SoCo Market helps spotlight Latino-owned businesses


As a cloudy haze hovered over the plaza of the courthouse in downtown Santa Rosa, a festive spirit was maintained by the Latino artists, designers and designers of all kinds who showed up at the SoCo Market in the Friday night.

White cloth covered tables displaying racks of butterfly wing earrings and bracelets as eager millennials in bucket hats sifted through vintage shirts from the 80s and 90s. Hungry attendees who needed a break from the boating eagerly lined up at food and drink stalls as succulents nestled in macrame hung from a nearby booth, twirling in the summer breeze. .

This is the kind of atmosphere you typically find at the monthly SoCo market that started almost a year ago. The market will take a break in September, but markets will resume in October and December. No date has been set. Keep an eye out for the Marketplace Instagram: @thesocomarket.

Mercedes Hernández, 26, is the founder of the market which focuses on showcasing and celebrating small businesses owned by millennia.

“It brings the whole community together, we support small businesses. We support people who have big dreams, ”she said.

During this bright and lively event, we met a few local Latino-owned businesses:

Jennifer flores and Rosa Luviano founders of Monarca Valley Floral

Flowers are important to the mother-daughter duo from Rohnert Park who started a flower arrangement business in March.

“In a time when we felt lost, scared, depressed or sick, something that always motivates us is to always have flowers. They bring so much color and liveliness to a home, ”said Jennifer Flores, 22. “Flowers have always been such a big part of our lives.

Six years ago, Rosa Luviano started creating flower arrangements to celebrate her daughter’s milestones like birthdays, quinceañera and first communion. Luviano did it out of passion and found joy in making arrangements for the people she loved.

This passion for flowers turned into a business that Luviano and his daughter now operate. Their mission: to create flower arrangements that brighten up any room or someone’s day.

“Every time I made arrangements for people it made me so happy to see their reactions,” said Luviano, 41, with tears in his eyes. “I just want people to feel happy. That’s the whole point of this company.

Their logo, a monarch butterfly, reflects the stories they shared as a family about butterflies migrating to Luviano’s birthplace, Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico. They believe butterflies are the souls of deceased relatives returning home.

“I am a first generation seagoing college student, my parents moved here from a different country, it reminded me of our family trip as we navigate life together,” said Flores. “We want to show who we are. “

Instagram: @monarcavalleyfloral

Blanca Molina, founder of Pokidi Lab

Blanca Molina, a graphic designer and illustrator based in Santa Rosa de Jalisco, Mexico, creates posters, pins, stickers and jewelry dripping with colorful symbols inspired by her Latin heritage.

His art is meant to promote positivity, ferocity, humor and wit during difficult times.

“Romantic your life,” said Molina, 32. “Hey, maybe today is a little suck, but it doesn’t have to be like that every day. My intention is to lighten people’s mood.

In August 2020, the graphic design graduate from the University of Sacramento posted an Instagram article titled “Unwavering Resilience.” The piece was inspired by farm laborers who continued to work as California wildfires raged nearby, and it received tons of positive feedback that encouraged Molina to start selling her art on Shopify, a. she declared.

“I want people to see themselves and their culture in the things I create,” Molina said. “You have your job that pays the bills and the job that feeds your soul. This job doesn’t just pay the bills, it feeds my soul.

Instagram: @ blanca.creative

Lissete Martin founder of Herrera de Corazón

Lissete Martin opened Herrera de Corazón in February 2020 after dreaming of opening her own gift shop since she was 8 years old.

“When I was a kid I used to do these giant retail stores and have Bratz doll accessories and stuff,” Martin, 23, noted.

The natives of Santa Rosa make and keep objects 100% Corazón – Spanish for “heart”. His shop offers personalized objects and jewelry handcrafted by artisans. Things like embroidered clutch bags, sombreros and hand-painted tassels can also be found on her Instagram.

Martin set up the shop in honor of her grandfather, a blacksmith in Jalisco, Mexico who died in 2018. She said it was essential to incorporate pieces from their Latino culture and that she specifically sold items created by artisans from Chiapas and Jalisco.

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