“At the end of the year we are successful in helping over a million people.” Says Mike Pacheco, who has been General Manager of the Centro Ambassador program since 2009. This hard work takes dedication, stewardship, and a friendly smile. “My favorite part of the job is the people… I have met people from all over the world; India, Australia, you name it. Every day I get asked questions…I answer as many and all that I can,” says Cecil Bullock, who has been a cleaning ambassador for a year and a half.
“67% of American women are above a size 14. The fashion landscape doesn’t really cater to what is now the average American woman. Many of the boutiques we have in San Antonio are wonderful but they may only go up to a size large or XL. My goal is to serve the under-served demographic,” says Elsa Fernandez, owner of Eye Candy Boutique.
It started out as a meeting of industry leaders at Bakery Lorraine, but quickly grew into a movement, galvanized by a rally held at the Pearl. When Ashley Jones attended the inaugural Tech Bloc rally in May 2015, she could not have imagined she would eventually become the Operations and Community Manager of the organization. It was attended by 600 individuals who gathered not only to keep rideshare in San Antonio, but create an organization to represent the growing tech community in the city. They succeeded on both counts.
“This is a series that reflects on the rose window,” she says, indicating her earrings clearly designed with San Antonio flair. “I tried to echo the city’s aesthetic while also channeling my own personal, sort of minimalist style.” Brandi Garcia designs and makes all the jewelry found at her quaint shop behind the Little Church of La Villita. B-Link Designs has an accessible yet elegant feel that breathes something new into the historic arts village. This summer will mark one year for the business in its newest location.
Several days ago, a commentary appeared in the Rivard Report that posed and attempted to answer the question, “What defines the San Antonio brand?” It is a great question. It’s also a question that will more than likely elicit a different response depending on whom you ask.
“San Antonio has a textile DNA- a manufacturing DNA,” says Mario Guajardo, the soft-spoken yet passionate force behind Richter Goods, “but it creates global products. Products for everybody.” We felt the mystique of his headquarters almost as soon as he welcomed us in. The space was adorned with artsy black and white photographs, sewing machines from the first part of the last century, chaise lounge and reading chairs, and bowls filled with trinkets and buttons. “Mario’s inner mission in life is to orchestrate relationships, you know?” said Chuck Holdridge, a barber and tenant at Broadway News (We’ll talk more about that later.) If his workspace suggested anything, it was that Mario must be as proficient at bringing ideas together as he is people.
Chef Elizabeth Johnson, owner of Pharm Table, has an abiding interest in people, especially Pre-Columbian cultures, that stems from her childhood in Central America. “I spent the first years of my life living in Honduras… I think that every book report I did had something to do with Mexico, Central America, or the Maya: that was just fascinating to me.”
Mission San Jose was founded in 1720 and quickly became a social center in the frontier of New Spain. Many regarded it as the “Queen of the Missions” and the “Showplace of the Southwest.” Hundreds of years later, it was still being utilized as a local church. Among its parishioners was Colleen Swain, a child from the Southside of San Antonio.
Willie G. Cedillo has been cutting hair in Downtown San Antonio for 75 years, most recently in his shop at 307 N Main Ave. He will be retiring later this year. His life and career represent the enduring entrepreneurial legacy of the city's urban core.