type of “liaison” here in the United States.
Having very little knowledge of what it would take to work directly with the artisans and not being in Oaxaca and Mexico myself, I started by asking Casa Paz if they would be interested in partnering with me.
Casa Paz agrees to work with us. I launch an online Shopify store.
While Casa Paz worked on figuring out the cost of shipping and logistics, I began pouring myself into Shopify tutorials. Having no money for inventory and very little experience with retail, I thought we could list items on a pre-sale basis.
Eventually, we launched Mexico In My Pocket’s Shopify store and listed the red clay pig vase on a made to order basis. I was nervous and worried about how we would handle the logistics of everything, but it was a success!
As soon as the pig was listed on a Shopify website, the sales started happening.
We begin shipping orders and donating despensas (pantry baskets) to Oaxacan artisans in need.
I was ecstatic. For me, this was so much more than a sale. It was personal and purposeful. It was an opportunity to help the people I cared about so deeply and to help keep our Mexican culture and traditions alive.
From that moment on, in spite of the hurdles, late night hours, and broken marranitos along the way, I decided we needed to keep going.
So we began partnering with more and more businesses and artisans and eventually (thanks to Casa Paz’s help) we were also able to donate despensas (pantry baskets) for the artisans.
We open a brick and mortar gift shop in Brooklyn, New York!
After a year, my little apartment in Brooklyn, New York, was flooded with boxes and I needed to find a physical space to sell our products.
That was when my longtime amiga or “my Brooklyn mom,” offered me a retail space here in Brooklyn, New York.
I honestly couldn’t believe it. We had met 5 years ago when she opened her shop “Painted Swan” (my absolute favorite shop in Brooklyn) and in a full circle moment, she was giving me my chance.
So when people ask me “how did you get started?” I often smile, laugh, and tell them–– “It’s a long story, are you sure you want to hear it?”
But the truth is, I love telling it because it also means I get to introduce you to the amazing people who helped make all of this happen.