Queens woman opens native Mexican clothing store in honor of her grandmother

ASTORIA, Queens (PIX11) – A 24-year-old Latina from Queens has opened an indigenous Mexican clothing store during the pandemic to honor her grandmother. While showcasing her Hispanic culture, she is also helping to elevate a community of women-owned businesses in Astoria.

Anoria, Vanessa Gonzalez’s boutique on 24th Avenue, is named and inspired by Gonzalez’s 84-year-old grandmother, who taught her to appreciate art and her Mexican heritage. The store features a collection of cultural and temporary pieces of indigenous Mexican clothing made by local artists, many of whom live in Astoria.

Gonzalez was born in Mexico and moved to Queens as a child. She now uses her store to try and uplift Queens artists and writers. Gonzalez presents jewelry from Clayful Characters. She stocks books by local authors, such as “Carmelita Adventure” and “Immigrant Daughter.”

The store is one of dozens of small businesses participating in an event called Shop Small Astoria. The aim of the campaign is to remind people in the neighborhood to come back to do their shopping. The Queens Chamber of Commerce also has a program called the NYC Small Business Resource Network, which helps connect businesses with free resources to help keep them open.

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