LITTLE VILLAGE — A Little Village store is promoting Mexican-made products and designs to empower local and traditional brands to stay connected to their roots.
Founder Miguel Cervantes said he started Comercio Popular as a pop-up in 2018 to “expose Mexican goods and everyday design objects.” It offers clothing, accessories and other goods from Mexican artists and designers.
Cervantes, who was born in Guerrero, Mexico, before his family moved to Pilsen, said he was inspired by the designs and art he would see when visiting family in Mexico City. He started connecting with Mexican brands and designers who were incorporating traditional styles with contemporary designs, he said.
The pandemic temporarily derailed Cervantes and his team’s original plans to open a commercial space, but they opened their spot in Little Village at 2901 W. Cermak Road in September.
It made sense to open on the Southwest Side to promote the creatives and projects in the area, Cervantes said. Growing up in Pilsen, a space like Comercio wasn’t common or something he could’ve even imagined having at the time, he said.
“For that reason, being on the Southwest Side is very important for us,” he said. “We wanted to increase the creativity through exposing, doing more art events, showcasing more stories and narratives of like other creatives and in the area.”
In addition to having a select array of products that are consistently available, Cervantes likes to have events with brands and he frequently travels to Mexico to find new designers for collaborations, he said.
“We’re aiming to be more of a cultural center and bring social awareness both of Mexican design but also the community where where we reside and those creatives that surround us,” he said.
In the past, Comercio has partnered with local coffee brand Bueno Days and hosted Mexican wine and mezcal tastings. It also shares a space with Flores Campo Santos, a florist shop run by Lucy Angel.
Comercio Popular is only open on weekends, but Cervantes said he hopes to extend its hours.
Some of Comercio’s upcoming events:
- Pride Day event, June 11: An opening reception for Joel Hernandez, a San Francisco-based, Indiana-raised Mexican-American queer artist. It will include a DJ set and refreshments.
- Wellness weekend, June 25-26: A pop-up for Latinx brand SBJ ESNTLS promoting self-care with a panel from the company’s leader and a self-care workshop.
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