MINNEAPOLIS — Laura Merino-Franco is an artist who designs handmade filigree pieces. Pieces can take anywhere from 24 to 36 hours to make. She's one of the few in the country creating this art.
"It's very, very elaborate because we're talking very thin threads only using your hands as tools," said Merino-Franco.
For two years, Laura has been selling her pieces, but something was tugging at her to do something more.
"Something that is greater than my own, greater than myself, " said Merino-Franco.
So she took a leap of faith and opened a boutique in Minneapolis called Primitiva Collective.
On the outside, it looks like any other store. But on the inside, you'll find a lot more than you bargained for.
"We are a collective boutique of 30 female makers," said Merino-Franco.
Thirty different women. Thirty different businesses. But one boutique.
"I think even though we're doing different things, the store, our home feels very harmonious and very homogenous," said Merion-Franco.
Laura's "something greater" moment was creating a community for artists to thrive, but more importantly, creating a sisterhood.
A sisterhood Veronika Alfaro joined without hesitation.
"Being a business owner can be a really lonely road," said Alfaro.
Alfaro owns Mi sota Essence, a Latina-owned CBD brand.
"Before this, I was in pop-up markets and doing farmer's markets and trying to create stability and create a home for us," said Alfaro.
Now, she's selling her products amongst friends, amongst sisters.
Across the aisle from Alfaro is where TahaMade Macrame sits.
Owner Summer Taha's goal has always been to make people a little happier with her designs.
"I've dropped off orders to people, and they've kind of teared up, and that's such a good feeling," said Taha.
Thirty different women. Thirty different businesses. But one boutique that serves the community.
"It's just so beautiful to see," said Merino-Franco.
No man or woman is an island. Laura's leap of faith shows we can do so much more together.
Primitiva Collective is open Thursday through Sunday.
The boutique also offers weekly workshops, classes, and healing services.
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