A quinceañera is all about the details.
The 15th birthday event requires a big puffy dress, and of course, a bedazzled crown. In many Latin American countries, the occasion marks one of the biggest celebrations in a person’s life.
A family-run business in Little Village has been playing a part in the quinceañeras of area girls for years.
Evelyn Flores is the owner of a quinceañera boutique in the heart of Little Village called Alborada, 3544 W. 26th St. She runs the business along with her mother and sister.
“We opened in 2006. When we started we had a little bit of everything,” Flores said. “We had wedding dresses, prom dress, First Communion dresses and tuxedos.”
Flores and her mother migrated to the United States in the 1980s. Like many, her mother started working as a seamstress. Then she grabbed an opportunity to purchase her own shop. When Evelyn was 21 years old she took over the boutique.
“When we first started my mom would make dresses,” Flores said. “We would all pitch in with choosing different tops and shirts from different catalogs and making it our own.”
With that gift, the young entrepreneur continues to build a brand. She knows she owes her mother.
“She always believed in me,” Flores said. “She never said I couldn’t do anything.”
Her sister feels equally dedicated.
“It’s important because it’s a tradition when they turn from girls to young women and from there they start to see the world,” said Laura Alvarado.
When it comes to the party, the entire family pitches in to make it happen. Some people are willing to pay up $2,000 for a dress.
“Girls love to wear veils or have sleeves draping down and we can add these…and girls also love the glitter!” Alvarado said.