EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — When it comes to supporting and shopping local, many El Pasoans know the exact spot to go to for all things El Paso.
Chuco Relic is a locally owned and operated store that houses many custom-made products, t-shirts, and plenty of souvenirs that are created by the hands of community members on both sides of the border.
“Chuco Relic basically is our store owner Chelsea Evaldi’s love letter to El Paso. It grew out of her love for the community when she came back after spending some time away from El Paso,” said Joel Estrada, Project Manager of Chuco Relic.
The store originally opened in Downtown El Paso and with the love and support from the community, it was able to expand to the West side in 2016 and eventually to the East side for a total of three locations.
With booming talent in the Sun City and Ciudad Juárez, the store makes sure to recognize local artists and their crafts by providing an opportunity to showcase them to the community and beyond.
“Having a store like Chuco Relic where we give you an opportunity to showcase what you do and what you’re able to produce gives you that drive to keep on going and get better at your craft,” Estrada shared. “For future generations that are watching, like ‘Omg that’s a really awesome print or that’s an awesome t-shirt, I want to do that’, I think it also inspires them to pursue that passion, and shows them they have a future if that’s what they decide to do.”
Estrada mentioned that many people who used to live in El Paso have gone to shop at the store while visiting, and take a little piece of home back with them, “Even sometimes people see the store and they feel like they want to come back to El Paso. Also, people that have never come to El Paso before, they’re so amazed that there’s all these things that are part of our little subculture.”
Not only will customers find nifty products that resemble unique perspectives of the Borderland, but some collections at the shop strive to give back. This includes some t-shirt purchases that, in turn, donates to local non-profit organizations like El Pasoans Fighting Hunger food bank, EP Strong, Borderland Rainbow Center, and Las Americas Immigration Advocacy Center.
“Sometimes, you’re even supporting in a philanthropical way where you’re buying this t-shirt that’s going to go back to an organization or a cause that you want to support,” Estrada said. “The best part about it is that it’s all 100% local so you continue that circular motion of making El Paso strong, one act of kindness at a time.”
The mission of Chuco Relic is to continue uncovering hidden gems in our city, their talents, and bring light that El Paso it not just a passing city.
“El Paso is cemented as a Texas city that is going to continue being on the map of Texas and eventually become one of the biggest cities in Texas,” Estrada shared.
It’s evident that the store and all those who step foot in appreciate the passion and talent that’s highlighted in every corner of the shops.
That’s why those working at Chuco Relic encourage other up-and-coming artists to believe in themselves, their work, and show their love for El Chuco.
“So as a partner to us or not, you should continue to grow your brand and continue to sell your product. You never know, that one product can lead you to a snowball of all these other people wanting to buy your product. Word of mouth is a really big tool here in El Paso since a lot of people love to talk about the experience, so just keep doing it.”
In order for local artists or vendors to sell their products at Chuco Relic, there’s an application and interview process. The applications can be found on the store’s website under the artist inquiry tab.
Chuco Relic will be hosting an event called “915 Chuco Week” which will take place the week of September 15. It’ll be an opportunity for people to come out and support local businesses. There will be discounts on some items, freebies, and more. The store is hopeful that 915 Chuco Week will become an annual event in El Paso.