When Jonas and Nadia Silva first went to Monterrey, Mexico through Laredo/Nueva Laredo several years ago, the couple originally came back with a couple of metal chairs.
But Nadia had taken an interest in some other products the vendor had.
“I always wanted to go back because the place we bought them were incredibly reasonably priced,” Nadia said. “We don’t see any of that stuff here and I just wanted to go back and buy the chairs and pots.”
So the couple went back down one Memorial Day weekend and started bringing back some metal pieces and decorations and their business, Silva Imports, has only grown.
“The stuff I was excited to sale didn’t sell,” Nadia said. “But people loved the metal pieces and just kept buying them. We went back two weeks later and bought more metal and it’s slowly grown into what it is today.”
The summer of 2019 was the first season.
“We sell signs, metal decor and a few wood pieces,” Nadia said.
Each year there seems to be a different popular item. The first year was the large Arizona cactus, followed by the Sasquatch/Big Foot figurines the next summer.
“I thought to myself (when we bought it) who is going to want Big Foot?,” Nadia said. “I didn’t know he was such a big thing and there were so many true believers. We bought the three and five-foot Big Foots, then they wanted bigger so we bought the seven-foot. Then we bought the 10-foot and people wanted those. We are having a hard time keeping stock.”
This year it seems the bird baths are the popular items.
Nadia’s favorite part of the business is meeting her customers.
“I love meeting people,” Nadia said. “I think, had it not been for this business, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet so many people. I think I’m very blessed because of that.”
Occasionally the Silva’s are able to get a preview of what might be available from the vendors in Mexico. The Silva’s make it down to Mexico probably about once a month.
“I think I bit off more than I can chew this last time,” Nadia joked. “We took two trucks and two trailers.”
Silva Imports, located at 503 N. Russell, is open in the afternoon/evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday (except 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
The Silva’s are enjoying their small-business operation out of their home and, at the moment, don’t see themselves moving to a store-front.
“I like the small-scale business,” Nadia said. “I can stay home, do a load of laundry or other things. Plus, it’s such a seasonal project. People don’t want to decorate their yards during the winter.”
For more information, call Nadia at 806-662-4888 or Jonas at 806-664-0913.
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