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Hispanic Heritage Month: Bryan businesswoman uplifts local Latinos through her traditional store

A store in Bryan celebrates traditional Mexican clothing while supporting local Latinos.

BRYAN, Texas — One local businesswoman has been helping Mexican residents get in touch with their roots while selling traditional clothing all year round in Downtown Bryan. 

"We started since we were little, my mother used to make these beautiful dresses or other kinds of dresses and I was the business person in the family, so Itza Bip or Lupitza it's honoring my mother,” described Blanca Pinalez, creator of Itza Bip.

For different generations of Mexican Americans, this store is a warm hug from home.

"For me, its really important to have stores like this in our community because it helps us stay connected to our roots," explained customer and Bryan resident Jacqui Romero. "Born and raised in Texas, even though we’re very close to Mexico, it's still very easy to lose your identity.”

But Pinalez welcomes everyone into her shop, Aleanny and Barbara Ascanio are sisters who fled from Venezuela to find a new home, and they found it in Itza Bip.

Tearfully, Aleanny, the older sister, described their gratitude for Itza Bip and what it provides.

“People like her are few, she opened her doors to us, we just got here five months ago and we are so grateful for her support.”

Through artisanal clothing, and those who wear them, Mexican traditions will continue to thrive.

“I don’t know what happens to me, but when I wear the dress and hear the music, my shoes move me and I do my dance and we are born again,” said customer, Reynita Segura Navarro, who was wearing a traditional white folkloric dress from Jalisco, Mexico.

Pinalez wanted to thank the community, and the U.S. for keeping all representations of the different cultures in Mexico alive and breathing.

“This country gives us opportunities to live the American Dream, but also, have our traditions, culture this is our background, this is our life.”

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