The Passion of Rose
“I wanted the shop to be a combination of traditional folk art and contemporary Latino art. The goal being to preserve the Latin American tradition many of us grew up in.” Rose answered when asked what her goals were in opening up her store, smartly named Ay Dios Mio!
(exclamation point included).
“But I also wanted our products to appeal to three generations of Latinos in our community – our parents, adults and younger generations.”
For long time California native, Rose Mendoza, collecting and selling Latino art has been her passion. The perky Latina is always excited at the chance to travel to Mexico, stopping in Oaxaca, Mexico City, Tlaquepaque (near Guadalajara) or San Miguel de Allende to visit familiar artists and purchase their merchandise for sale back here in the USA.
What started as a website, evolved into event sales (like the Mariachi Festival in San Jose or Day of the Dead festival in Oakland) has blossomed into a boutique retail store in San Pedro Square in downtown San Jose. There Rose offers up unique merchandise from artists both internationally and locally. One can find works from artisans from Mexico as well as Peru, from Texas and also Los Angeles.
Her products, both originals and replicas, include such things as handbags in the shape of pan dulce conchas, dinnerware plates painted with Lotería cards, paper mache items popular on Dia de los Muertos
as well as seasonal items like Christmas tree ornaments designed by Casa Q, plus many more.
Rose learned about knowing her customers with her first business venture called La Fina Cocina.
There she sold Latino-inspired kitchenware but soon found that her customers were more drawn to the art related products thus Ay Dios Mio!
She and her sister, Betty Campos, tend to the shop that Rose believes reflects positively on her Latino culture. Rose looks forward to her annual shopping excursions in Mexico to bring back new, fun and unique arte popular
that connects emotionally to her growing customer base.
Rose advices other Latina entrepreneurs: “Feel passionate about what you want to do, ask yourself, is it in my DNA? Also, find out who, really, is your audience, your customer, know them well, because knowing them will help you to develop your business model. Know your industry and what customers want and what your competition offers. Lastly, build partnerships and collaborate with others that can help your business grow.”
Visit Rose Ay Dios Mio!
in San Jose's new San Pedro Square Market or online http://aydiosmioshop.com
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