Handcrafted Culture: Mexican Culture takes Center Stage in Duvalin Clay Shop Designs

Conchitas, tacos, and beer. These are a few foods often considered Mexican staples. For Teresita Solis, they are accessories. She has created a business, Duvalin Clay Shop, selling handcrafted jewelry from her home. It all started in 2021, when she and her daughter were playing with playdough. Teresita took note of the hardened sculptures and decided to research the different types of clay, hoping to create earrings for her mother. 

 “Whenever I started picking up the items, I thought it was interesting, and since my mom has always loved jewelry… I wondered if there was anything to make earrings for her. I started making simple stuff like squares and triangles. I posted them on my social media, and some people reached out to me to buy them.”

Although crafting jewelry began as a hobby, Teresita created her business when people started asking to buy her products. She started creating custom pieces that customers requested in addition to her own creations. 

 “I do everything. I have people message me on Instagram and ask what they want, and I go along with making my customers happy. I make anything they ask for. I don’t go based on fall or winter. I add some seasonal, but right now I’m making more traditional food, showing Hispanic stuff. The most I do are conchitas.”

 Although making jewelry was her passion, Teresita had to stop her business when she was pregnant with twin boys. She could no longer sit for long periods of time, making it difficult to create her jewelry. She decided to take a part-time job at Amazon to supplement her income. 

 “One of my coworkers at Amazon encouraged me to start [making jewelry] again. I would bring the jewelry in and everyone would ask me if I sold them, and I told them I just enjoy making them, but yeah, I can sell them.”

Once Teresita started her business again, she decided to register her company. After getting her company’s tax ID, Teresita came across the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce when she went to a market. At the market, she met Andrea Kosar, who invited her to the Chamber’s Cafe y Pan Dulce monthly event and encouraged her to join the organization. 

 “So far, they have helped me a lot in introducing me [to] pretty amazing people. It’s not about the market; it’s about the friendship, and every single thing I need, there’s always an answer from them.”

Teresita’s familiarity with markets makes her feel right at home. She had been attending markets before joining the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As a member of the chamber and participant in Floating Mercado, she has embraced meeting other business owners like herself.

 “I try to go around to the booths to see what they sell and what they offer. I’m used to going to small markets, and I love the connection and came across some people, it’s amazing to hear how they started, how it’s going, and sometimes give you a heads up into what’s good in business and what’s not.”

Born in Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico, she grew up on a small ranch with a population of around 200. She came to Waco as a 9-year-old when her parents decided to emigrate in hopes of finding better opportunities. Graduating from Waco High School, Teresita hopes to one day go back to school.  

 “I do want to go to college after my kids are a little older. I don’t want to be working a job in the future; I want to own my own business. I’m working slowly because I want to educate myself more about the business. I want to learn more about business management.”

Mexican culture takes center stage in her jewelry designs, and Teresita attributes her family and culture as her greatest influences. Her most popular earring designs are the conchitas, which is a traditional Mexican sweet bread that comes in a variety of colors.  

 “My family…they’re super traditional and simple. What made me start doing conchitas [as earrings designs] is that my mom and sister would go to the supermarket and get conchitas, and we would get coffee and sit together in the mornings” Teresita said, “being Hispanic has influenced me to do those things because they’re beautiful, and I feel like I have to show them to everyone. People will ask me “what are those ” and I explain it to them and tell them the background. I love educating people about our culture.”

Gennesis Gonzalez

Gennesis Gonzalez is a communications intern at the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She studies professional writing and rhetoric at Baylor University. Her areas of focus are writing, research, communications, and marketing. Originally from Houston, TX, Gennesis has previously worked as an administrative assistant at EIC Surveying and a communications intern at Advance Economic Strategies.
As a professional writing student at Baylor University, she has helped nonprofit organizations with their communications needs. Working in the nonprofit sector fulfills her need to help the community. As a writer for the Cen-Tex Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she finds fulfillment in meeting members of the community and writing their stories.
When Gennesis is not working or in school, she's out in the community trying new restaurants or spending time with her two chihuahuas, Francesca and Camila.