The Evolution of Calacas
Once upon a time, there was a family in this little rancho of Santa Ana, with an idea of starting up their own business, wanting to make a difference in their community, while being able to spend time with their family. A folk art store was born, taking on a life of its own, where people would come to give chisme and take chisme, and at the same time, plan what the next community-changing event would be. The space began to open its doors to various performing groups, including original bohemians, trovadores such as Leon Chavez Teixeiro & Taller Sur, art shows featuring local artists, book signings… The concept of Calacas took on a life of its own and that was OK with us – it was a community space where we were able to meet so many great people. We were always very excited that our little shop, in our little town (who everyone has always bagged on), was at the forefront of the buzz, from writeups in Japan, Australia, New York Times, to the BBC in London. It is always so exciting to hear people talk about Santa Ana in a positive way, surprised that we’ve got it going on, when Santa Ana’s had it going on the whole time.
Our store was always open to everyone, where everyone got to see our three kids growing - we got to see our community grow, and get married and have babies of their own. Days turned into years, we moved we opened a cafe space next door with the same vibe and energy as our tienda, where you could come and hang out and find the latest happenings, along with El Centro Cultural de Mexico, we threw the best community based event around: Noche de Altares.
We are forever grateful to our community and our family who embraced the concept of what we were putting together. We are also indebted to some guy named Sean (who will never read this), the leasing agent at our first space who took a chance on us, knowing that we had no idea what we were doing; El Centro Cultural de Mexico; Sol Art; other shops that came before us: Teocintli, Nahui Ollin; Mike Paxton for our current spaces; Edgar Hoill, a very humble and generous compa. Also, we would not be where we are if not for the knowledge and wits of Gustavo Arellano, a tireless friend, who wants to take everyone to the top with him. And if you’re reading this, we thank YOU!
A good friend once told us: With the cafe and the store, “It’s like you’re chasing two rabbits and you’re catching neither. Focus on one and you will enjoy your catch.” Saying all of this, we are closing down our store space this month to spend more time with our family and to focus our energy and time on our new cafe venture. We invite you to come and visit us, still get the latest chisme (and share some of yours!), and once again plan the next community-changing event. We will also be condensing some of our arts and crafts into the cafe.
Always do your best and whenever possible, support local, independent businesses!
324 W 4th St. #B, Santa Ana, CA 92701