What's in a name? (A must read before opening your own shop in Mexico.)

My friend Alice from Southern Living (a fellow Mexpat), left a comment on my Working Woman post, asking about the name of Hubby's shop.  Instead of answering her in the comments, I decided to share the story with all of you.

After our first week in Mexico, Hubby went to Guadalajara to purchase the equipment necessary to open his own upholstery shop.  For the first two months, he worked out of my mother-in-law's saguan (entrance/hallway).  When we finally rented a local (shop), the first order of business was to name the shop. 

Most businesses in Mexico have simple names, starting with what kind of business it is.  If it's a butcher shop, it's called a Carniceria followed by the name the owner chooses, usually his own name or a nickname.  Since Hubby's business was an upholstery shop and Hubby's last name is Limon, Tapicería Limon (Limon Upholstery) was born.

Hubby had been working at that local for almost a year, when the tiendita (small store) 3 doors down from my mother-in-law's house closed it's doors.  Later that week, my suegra received a phone call from the owner of the house/tiendita, who lives in the U.S.  She wanted to know if Hubby was interested in renting the shop.  (Not the house.  Just the shop.)  The rent was half the price that Hubby was paying for at the other shop, and it was closer to home, so Hubby could see the kiddies more often.  Of course, it was an offer we couldn't refuse.

During the move, the shop sign suffered a terrible accident and could no longer be used. 

When Hubby went to visit the local cerrajero (welder) about the sign, the welder asked Hubby if he still wanted the name Tapicería Limon.  Hubby pondered the idea for a moment, then told the welder to hold off on the name until after he consulted with his business partner.  (Me!) 

Allow me to let you in on a little secret...Hubby and I NEVER liked the name Tapicería Limon.  We thought it practical, but we didn't like it.  

Our first thought was to name the shop after one of the kids.  (We only had Hope and Nick at the time.)  Tapiceria Hope or Nick didn't really have a nice ring to it.  We then considered using Hubby's nickname, Tapicería Poncho (Poncho is the nickname given to men named Alfonso.)  (Yes, that is Hubby's real name!)

I don't recall exactly who had the idea, but someone suggested that we use Nick's nickname, El Boy (The Niño).  

Tapicería El Boy.

Now that has a nice ring to it!  And we absolutely loved it!  The rest is history.

But our story doesn't end here.  But you'll have to wait until tomorrow to read it!



  1. I love the names of shops in Mexico. There is a hardware store called La Tristeza (the sadness)and who can resist eating at Restaurant called El Niño Devino (the divine child)?
    There seems to be a fad to use apostrophes instead of de so there is a florist called Flores d'Glass, which is intriguing as all the flowers seem to be natural ones.
    I can't wait to read the rest.

  2. Hi Leslie i know this doesn't pertain to the shop but i was reading your blog and you had mentioned any suggestions on books well i just finished reading THE SHACK, it is a good book.
    love your blog and your recipes:)

  3. Fun to know the reason behind the name but why was that Nicks nickname? Oh and I have to tell you I'm dying to read The Shack and I think I will be getting it from a friend soon, so I can give you my thoughts on it also soon.