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Celebrating our FIRST ANNIVERSARY of Mi Reina Mobile Boutique! ♥

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Last year, on #SmallBusinessSaturday Mi Reina Mobile Boutique officially launched!  It was an exciting and anxious moment for us! I always had this vision of creating something mobile; something that would empower and inspire others, specifically women and communities who have historically been neglected or ignored.   We decided on clothes + accessories, but our concept is more than just fashion.  My hope is to go into different hoods, reservations and private parties and bring community together, especially women of all ages.

Mi Reina’s goal is to make every person who visits the 1961 Siesta Liner to leave away feeling like a queen, inside and out. Every reina, or queen deserves to feel beautiful.

After doubting my idea and second guessing my thoughts; I regained confidence and reassurance from my family and friends, our parents and my husband.  All told me to try it out – what is there to lose!?  As my 32nd birthday approached, I decided to go full force and have a game plan.  I always told myself that I wanted to own a business by the time I was 32 (32 was one of my lucky numbers growing up).  It was now, or never! Of course, I had to communicate with my dad, Rene since he was the one putting our vintage trailer back to her beautiful self again!

Our first official event was the first ever Pop-Up Holiday Market on Tucson’s Southside (702 W. Irvington Road)!  We co-hosted the event with The Common Group  and it was a HUGE success!  The goal was to launch on small business Saturday because 1.) I wanted to support those who love to create and 2.) I have several family members who are already small business owners.  I believe in supporting local.  Why not host an event that could build an awareness and help out others achieve their dreams along the way?! The event featured local, small businesses- regional artisans, crafters and boutique businesses of locally produced goods. The community was able to buy gift items and products, such as handmade soaps, beauty supplies, health information, home décor, clothes, specialty stores and much more! It was an awesome way to launch Mi Reina Mobile Boutique; better than I could have imagined!

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So many people we love were there to support us on our journey and continue to inspire us!  This past year has been more than I could ever dream of! We have hosted several more pop-ups and events. Met so many people and #mobilereinas from all over Tucson and beyond! We were even featured in the local newspaper! Thank you Carmen Duarte for sharing our story.  Check out the article if you have yet to read it (click here).  Can’t wait to see what our future adventure brings us!

THANK YOU all for your love and support! We greatly appreciate every visit, purchase, love on our social media and just your positive vibes! I have learned so much this year and I look forward to learning and growing with you.  As a thank you, we are promoting our FIRST ANNUAL GIVEAWAY! The winner will receive a whole new wardrobe for the upcoming holidays or any special occasion!

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If you cannot support Mi Reina Mobile Boutique tomorrow on Small Business Saturday, please try and spend your money and invest in others who want to create and have a vision.  ✦✦✦✦✦

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#WeAllGrowFAMILIA 2017

Its been one whole week since the #WeAllGrowFamilia    summit and I am still feeling inspired!  The invite-only event, included a network of more than 175 Latinx bloggers and creators that are part of the parenting segment and also represent fashion, beauty, food, entertainment, travel, tech, social causes, and more.  The event was organized by the #WeAllGrow Latina Network.  The network is an influencer marketing agency that connects brands with digital Latinas.  This was my first time attending a #WeAllGrow Latina Network event and it won’t be my last!23336182_10106905319850562_62451032_o

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I was a bit nervous as I drove on the 405 North Freeway to the MUNCHKIN headquarters, which is located in Van Nuys.  MUNCHKIN hosted the all day summit and as soon as I walked into their space, I fell in love.  It was so artsy and welcoming.  I was nervous because I am new to this blogging realm and I did not know one single person prior to entering the space.   That soon changed.  All the women were so positive and eager to get to know one another.  I was able to  mingle and learn about other bloggers, influencers and creative entrepreneurs.  We had the opportunity to sit down and eat breakfast, lunch, café and snack breaks together.  Everything was so beautiful and yummy!  It was so motivating to meet other moms, especially other women of color who strive to create for their families.  According to  Steve Dunn, CEO of Munchkin, “67% of moms today are multicultural.”  Latina moms also influence “85% of purchasing decisions in the household.”  Therefore, we are the primary consumer and have a HUGE influence on these brands.

