BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — One boutique owner is empowering women through her Mexican culture and love for embroidery.

Yliana Guzman, owner of Camelia’s Mexican Boutique in Brownsville, turned her childhood hobby of embroidering into a movement, supporting Mexican artisans and women in her border community.

Guzman took on the generational craft of embroidery at a young age with the matriarchs of her family during her summers in Matamoros and Nuevo Leon.

Photo credit: Yliana Guzman

“We would do the little pieces of cloth for the tortillas,” Guzman said. “All the ones that were at the house were embroidered by my sister and by myself.”

The creation of multicolored patterns and intricate designs for tortilla warmer cloths later turned into Guzman producing embroidered clothing items and accessories of her own.

Camelia’s Mexican Boutique was established as an online-only business in 2017 until Guzman saw a rise in sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During COVID, my sales for face masks were just a boom. So, I started selling more stuff,” Guzman said. “I then decided to open my own brick and mortar in Brownsville.”

Photo credit: Yliana Guzman

The boutique owner now works directly with women artisans to highlight authentic embroidered clothing from different regions in Mexico including Oaxaca, Chiapas and Puebla.

“We have all these regions of artisans that we work with to do the hand embroidery,” Guzman said. “Something simple can take up to four weeks.”

The Mexican boutique carries modern and traditional blouses, evening and wedding dresses, shoes, handbags and jewelry. Each item is crafted precisely with its own style and technique.

Guzman represents her Mexican culture and heritage by wearing her own embroidered pieces on a day-to-day basis.

Photo credit: Yliana Guzman

She works toward selling authentic hand-embroidered items as a way to spread cultural pride, appreciation and empowerment year-round.

“One of my goals is to make sure that I’m giving them authentic, Mexican-made items by artisans,” Guzman said. “I like to go give back to my community because the whole purpose of having a small business to give back to your own community.”

When Guzman hosts events at her shop, she fundraises for women with cancer and organizations like Friendship of Women.

Additionally, every item purchased from Camelia’s Mexican Boutique contributes directly to artisan women in Mexico.

Camelia’s Mexican Boutique is located at 1424 W. Price Rd. in Brownsville. It is open at 10 a.m., Tuesday through Saturday.