Hola AN Community!
One of the common questions that I am asked is why I've named my business Azteca Negra. Well, my cultural background is Mexican and Black, my mother is Mexican and my father is Black. My cultural background has always been a huge part of my identity, as is my hair (but that is a whole different topic in itself!). My cultural background is usually in the top 5 questions I'm asked when I meet someone, and because I have a thing for blending words, I call myself a Blexican. Other Black Mexicans, like my handsome other half, call themselves Blaxican. Personally, I feel the former sounds better... but I digress.
During one of my college vacations, I came home and my mother told me that she had been listening to the radio a few weeks before and heard something new that I could call myself, "Azteca Negra". I loved it and put it on a mental post-it. So, fast-forward three years. I was between jobs and decided to start a little Etsy shop selling the cross-cultural, Mexican/African pieces that I created to fill the time between job applications. I wrote down 10 different names, and ran a few across my mother and my amazing friend (who I've just recently realized has been my life/business mentor for like... ever). To say the least, all of the names were terrible, nothing caught the essence of the pieces. Both my mother and friend asked, "Why not use 'Azteca Negra'?".
As the typical, fist-time entrepreneur, I second guessed everything... and still do. I thought it might be a little too much of an in-your-face brand name, and that it might deter people from buying. I had all intentions of changing it when I found a better title. I noticed at my first few vending events, that the name made some people uncomfortable. But on the flip side, so many others thought it was so kick ass! And now I wouldn't change it for the world. I think part of my own insecurities had seeped into the contemplation of naming my business. Insecurities about my pieces, how I am perceived as a woman of color, a beginning artist, and introducing my super-mix of color and culture into world. But I celebrate my culture everyday, I am Azteca Negra, and my pieces represent the lenses through which I see the world.
I'm just a Blexican artist from a city by the SF Bay. Creating is like breathing to me. My passion is sharing knowledge, culture, and vibrant colors with the world.