On Ninth Avenue, simply across the nook from Fourth Avenue, Latin music will lead you thru the alley gate and into a big white constructing referred to as Chulas.
Chulas opened in December 2019 and is owned by Tucson native Marisol Flores-Aguirre. It’s a curated present store, which means that every part within the store is hand-picked by Flores-Aguirre.
Flores-Aguirre stated she was impressed by her appreciation of Mexican tradition and her love for Tucson and that though Tucson has a fantastic enterprise scene, she felt that there was one thing lacking.
“I used to be impressed by some retailers in [Los Angeles]. They had been actually small, but it surely was actually including to the tradition down there,” Flores-Aguirre stated. “I felt like there was a miss between providing a culturally centered present store that highlighted artesanos which might be native and worldwide with this type of really feel.”
Flores-Aguirre stated that she comes from an entrepreneurial household. After ending her undergraduate in well being schooling from the College of Arizona, she labored together with her father at his promoting and consulting agency. Flores-Aguirre stated the “hustle” runs in her household.
In 2014, Flores-Aguirre graduated with a grasp’s diploma from Eller Faculty of Administration on the UA. She then labored on the Younger Girls’s Christian Affiliation for about three and a half years. She started because the Girls’s Enterprise Middle director, the place she guided girls in beginning their very own companies. Flores-Aguirre stated she all the time had a ardour for enterprise, however that it was one thing she “was afraid to do on her personal.”
In January 2019, Flores-Aguirre began working at Eller Faculty as a mentor in residence for the McGuire Program and co-teaches a category on innovation. The McGuire Program is a year-long program that helps college students whose main purpose is to start out a enterprise.
Flores-Aguirre stated neighborhood service and her drive to assist others has been “part of her identification” for her whole life. Her dad and mom taught her the significance of neighborhood.
“My dad and mom needed us to make it possible for as we had been working arduous to be one of the best we could possibly be that we had been additionally opening doorways for different individuals,” Flores-Aguirre stated. “I can’t actually say when it began, it simply all the time was. Activism calls to your spirit.”
Flores-Aguirre stated she was all the time drawn to enterprise, however worry stood in the best way. Nonetheless, she stated her drive to focus on Mexican tradition and artists impressed her to fight that worry.
Chulas sells a wide range of family, private and stationery objects in addition to self-care merchandise. These merchandise come primarily from girls and Chicanx makers and artists from the Southwest, reminiscent of Arizona, Texas, California and completely different elements of Mexico.
Flores-Aguirre emphasised that one in all her main objectives is to be intentional with the store. She needs to empower the artists and ensure they’re setting the tone when it comes to worth agreements with the artists.
“A part of the actually cool factor about our store is that we work on constructing relationships. Should you ask me something about any piece within the store, I can let you know who made it and the place it got here from,” Flores-Aguirre stated.
Among the many many artists featured at Chulas is Tucson native Estefany Gallego. Gallego owns a small batch candle firm referred to as Velitas and at the moment sells her merchandise on-line, at pop-up retailers and at Chulas. Gallego stated she selected to promote at Chulas due to the intentions and objectives the store has.
“I’m extraordinarily comfortable and grateful that Velitas is a part of Chulas. The culturally centered area they created together with working with girls and makers is totally superb,” Gallego stated in a textual content message. “To me, it gave me a way of belonging, and I’m certain others will really feel the identical manner.”
Gallego stated her enterprise relationship with Flores-Aguirre has “flourished” and that her expertise working together with her has been nothing lower than superb. In accordance with Gallego, one thing particular about Chulas is that if you store there, you aren’t solely supporting one enterprise however a wide range of small companies.
Flores-Aguirre stated that valuing the “work, artwork, historical past and custom” of the artists is one thing she finds crucial.
“Highlighting the wonder and complexity of their work is tremendous necessary to me,” Flores-Aguirre stated. “If we don’t spend money on the makers, the traditions get misplaced.”
Kerri Lopez-Howell is the manager director of the Sunnyside Basis and is an adjunct professor on the UA. Lopez-Howell labored with Flores-Aguirre on the Younger Girls’s Christian Affiliation and has identified her for about 5 years.
“[Chulas] is a shining replication of who she is as an individual,” Lopez-Howell stated in a textual content message. “It’s greater than a retailer, it’s a motion of empowering feminine/latinx makers whereas additionally sharing and celebrating latinx with a broad viewers.”
Flores-Aguirre stated she’s going to all the time be grateful that she took the leap regardless of the worry. She stated “the act of doing took away the worry.”
Flores-Aguirre stated she hopes that when individuals stroll into the shop, they’re excited and so they can see themselves represented there. She stated she believes there’s something within the retailer for everybody and that it’s open and welcome to everybody.
“I hope that this area is making a small providing to the neighborhood that has given me a lot and nurtured me,” Flores-Aguirre stated. “Tucson has one thing magical. I hope that this area can change into a bit a part of that magic.”
Chulas is situated at 423 E. Ninth St. and is open Friday by Sunday. Their Friday and Saturday hours are from 12 p.m. to six p.m. and their Sunday hours are from 12 p.m. to five p.m. To study extra about Chulas go to their Instagram @chulasaz, their Facebook web page, or their website.
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