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All day, I was able to network with other women and brands who were interested in talking and listening to us.  I had so much fun learning about new products, like AguaVida, Ivy + Paper and Canticos and revisiting old ones, like Munchkin, Amazon, Baby Alive and WordPress.com.  We were all given a swag bag upon entering and had the opportunity to visit with each sponsor.  After the summit, I made sure to research the products and I had fun showing my family, especially my 3-year old daughter what was in my bag!  She loved the Munchkin Miracle Stainless Steel 360 Sippy Cup and she is waiting for her Baby Alive Sweet Tears doll to arrive in the mail! I am looking forward to using my Water Wipes on our baby girl once she arrives and this mama will be eating the Lactation Cookies by Milkmakers to help boost my milk supply! So many cool brands out there! Make sure to check out who were the Partners and Sponsors of the #WeAllGrowFAMILIA 2017 Summit.

Partners and sponsors included:

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171028_121807-X3The day went by so fast!  After several sessions and mentor roundtable discussions, the summit ended with a closing fiesta presented by Pixar’s Coco, which opens in theaters on November 22nd.  As a mompreneaur and woman of color, it was an awesome feeling to be in a room full of others who also aspire to create and share their story.  I left with a bag full of goodies, business cards, following new Instagram accounts (and new followers), potential collaborations and some new adventures.  It was a magical day for sure!171028_175548-X3171028_180457-5-X3171028_182631-X3171028_183256-X3

Photos provided by Robson Muzel, @muzele on Instagram

Thank you #WeAllGrowFAMILIA !

I will continue to GROW WITH PASSION!!!

*:・゚✧*:・゚✧ Making Magic *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

💞 THANK YOU to all the #mobilereinas who stopped by and supported our journey last weekend. 🌵🌻🚎 It was magical seeing both recurring and new faces inside our remolded Mi Reina trailer at both Anna’s Pop-Up and the Barrio Centro Fall Fiesta. Special THANK YOU to our parents, especially my dad for turning what many perceived as “trash” into something beautiful, my husband for always listening and believing in my (crazy) visions, family and friends who wish us luck and provide positive energy and everyone who continues to put their sweat (and sometimes tears) into Mi Reina Mobile Boutique.   We appreciate you! 👏🏽  

Renovating the interior was not an easy task.  The inside was literally bare to the bone and in less than two months…POOF! Everything was back in! There is now a bed, closet (fitting room area), couch and original ice box and stove and curtains across each window.  We especially LOVE how our serape cushions came out!  

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It is always so much fun to meet new people who visit us.  We love to see their reaction when we tell them about the start of our 1961 Siesta Liner.  I especially love to see the little ones inside Mi Reina Mobile Boutique because our hope is to inspire and empower them to have a positive reflection through our mission of #morethanfashion.  We want everyone who visits Mi Reina to leave away feeling like a queen, inside and out.

🌻Thank you to the Barrio Centro Association and Flowers and Bullets for organizing and hosting such an awesome, community driven event! 💞 We had a great time at the annual Barrio Centro Fall Fiesta!

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We’ll be back in 2018 with another little Reina in our arms 👶🏼 and we hope you continue to join us on our magical adventure! In the meantime, stay connected via social media. Stay tuned for the latest styles: fashion + accessories! We can ship directly to you! 💌 If there is something that you need, we can shop for you too!

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🍁 🍂 FALLing into some Changes! 🍁 🍂

Fall season is already upon us and we have been busy with several projects and changes going on!  First, we are excited to announce another ‘Reina’ will be joining our family! We are expecting a baby girl January 2018.  We feel blessed and anxious to meet her!  We cannot wait to have her join us on our journey.  When creating Mi Reina Mobile Boutique, we have our daughters in mind and hope both can continue on its legacy.

