Particular Report: Rising RGV entrepreneurship amid the pandemic

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Harlingen, Texas (KVEO) – Amid the pandemic, two women from the Rio Grande Valley found a new career after a few setbacks and realized that their love for art and fashion was bigger than expected.

are both valley residents who went to college with a purpose.

Before the pandemic, Roxanna Treviño and Andrea Santoi weren’t sure what to do after college.

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“I graduated and thought I was going to be following a conventional path that I would go [do] Nine to five make construction documents, ”said Treviño.

While Treviño was going to school to become an architect, Santoi was on his way to becoming a nurse.

“I wanted to be a nurse, that didn’t work,” said Santoi.

About five months ago, Santoi’s friend introduced her to resin, which piqued curiosity about what she could do creatively.

During Santoi’s search, she discovered that jewelry could be made from resin.

Andrea Santoi is working on a pair of earrings

This discovery inspired her to practice her skills. Over time, she started her Mon Amour jewelry line.

“Mon Amour means my love [in French]”Said Santoi.

According to Santoi, the name for her jewelry line was inspired by the fact that she always told her mother how much love she put into her work.

Santoi was impressed that people became interested in her jewelry on Instagram. She said she shipped her work to the US.

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As for Treviño, her small business became more than an idea after her parents opened their own restaurant. She said her family has always been passionate about running their own business.

With her architectural background, Treviño began experimenting with what her own business should look like.

Mexican culture and their passion for fashion helped bring their Para Mi store to life.

Treviño said her artisanal jewelry was a best seller, but fashionable face masks were a best seller in the beginning.

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“We have sold thousands of masks,” said Treviño.

Roxanna Treviño organizes jewelry in her shop, Para Mi.

Treviño said masks were in great demand as single-use face masks are not commercially available.

One of the reasons the Treviño voter turnout was a joy was because it was able to help local artisans who are struggling financially due to the pandemic.

“It would not only help protect people, it would also … take care of our artisans who were unemployed at the time,” she said.

The artisan community was badly affected because, according to Treviño, there was no active tourism.

“This was a great win-win opportunity,” she said.

Both Treviño and Santoi are proud of having overcome their fears of a different life path.

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Today they look forward to continuing their journey as entrepreneurs and hope that their stories inspire others to find themselves.