INTERVIEW WITH SUSSY DELEON: OWNER OF PIÑATA CENTER & LA TIENDITA
Interview by Olivia from Winter Moon
Today I bring you a multicultural boutique in Providence called: Piñata Center & La Tiendita. Don’t be fooled by the name though, this store is filled with gorgeous things besides their spectacular piñatas.
I have lived in Providence for several years now, and I can tell you I literally drive by this store everyday. I was shocked when we walked inside. I wished I’d discovered this store sooner! I purchased few pieces of jewelry and a couple of gifts that day. Now, I go to this store quite frequently to see what new things they have.
All of the items at this boutique are handmade in Guatemala. So, you’re not only supporting local business when you shop here, but you’re supporting local artisans in Guatemala!
I hope you enjoy this interview with the lovely, Sussy DeLeon!
how old are you?
Where are you from originally?
How long have you been in business?
La Tiendita opened in 2006! We sell 100% hand-made crafts from artisans in Guatemala.
How do you find the products in the store?
I travel several times a year to Guatemala and meet different groups of artisans and purchase their products.
What is it like owning a store in Providence?
Providence is rich in diversity. Being in Providence allows us to do business with a range of customers from different cultures.
Tell us about your personal style.
I’ve always loved Fashion! My mother told me that when I was 5, I would cut my dresses and make clothes for my dolls. My style is youthful, elegant and sophisticated. I always wanted to be a fashion designer, but I did not have the opportunity. However, with this store I get the opportunity to help some of the artisans from my country design some of my products.
Who and/or what inspires you?
I love successful people- I like to learn from the best. My biggest inspirations are my two kids, Alexander 10 1/2 years old, and my daughter Cristina almost 6 years old.
How would you describe Providence in a few words?
Historic, Artistic, Fun, Multicultural
Where is the last place you traveled to? how was it?
My recent trip was Guatemala. As always, it was wonderful to visit the different regions and meet new artisans. I especially enjoy the food and the weather!
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
To be positive and set goals in everything that I want to do.
“We work with many indigenous Mayan Women’s Associations that are dedicated to their job. All the fabrics are made with waist and feet looms.”
Explain how your leather bags differ from others on the market.
My leather bags are handmade by groups of Mayan artisans. With these purchases we are helping them to support their families become financially independent.
What advice would you give to someone starting their own venture?
I would tell them to have knowledge on your business, have capital, hire a good accountant, a lawyer, get incorporated, use social media, and attend network events. It’s not easy, but if you love it, it’s worth it!
Tell us a little bit about your Piñatas.
Our piñatas are handmade in Guatemala with high-quality materials and are larger than most!
Piñatas are a popular party activity in many Hispanic cultures. Guatemalan piñatas are traditionally formed out of wire to give shape to the pinata. Newspaper is then glued on to form thick walls. Then colorful tissue paper is applied to make the piñatas decorative.
Everyone takes a turn hitting the pinata until it breaks. When it breaks, candy and treats spill out of it.
Lastly, what is one thing you want the world to know about you?
I am passionate about my life, family and business!