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As we anxiously await the arrival of our baby girl, we have also been in hustle mode!  Last summer, we decided to strip the 1961 Siesta Liner to its bare bones.  This means, we had to take out EVERYTHING! The original floor, cabinets, stove, ice box, closet, bed, table and bench area.  We knew that this project would take time to come full circle and there would also be time for renovations and projects to undertake.  We soon realized to truly create a community on wheels, we had to bring back the interior.  Mi Reina Mobile Boutique is more than fashion.   We want to create a sense of pride and community wherever we go.  Having a safe space where people can walk into our trailer and be able to relax and shop is something we strive to create.  Our goal is to make everyone who visits Mi Reina to walk away feeling beautiful and more comfortable and confident.

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At first, I was a bit hesitant to bring back the original floor plan.  Yet, my dad helped walk me through the process.  His main goal is to bring back the trailer to its essence.  He helped me envision the value of having an area for people to sit inside and talk and mingle.  Also, we will have the original ice box and stove to utilize (coffee or wine, anyone?)!  I am always amazed by my dad’s work ethic.  When he has something in mind; he goes full force and nothing or nobody can distract him.  He has spent this season working countless hours on the inside of Mi Reina.  Check out some of the latest renovations and projects:

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The original stove
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The original ice box
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Welding back the pieces!
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Dressing room + bench
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Closet + Storage Space
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This will be the sitting area + cafe corner + wine break

You can see our final interior this SATURDAY at the Barrio Centro Fall Fiesta from 11am-5pm at Bristol Park (1720 S. Bristol Ave, Tucson 85713).  Mi Reina Mobile Boutique is honored to be one of the participating sponsors at the fiesta.  Thank you to the Barrio Centro Association and Flowers & Bullets for hosting this annual event.

Come and enjoy:
Music: Dj Hashke, Diamantes del Pueblo Mariachi
Entertainment: B-boys, wrestlers
Kid activities: Art, science experiments, contests, cake walks, face paints
Salsa contest
Show & Shine on the lawn
Raffles
Free food for all children!

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We are bringing the latest fall fashion + accessories in various styles and sizes just for YOU.  Rather than feeling rushed to shop and leave, you can now relax inside, have a seat and stir up a conversation with a stranger or reconnect with an old friend.  Stop by and say hi!

 

🌴 Venice Pop-Up // hosted by Catrinas de Colores

Summer is half way over! These past few months have gone by so fast and everything has been a blur lately.  We have several exciting announcements to make (we will disclose very soon)!  In the meantime, we are preparing for our next pop-up.  When we began our Mi Reina Mobile Boutique adventure, it was envisioned solely for our Tucson community.  However, we have made some good friends along the way in both Arizona and California,  specially other local entrepreneurs who carry similar goals and interests as us.   One such business is CATRINAS DE COLORES (www.catrinasdecolores.com). Catrinas de Colores is

“Inspired by Mexican culture Catrinas de Colores brings the beauty of artesanias to Los Angeles in a unique style.”              

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Founders of Catrinas de Colores: Grecia Franco (left) and Samantha Carrillo (right)

Based out of Inglewood, California, Catrinas de Colores also began their small business journey last year and have collaborated with Mi Reina Mobile Boutique’s pop-up’s in Tucson.  What we love about Catrinas de Colores is everything they sell is authentic and handmade from Mexican artisans.  They also handpick each item and showcase what they carry through speciality events and local pop-ups.  My personal favorites are their beautiful, Mexican embroidered blouses, leather wallets and huaraches!

 

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On Sunday, August 13th from 10am-3pm, Catrinas de Colores will be hosting a VENICE POP-UP at 1808 Lincoln Boulevard (parking lot).  They will be displaying their latest items!  They also invited other local artists: GZ.JR, ORIGINAL ROOTS and US, MI REINA MOBILE BOUTIQUE!  At first, we hesitated to join in the fun because our Mi Reina 1961 Siesta Liner Trailer or 1957 Chevrolet Truck will not be joining us.  It feels weird to think we will be doing this pop-up without them.  Our trailer and truck are in Tucson and we look forward to reuniting soon!  We just could not turn down this opportunity!  We are excited to support Catrinas de Colores and meeting the other vendors.  If you are in the Los Angeles area, please cruise over to Venice, come stop by and say hi!

