Artesanias Mexicanas El Sol

Oakland, CA

Rocio Navarro wanted to start a business to be her own boss.  In June 2015, she took over Artesanias Mexicanas El Sol from her sister, and now she runs the business largely on her own.

Artesanias Mexicanas El Sol is located in the back corner of the Plaza del Sol Mercado at 40th and International Boulevard in Oakland.  The shop features various products imported from Mexico such as household items like beautiful clay pots and mortar and pestle, as well as spiritual candles and oils.  “I redesigned the space to make it more inviting and to show the variety of products that I offer.  Nearly everything here is directly from Mexico,” says Rocio.

Karla De Leon, Main Street Launch’s Lead Business Advisor, visited Artesanias Mexicanas El Sol to let her know about the services available through the Oakland Business Sustainability Program.  This program offers business advising services and capital to existing local small businesses along the Bus Rapid Transit construction route to help them survive the construction and thrive after the new bus line launches.

Rocio received business advising about marketing techniques that could help grow her business.  In the initial marketing meeting, Main Street Launch recommended that Rocio consider getting a credit card machine to begin accepting credit cards as a strategy to boost sales.  She opened her first business bank account shortly after, obtained a credit card reader, and is now accepting credit cards.  She increased her sales by several thousand dollars that month, increasing from $20-30 per day to $200-300 per day.  Her quick initiative shows a deep commitment to growing her business.

Rocio also worked with Main Street Launch to establish her online presence.  Now you can find her business on Yelp, Google Places, and Facebook.  “I know nothing about computers,” says Rocio.  “It was so easy to work with Main Street Launch, and I’m so happy with the results I’m seeing.”

“I would advise new entrepreneurs to call Main Street Launch before getting started,” says Rocio.  “The knowledge I received would have been so helpful to have in the beginning.”  Now, Rocio is helping her business neighbors in the Plaza get connected to support services, so their businesses can all grow together.

Visit Rocio and all the businesses in Plaza del Sol Mercado.  Then, you can check out Artesanias Mexicanas El Sol on Yelp and leave a review.