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Rhonda Lerner, Creative Director for Tesoros and PR Director for La Biblioteca

Rhonda Lerner

Rhonda Lerner

Las chicas de Tesoros, Brenda Rentería, Rhonda Lerner y Janet Ramírez

By Jade Arroyo

Rhonda Lerner is a member-at-large of the Biblioteca’s Board of Directors. Her focus is mainly on public relations and fundraising. Her attention to detail and enthusiasm led her to undertake the project of renovating the gift shop/book store, bringing it back to life with the new name of Tesoros. Hand-made Mexican products and books by local authors are featured.

Tesoros is one of the Bibliotca’s social enterprises, which means that all the income goes back to general funding for scholarships and educational programs. The money from the sales in the used book section goes specifically towards the purchase of new books.

In order to give the store a new look, there was a lot of preparation prior to the big opening last February: sourcing new vendors, remodeling the space, and installing new lighting, carried out by Tec Lighting. Tec Lighting gave La Biblioteca an amazing discount in support of the project.

In this new incarnation of the store, for the first time in its history, purchases of much of the merchandise are made directly through the artists. Previously, items were sold on consignment only.

“We are proud to offer our customers unique merchandise from Mexico: Dôce 12, Abrazos by Patrice Wynne, SMA Leather Co., Huichol jewelry, Grace’s Sofas, jewelry made by women from the Querétaro prison, handmade candles from Salamanca, books by local authors from the San Miguel Literary Sala, David Godínez jewelry, pop-up cards from Open Card Now by Julie Brumlik, and the very famous San Miguel bracelet by Ramón Trujillo.” The bestseller? The sterling silver San Miguel bracelets and the pop-up laser-cut gift cards.

Many of the featured artist and designers are women. Since many of them are parents and have a family to look after, they work from their homes producing art pieces.
Janet and Brenda are the two young women who work at Tesoros, and, because of their enthusiasm, are contributing to the increasing success of the shop. Rhonda says she wants to help to empower women. She recalls that one of the main things she has learned in San Miguel is the wonderful bonds of friendship with other women. Women help women to grow and to evolve.

Rhonda is a perfectionist, someone who works with great devotion. She is passionate about community service, and helping others. “I love giving my time, love, and talent to the causes I believe in,” says Rhonda.

For the short term, Tesoros wants to present live readings, with authors and book signings from the Literary Sala. All literature and poetry lovers, stay tuned.

Talks and conferences with featured artists will be held at Tesoros. These artists will talk  about their projects, many of which are cooperative endeavors, all produced in Mexico, and under the guidelines of fair and ethical trade.

Tesoros is open Monday through Friday, 10am–7pm, Saturdays 10am–2pm.
An Amusing fact

Better known as “the map lady, Rhonda is also a cartographer and has been a San Miguel resident for near a decade. She launched a unique map of San Miguel in July 2013 with great success, and a reproduction of it is published weekly in the supplement Qué Pasa. She received an honorable mention from the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) in the category of recreational/travel maps in the 2013 International  Cartography/GIS map competition.

 

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