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motHERHOOD Success!

It has been a week since our #motHERHOODpopup and we are still reminiscing on such a beautiful event.  This idea came together to celebrate Mother’s Day while shopping and supporting other small businesses and entrepreneurs (and mompreneurs). However, this pop-up would not have been possible without the support from YWCA’s Microbusiness Advancement Center (MAC).  We appreciate YWCA’s Microbusiness Advancement Center (MAC) for co sponsoring our community event. 🏘🌱✨💓 MAC believes in an economy based on healthy, sustainable, locally owned small businesses is key to making that vision a reality. 🙌🏽 And our pop-up is a true testament of their vision!

We wanted to share images from the day.  Thank you to Rescophotography (https://www.facebook.com/rescophotography/) and Marisol Flores-Aguirre, Executive Director of YWCA’s Microbusiness Advancement Center (MAC) for capturing these moments!

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It was the first time ever that MAC and Mi Reina Mobile Boutique hosted the motHERHOOD Pop-Up! The community was invited to spend the day (re) connecting with other moms, nanas, tias, cousins and friends at the House Of Neighborly Service (HNS) on Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm.   Attendees were also encouraged to bring and donate unused feminine hygiene products (tampons, pads, menstrual cups) to support homeless women as part of the YWCA’s Project Period.

It was so nice to really (re) connect with friends and family members and to see young and old enjoy the pop-up.  The House Of Neighborly Service (HNS) hosted our event.  HNS is located on 243 W 33rd Street and is an arts and culture center in the heart of the City of South Tucson. It is such a beautiful campus with lot’s of positive activities and programs going on year-round!  We feel proud and honored that our motHERHOOD Pop-Up was held on the campus.

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We would like to THANK all the vendors who participated in our MotHERHOOD Pop-Up! Also, special thank you to Yvonne Garcia for hosting a “Little Hands Cooking Workshop.” Children (and parents) were able to pop pop corn and amaranth to make alegria (popped amaranth bars). The focus of this workshop was to center engagement with our children and familiarity with the fires in our home by cooking healthy Indigenous snacks.  Everyone who participated were really engaged!

Check out who participated in our motHERHOOD Pop-Up and please continue to support them:

♢ Alina Jewelry
♢ Casablanca Body
♢ Chicana Motherwork
♢ Damsel in Defense
♢ Drop the Label
♢ Flowers & Bullets Collective
♢ Geronimo’s Revenge
♢ Green Fairy Pastries
♢ India Hicks
♢ It Works!
♢ JET Multi Sport Fitness
♢ Kim’s Lip Boutique
♢ Lindsay McVay Creations
♢ Marcy – The Aesthetican
♢ Microbusiness Advancement Center (MAC)
♢ Mi Reina Mobile Boutique, LLC
♢ Progressives of Southern Arizona
♢ Rescophotography
♢ Sol Design Studio
♢ Tucson Spectrum Dentistry
♢ Tupperware with Julie
♢ Young Living Essential Oils

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Lastly, “We know that local, small businesses are the heart of a healthy and growing economy and our partnership is a reflection of our commitment to supporting local entrepreneurs; particularly those who are women and immigrants,” Marisol Flores-Aguirre, the advancement center’s executive director said.  Again, we thank you for supporting!

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Mi Reina Mobile Boutique appreciates everyone who took time out of their day to come visit us. We hope you had fun!

