Credit: Guillermo Mijares

If you are a fan of artisanal products such as jewelry, plants, crafty accessories, art, flowers, and all types of decorations, then this event is for you. Over 40+ local vendors will be present at this year’s Christmas Bazaar, with plenty of crafty products to explore for you and your loved ones.

Christmas Bazaar will be hosted by Hispanas en San Diego, a local community group that launched in the summer of 2020 during the global pandemic, to share community-based information regarding useful resources for Hispanic women across the city. The official group’s Facebook page has over 16,000 active members.

“It’s a group strengthened by the presence of thousands of women, many of whom have recently arrived in this city, eager to obtain and share information about life in San Diego, in addition to establishing relationships of support and companionship with other women, in an environment of empathy, and security,” the community group says on its Facebook profile page. 

The group gives a platform to Hispanic women in San Diego to display their many talents while at the same time establishing numerous professional connections and companionship among fellow women in the community. 

Photo by Guillermo Mijares

One of those entrepreneurs who have made its name in recent events is Alicia Rivas, the founder of Kashala, a jewelry company she created and named after a nickname her family gave her growing up in Tijuana. 

She’s been a jewelry maker for 11 years, and it all started with her interest in art in every sense of the word. She’s always had a knack for painting, but she wasn’t ever interested in drawing for a living, so she dove into creating creative, crafty jewelry. 

Alicia met the group of Hispanas of San Diego at a mixer of entrepreneurs a few years ago, and ever since then, she has always felt welcomed by everyone in the community group and established great friendships. It wasn’t always easy for Alicia in San Diego, but the companionship of the women’s group enabled her to integrate into this community-based group. 

“Being from Tijuana, the language barrier was an obstacle at first when I moved to San Diego, but that didn’t stop me from fearlessly adapting,” she told ChulaVistaToday. “I did have thought that maybe things wouldn’t go well for me at first, but fast forward to today, and I am even part of the directors board of Hispanas de San Diego.”

Photo by Guillermo Mijares: Alicia Rivas displays her handcrafted necklaces

Alicia’s crafty jewelry style is not your typical craft, as she mixes various styles all into one. It includes vibrant colors and a touch of Mexican culture with sugar skulls, the evil eye, and other popular accessories of her culture. 

“My friends always tell me I define the word contrast because I like wearing black, gothic clothing,” Alicia said regarding her style. “But at the same time, I love displaying the Mexican culture with vibrant colors. 

She’s made numerous friendships during her career by selling crafty jewelry pieces. However, she’ll never forget how a necklace she made was a piece of cupid that led to a relationship of a lifetime. Alicia once sold a vibrant necklace to a woman who eventually wrote it while partying, but little did she know that it would attract the person she would eventually marry. 

“From the moment she saw the necklace, she said she needed it. She bought it and once wore it on a night out partying with friends, and a guy came up to her and mentioned how he liked the necklace she was wearing. Well, fast-forward to now, and they are married. They tied the knot because of the necklace she bought from me.”  

Claudia Glenn, who runs Sonti Artesanias, will also be at the Bazaar selling various artisanal products, from Mexican-designed mugs to a set of tequila shots mini cups, a wooden-made domino game set, and coffee mugs. 

The name “Son” in Sonti Artesanias comes from her family roots, having been raised by her mother from Sonora, Mexico, and the “ti” because Claudia is from Tijuana, Baja California. 

Photo Guillermo Mijares: Claudia Glen displays Sonti Artisanales products.

Claudia has been part of these bazaars with Hispanas en San Diego since the launch of the community group’s existence. 

Since the age of 12, she has always had a passion for artisanal work and would eventually turn it into something to which she would dedicate a big part of her life. 

One day, when she visited Sonora many years ago, she ran into a set of artisanal wooden products that intrigued her from the moment she saw them. During the summer of the COVID-19 pandemic, Claudia took a “business start-up” remote course with Hispanas en San Diego, guiding women to kick-start their small businesses. She passed the course and knew she found something she wanted to dedicate her life to going forward. 

Sonti Artesanias now sells handcrafted products from scratch, freshly made, and sent from Chiapas, Mexico. 

“It’s mostly Americans who love these artisanal products,” she says. “Hispanic community members like them as well, which is convenient for them because Hispanics typically buy these products while they are abroad in Mexico, but with our products, they don’t have to buy extra flight baggage to place souvenirs when you can just purchase them with me,” Claudia emphasized. 

Her most sold products are sports-related beverage mugs made with the sports teams’ logos painted on the side of the cups, such as the Padres, Xolos, Dodgers, Chargers, and more. Sonti Artesanias focuses on mixing artisanal craftiness with an individual’s favorite interests in life. Not just sports teams but also Disney-related cartoon figures, among others. 

Photo by Guillermo Mijares: Sonti Artisanal products sold by Claudia Glen.

This event on December 2 will allow locals to stop by and take a free picture with Santa, enjoy some vibrant music, eat some appetizers, and, most importantly, embrace the variety of artisanal products ready to go home with you and your loved ones. 

The Bazaar will be held at the Chula Vista Shopping Center from 11 am to 4 pm, so come support local small businesses this Christmas season, all owned and run by Hispanic women in San Diego.

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