El Paso, Texas-- What started off as a dream has now turned into a reality for the owners of Viva La Mocha as they opened up their first store in Downtown El Paso.
Monica Rios Monarrez and her husband, Charlie, have come a long way from screen printing t-shirts out of their home kitchen.
“I used to print out of my dining room and the kids didn't really like it,” said Monarrez. “They didn't have a spot to sit down for dinner for three or four years, but they like it now, they have a dining room table now.”
Viva La Mocha first began as a side project for the couple with Charlie helping in creating the graphic designs, and Monica screen printing the t-shirts.
The couple would sell their merchandise at local markets and events as well as online, but it was last year when a friend planted a seed in Monica’s head that gave her the extra push she needed to open up her own store.
“Two of our closest friends asked us, 'what are you guys doing?' We were freezing our butts off at Winterfest last year and they said "what are you doing you could be in your shop right now you can have your own shop, you have enough merchandise and enough creativity to have your own shop,” said Monarrez.
After years of sleepless nights and spending weekends at local markets, Viva La Mocha would finally be able to call Downtown El Paso home to their very first store front.
“It was so important for me to open in Downtown because this is where it all started for Mocha, was at the farmers markets. It's always been Downtown,” said Monarrez. “I never imagined it was going to be our home so it's pretty neat."
Viva La Mocha sells custom made t-shirts and other locally made accessories that showcases the culture and beauty of El Paso.
This new journey is exciting for Monica and she has some advice for other small business owners who might be nervous to take that next big step in their business journey.
“Don't be scared, but be scared because because if you didn't care you wouldn't have that fear of failure,” said Monarrez. “It's the 'what if' that fuels me because if it were easy and handed to me I don't think I would appreciate it as much as I do.”
Viva La Mocha is located at 201 E. San Antonio Ave. and open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 pm - 8 pm.
If you would like more information on Viva La Mocha, Click Here.