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business profile

I Run This: Tressa Castro, Nativa

Name: Tressa Castro

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Location: Our brick-and-mortar headquarters is in San Antonio, Texas. Production for our products comes from various regions throughout Mexico.

What is the name of your business and what do you do? 

Nativa. We make curated fine Mexican textiles.

Describe yourself in three words. 

Creative, optimistic, and generous.

Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get started? 

My business started in 2009 during a trip home to Mexico with my son and his friends. I was helping them choose fun gifts for their families, and then I had an “Aha” moment! I just had to find some way to share these wonderful textiles with more people that would appreciate them and love them as much as I do.

What was the biggest lesson you learned in the first year?

Learning how to communicate with artisans and realizing the slow process that beautiful handmade fashions take.

How does running your own business make you feel? 

Having the opportunity to not only innovate, but to think outside the box is very satisfying once you see the end results.

What are some of the hurdles or roadblocks you’ve faced? 

Working long distance with artisans in remote communities and getting samples made. Brainstorming with the artisans is a slower process and does not always result in instant gratification; but cellphones have been a game changer in the last few years.

What are some challenges that Hispanic/LatinX small business owners face that others may not? 

You need to be guided by a cultural passion, and really love what you do.

What unique perspectives do you bring to the small business economy as a Hispanic/LatinX business owner?

Knowing that I am directly helping to empower more than 500 artisans in Mexico and creating a proud new identity for the Hispanic/Latinx people here is amazing.

What are some of your major wins or accomplishments? What are your proudest moments? 

One of our proudest moments was when our products were purchased by the Smithsonian for their museum store in Washington D.C.

What are the next big plans you have for your business? 

We continue the search to find new groups of artisans in different areas of Mexico that we haven’t worked with before, and at the moment we have started working with the Tarahumara community.

When you’re having a tough day, who or what inspires you to keep going?

My wonderful Artisans that have become one large family, they inspire me because even in the most adverse situations they keep on going, and don’t give up. And my family, as well, who has always given me their support.

How can Hispanic/LatinX small businesses give back to their community? 

We can start by creating businesses for each other, as well as doing business with other Hispanic/Latinx owned businesses.

What advice would you give other Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs just starting out? 

Be proud of your heritage and your roots. Find something that you love, be proud and go for it!

What’s your “power song” and why? 

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens. It always makes me happy and feel like I can do anything.

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