Since opening Sew Bonita’s first brick-and-mortar in October 2021, Elena Flores promised a fun, cultural vibe filled with cumbias, chisme and compras — and boy, did she deliver! After hearing about the new storefront, the community flocked to its location in Hamlin Shopping Center every weekend to stock up on their favorite colorful goodies that were previously only available online.
Sew Bonita’s popularity continued to grow, which also meant Flores needed more space for new products. “At Hamlin, we didn’t have a storage room. I was using my home for storage, and we were bursting at the seams,” she said.
Fast forward a year and some change later, and Sew Bonita has a brand-new location in Meadowbrook Shopping Center. The new space, which is five times larger than the last, allows her to house more items — including Taco Gear and new cultural discoveries from Mexico — and has a whole section dedicated to fabric shelves and a cutting table created by Neighbor Made Design Co., plus extra space to host community events and workshops.
But more importantly, the new space allows Flores to showcase how culture plays a huge role in her business and its inspiration for the layout. “I knew we wanted to reflect the life I grew up with in Eagle Pass, and I wanted to bring some of that flavor and color to Corpus,” Flores said. “Being on the border of Texas and Mexico allowed me to experience both cultures, and I want to reflect that [in this new space].”
Flores achieves this goal in every aspect of her shop, from the huge mural with iconic imagery created by Huls Design and PartyWave Stickers to the merchandise for sale. When customers walking around the store begin to recognize tidbits of their childhood and culture in items from vendors all over the U.S. and Mexico, Flores’ heart beams. Representation in this way is truly at the heart of the shop.
Once inside, you’d be hard pressed to miss one of the shop’s focal points: a bright red door with the numbers 512 centered above. Serving as a tribute to Selena, the door reflects the magic she held — the bright red shade mimics her signature lip color, and the number is a nod to one of her popular songs, “El Chico del Apartamento 512,” as well as Corpus Christi’s former area code.
The vintage stove vignette by the kitchen section pays homage to the matriarchs of the family. Flores recalls her childhood as she explains that “the kitchen was where our grandmothers gave us advice, taught us things, and we grew up watching them there.” Flores shared she had no idea how much this section of the store would mean to customers, but supporters near and far have taken to social media to share their own family kitchen memories from childhood.
Flores also hosts pop-ups at the store to allow the community to interact with other creatives in the area, and wants to host classes in the future to help local creatives get inspired and network.
The overall vibe of the new space is a Mexican-American oasis with a sprinkle of Texas and a whole lot of love.
4179 S Alameda St Suite B