Miranda’s Bella Boutique was never meant to be a boutique when Maria Miranda and her husband decided to open a small business.
Their original plan was to open a hair salon at 3113 N. Prospect Road in Peoria. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they decided that a hair salon was not the best business venture.
Miranda saw an opening in the Peoria market to do something different. For 12 years, she had sold baptismal and first communion candles and dresses from her basement that was starting to fill up.
She figured if they had already chosen the space for a barber shop, why not just use it to sell her religious items? From this idea,Miranda’s Bella Boutique was born.
“When my husband said they don’t do the hair salon anymore… we were both deciding what to do, and I was like, you know what, we already have the dresses, we have the local name and everything, let’s go, let’s go, ”Miranda said.
With the opening of his new company Aug. 22, she’s expanded her products to include things she says can’t be found anywhere else in Peoria.
“We started to bring things that Peoria didn’t have,” said Miranda. “Like Mexican blankets, Mexican pottery, dresses for first communion and baptism, candles, ceramic religious gifts for religious events.”
The covers are handmade and can be personalized to any design requested. All religious items, such as bracelets and rosaries, are handcrafted in Mexico by a member of the Miranda family.
“It is very common to offer rosaries to children in First Communion or at baptisms,” said Miranda.
Miranda’s neighbor, Alejandra Hernandez, who helps run the store, said a place like this has been in Peoria for a long time due to the distance people have had to travel to get these items in the past.
“It’s impractical if you’re having a quinceanera or a wedding, and you’re coming from here, and you have to start planning ahead and get to a place like Chicago,” Hernandez said. “Now you have this place in the community. And you just picked up your quinceanera dress or your christening gown. “
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One of the most unique items Miranda has in her store is a cazo, a large Mexican cooking bowl used to make fajitas, carnitas, and tacos.
“If you’re having a big event or a party and especially for us Hispanics who have large families… it’s very difficult (without cazos),” Hernandez said. “Nowhere in town has it.
Miranda would like to include more Mexican sandals, hats and shoes in her business in the future.
She also hopes to be able to develop her business, so it is the place of choice for anyone having a quinceanera, a baptism, a wedding or a first communion.
“You’ll find everything from dresses to little favors for all of these events. They’re here, you don’t have to travel far,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez will also help organize a Mexican Independence Day celebration on Wednesday, September 16 at Glen Oak Park, with a motorcade leaving the store at 5 p.m. to travel to the park to listen to music, food and entertainment. ‘other entertainment.
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