Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
A sponsorship from the Steinbach Mennonite Church led to the immigration story for Ana Ramos and her family, and turned out to be the first step towards her establishment of a local business.
Ramos and other family members cut the ribbon on NYE Latin Co. at Clearspring Centre on Friday, celebrating the culmination of nearly a decade in Canada.
"It was a dream that I had years ago, and to be honest when I came to Canada, I never thought this was going to happen," Ramos said.
She’s always been interested in fashion, working in the industry back home in Colombia.
All the clothing in her store is imported from Columbia, and Ramos said it began with jeans.
"When I came to Canada I couldn’t find anything (like Columbian jeans)," she said. "It’s very different."
Colombian jeans, she said, are more comfortable than their Canadian counterparts.
Ramos began selling online to the Latinx community, but Canadians quickly became customers as she ventured into sleepwear, body suits, blouses and more.
She began to travel and set up booths in cities across Canada, and that’s when she realized a location in Steinbach would be ideal.
"I love doing retail," she said. "I love sales, I love talking to people."
Ramos has plenty of support from family in setting up and running the store and said for the two nights prior to opening, she got just a little over two hours of sleep.
But after the ribbon was cut, Ramos said she enjoyed meeting customers and sharing the new space.
"It feels amazing," she said. "We have a lot of people telling us we have amazing clothing and the store looks amazing. It feels good."
In her nearly 10 years in Steinbach, Ramos said she’s always appreciated the friendly, helpful nature of the quiet community. "It’s like family," she said.