Ana what? Is that with one N or two? How do you pronounce your boutique name and where did it come from?
These are all questions we get almost weekly around here. For those of you that don't know the (full) story, you are about to discover how Ana Patricia Boutique began and the meaning behind it.
Let's look back 20+ years ago. Nancy was in Ensenada, Mexico doing mission work with her church. One of the projects was to do arts & crafts in the park with the women. That day they were making crosses out of wire. When the craft was over Nancy noticed a young girl (15) making flowers out of wire using her teeth. Nancy didn't speak much Spanish and the young girl didn't speak much English so Nancy asked for an interpreter to come over. After a short back and forth discussion Nancy told the young girl if she would make something that she (Nancy) would sell she would do so.
Nancy returned back to the states and purchased wire and supplies. Shipping to Mexico wasn't an option at the time so Nancy would ship to a gal in California and she would drive it in to Mexico for the young girl to start making jewelry. This went on and on for several years and each year the jewelry would get better and better. ( We see that now looking back at pictures, LOL) Nancy would sell the earrings and necklaces to friends, family, and even open her house to strangers who wanted to purchase these handmade items. As Nancy sold the jewelry in the states, she would wire money down to the young girl.
Now, one would think what does a 15 year old girl do with money that is wired down to her. The first thing that was done was an addition to a one room house so she had workspace to create her handmade pieces. We aren't talking an Americanized addition, we are talking a small space so she didn't have to work under a dark stairwell. Eventually a bathroom was built for their family so they didn't have to go outside and use the outhouse. A community car was purchased for the people in the village to share,she bought a guitar to play at church, blankets were bought for the homeless, a prosthetic leg was purchased for lady in the community, and pizza parties were given to children whose parents were incarcerated. This is just a snippet of how the money she made selling jewelry was used. Perhaps the most important thing besides helping others was schooling.
Not very often do kids in Mexico have the opportunity to go to school past Secondary School. Funds and resources are limited and many times they don't know any different if their parents and siblings didn't have the opportunity themselves. This wasn't the case for this young girl. Nancy had taken her under her wings and not only helped her financially but always encouraged her to keep working hard and to believe in herself. She used to write "your limit is the sky" on all the cards that she would send down to Mexico to that young girl. That young girl, she just happens to be Ana Patricia, aka Pati. " I was so excited to have support to go to the university. At the beginning I was not sure if I would be able to go because I was the first one of my whole family that became that far in school" Pati has graduated college with a degree in Industrial Engineering and has one year of school left to become an Architect. Yep, you read that right! That once young girl who was making handmade jewelry is now going to be an Architect!!!
Ana Patricia Boutique isn't just a name to us. It has meaning and it has a connection to someone who has become a part of our family even though we are thousands of miles apart. Pati doesn't have the time she had to create the jewelry that once started this boutique so we chose to add our touch on it 6 years ago with clothes. No matter what, helping others will always be a priority at Ana Patricia Boutique.