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Marisol Flores-Aguirre, MAC Executive Director, Selina Barajas from Mi Reina Mobile Boutique, LLC and Victor Mercado, WBC Director

My Mom ❤ My Teacher

Mother’s Day is here!  This is a special day and is a chance for families to show their appreciation to their mothers.  It is a day we celebrate and honor our mothers and maternal figures.  Today I would like to celebrate my mom, Gracie Rodriguez.   Where do I start? Well, let me just start by saying that I am blessed to have the relationship that I have with my mom. We are very close and I consider her my best friend.  My mom and my dad, Rene raised three children: my older brother, Rene, me and my younger sister, Alyssa.  We are who we are today because of them.   My mom is not only an awesome mom but now she is the ultimate nana!  She has four grand children: Jacob, Auggie, Camilia and Sofia Luna.  WE LOVE YOU MOM/NANA!!!

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Nana Gracie with her grandkids (+ Tata Rene too)

My mom is a retired school teacher.  She worked with the Sunnyside Unified School District (SUSD) in Tucson, Arizona for over 30 years.  She has had (and continues) to have a positive impact on her past students lives and the surrounding community, especially near Elvira Elementary on the southside of town.

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When I started kindergarten, I felt so excited because I was going to the school where my mom was a teacher! I was finally going to see where she worked!  This day will be forever etched in my mind.  I remember walking with my mom to the teacher lounge, getting a donut and then listening to my mom talk to another teacher about lesson plans and the school days ahead.  Watching my mom in ‘action’ and witnessing the power she had in providing knowledge to children is something that I believe empowers me to this day.  As a full-time working mom, I know I can balance my life because I had my mom as a role model and someone who would leave her work space and return home to us.  After I became a mother, I felt like I understood my mother better.  I feel like I am now able to see things through her eyes.  Our connection is special.

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Baby Alyssa getting baptized.  My nana Erlinda served as her godmother. My mom and nana were very close. ❤ They lived down the street from one another!
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Pony Rides (all the time)! Baby Selina + Lil Rene = Fun Times!
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The three of us; we would always go places together.
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Preschool Field Trip!
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My mom always celebrated our birthdays! This one was at Peter Piper Pizza (12th/Ajo).

When I moved to Los Angeles, it was bittersweet.  I was excited for my new adventure but I was so sad to say good-bye to my family, especially my mom.  On their way back to Arizona, my sister taught my mom how to text.  This one move has saved me from being homesick.  Every morning and throughout the day, my mom and I text.  We send funny pictures, serious stories and I always wait for her to leave a ‘daily affirmation.’  When thinking about how I wanted to frame this blog, I was actually inspired by her and our daily conversations.  You see, I share my whole day with my mom. Well, some days are good and some days are ehhh.  But whatever the case, after I hang up, my mom will send me a text message with a sentence reassuring me that I am on the right path.  Being the teacher that she is, Gracie has taught us a thing or two about life.  She has taught us many lessons about being book smarts and life smart.

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Familia Rodriguez

If you read her messages below, my mom shares an important piece of advice that will last you a lifetime.  These are some of the favorite ones she has shared with me.  One day, I will share these same daily affirmations with my daughter, Sofia Luna and hopefully she will be able to pass on too.

  • ONE DAY AT A TIME

  • TOMORROW ANOTHER DAY

  • COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

  • BE YOUR OWN PERSON

  • TRY NOT TO GO TO BED ANGRY

  • HAVE FAITH. PRAY OFTEN FOR DIRECTION.

  • FIND YOUR SANCTUARY. MINE IS MY BACKYARD

  • TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. ADMIRE SUNSETS, BEAUTIFUL WEATHER, FRESH  CANDLES.

  • HONOR TRADITIONS (JUST LIKE OUR CHRISTMAS SHOWS THAT WE’VE HAD FOR MANY YEARS).

  • TAKE WALKS AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH.

  • ALWAYS HAVE A NICE SHADE OF LIPSTICK IN YOUR PURSE.

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Gracie + confirmation day. My mom has a strong faith in God!
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Beautiful Gracie!
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Hippie Child

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I hope that you find these daily affirmations inspiring, and not just because my mom is an incredible woman.  Mi Reina Mobile Boutique is encouraging everyone to honor – or remember- their mothers. We’d love to invite you to come (re) connect with us at our motHERHOOD Pop-Up on Saturday, May 20th from 9am-2pm at House Of Neighborly Service.