From coffee to desserts to artisans goods, these women are extremely gifted.
The Latinx community in Denver is rich and diverse and sometimes underrepresented. But it’s important now, more than ever, to stand with minority communities. We spoke with 4 Latina woman in Denver who are using their heritage as inspiration to give back to the Denver community in the ways they know how. They’re offering safe spaces for others in the community, providing familiarity, and representing the positive, rich, and beautiful diversity within the Latinx community with their goods and services. Read on to get to know these 4 Latina-owned businesses.
1. Leslie Amaya from AmaDa Artesania
Leslie Amaya’s work focuses on handmade accessories from Mexico, including, but not limited to her beautiful, customized beaded, wool hats that we absolutely love. Her art is inspired from her work with artisans from various regions in Mexico, including Chiapas, Michaocan, Nayarit, Guanajuato, Jaliso, Tlaxcala, and Oaxaca. From the artisans in those regions, Amaya was able to learn their skills and apply them creatively.
Their techniques carry their culture into the art they make, and as a result, this culture can be shared with those who purchase. Amaya was inspired to create artisan crafts from her days spent in Mexico, Chihuahua, and Durango as she grew up. “It’s common to see “Chaquira” (that’s the name of the beads) in necklaces, earrings, bracelets, [and] shirts,” she said. “So my inspiration comes from the love I have for handmade goods in Mexico.”
Amaya has pop-ups throughout Denver, like her recent collaboration with the Mujer Mercado and Tessa Delicatassen. Follow her on @amada_artesanias to find out where to find her next. She also ships within the U.S.
2. Viviana Villagrana from LaLa’s Bakery
courtesy of Lala’s Bakery
Business partners, Viviana Villagrana and Laura Madrid’s, inspiration behind their business is all about community. “We love being part of that community. Laura and I want to elevate the inclusivity with Lala’s by working closely with women and other minority-owned businesses.” And Madrid and Villagrana have been working with this goal in mind.
When the pandemic closed down their previous place of business, The Market on Larimer Square, Villagrana, Madrid, and their completely woman/non-binary team baked from their own houses and met their customers at a library parking lot. “We were getting cakes in the hands of people who desperately needed comfort during a precarious time.” The Market had been around for 4 decades prior, and housed a rich and diverse community in Denver.
Now, the team offers curbside pickup from their production lab in Wheatridge, Arvada region, with the hopes to soon own their own brick and mortar! Stop by and say hi! Or, check out their website for order inquiries.
Ana Sanchez pursued Latin American studies, and after discovering the enormous impact Latin Americans have had globally and in the U.S., it reminded her just how underrepresented the history of her people really was “Because aspects of our culture are usually undermined, unrecognized, and overshadowed by negative rhetoric, I believe some of us carry the responsibility on our shoulders to show the other side.” With Sanchez’s work, she wants to spread message to Latina women everywhere. “With my work I intend to elevate not only Mexican jewelry design, but also those who wear my pieces.”
The pandemic showed the resilience of the Latinx community, and Sanchez saw it first hand. “In Denver alone, I have seen the Latinx community hold strong during a global pandemic thanks to the many women in our community that took it upon themselves to pave avenues for small businesses…”
Her jewelry is a beautiful homage to her culture, and you can buy her pieces on her website.
Obsessed with coffee just as much as we are? Cabrona Coffee is doing Mexican-inspired ingredients to create specialty drinks that will hopefully inspire a memorable coffee experience. Cabrona is a derogatory term for Latinas, and the founders of Cabrona Coffee know that. That’s why they’re reclaiming the word. Their cafe is a place where the Latinx community of Denver can find solace and familiarity.
According to an interview on their website, founder Monica Villalobos says, they intend to “incorporate women throughout the supply chain.” By giving jobs to women producers, roasters, and farmers, they’re providing real opportunities to women in the industry. Some of their speciality coffees include Cafe de Olla, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Horchata Lattes, and more that take direct inspiration from the delicious regional ingredients of Mexico. Stop by and tell them we said hi!
[featured image by marisol benitez via unsplash]