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Growing up in the United States as the daughter of immigrant parents, Antonia (Tonie) Ruan, 58, adored the artwork and rich culture of México. She always knew that one day she wanted to share her love with the world.
Now that she’s retired, she’s finally living her dream.
Ruan moved to Las Vegas from San Diego, California, in May of 2020 and opened her shop, Boutique Aztlán at Town Square that same year.
“I wanted to make the beauty of our heritage and culture accessible to those that have not experienced it,” said Ruan. “The store has allowed us to Introduce people to our beautiful culture and textiles.”
Boutique Aztlán carries a wide array of Mexican apparel, shoes, accessories, jewelry, home goods and art, including handcrafted Talavera and Barro pottery, Otomí textiles, original hand-tooled leather purses, Laton wall decor and much more. There are even items for pets like a poncho made in Chiapas, México and macrame dog collars.
To obtain her merchandise, Ruan works with artisans from different cities and with different ethnicities in México such as Carlota México, a designer of leather handbags out of Zapopan, Jalisco and Cristina Orozco from San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, who adds Chaquira beading, macrame weaving from Chiapas and Perú embroidery to her leather purses.
“It’s really an experience,” said Ruan of the store. “It’s a little nostalgia at your door. It transports one to ‘el color, el olor y el sabor de México’.”
When asked about her favorite item, Ruan, who is obsessed with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, replied: “Todo! I love everything.” Incidentally, Frida wallpaper covers one of the walls in the store.
While a lot of the customers at Boutique Aztlán are tourists, Ruan is happy to report that she also has many loyal customers “who have become familia.”
She truly enjoys meeting new people and exposing little-known artisans to the world, providing a platform to local and non-local men and women within the Latino community to show their craftsmanship.
As for her own support system, Ruan expressed her appreciation to many people in the community including @cordero38, @amigoscclvchapter, @cositasbonitas, @azulobscuro, @amigoslvchapter, @mgcustomprints and @luzdelalunacrafts.
“There’s so much to thank for the support they have given me in getting this little dream of mine come to life,” she said.
- Boutique Aztlán is located at 6659 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Suite 112, in Town Square. The store is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11am to 8pm, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Items can also be purchased online at www.boutique-aztlan.com.
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