Faviola Lopez

For most women, getting a manicure is a pleasurable self-indulgence. For Faviola Lopez, it was a springboard to building a successful business. Lopez, 36 and a native of Jalisco, Mexico, moved at 12 years old to Detroit with her parents, legal residents of the United States who previously had traveled back and forth to the country to work. They settled in Mexicantown, and Lopez’s family members secured good jobs in the auto industry. “I enrolled in school, and I didn’t know any English,” Lopez says. “It was the hardest time of my life. I was a teenager and I wanted to be in Mexico. I used to cry so much. Back then there weren’t a lot of Hispanics, not like now.” But soon Lopez made friends and began to master English. She got a part-time job at the now-defunct Mexican Industries sewing car wheels. Right after graduation she married a man who hailed from her home state of Jalisco, and the couple soon had a son. “I’ve always been very independent,” Lopez says. “I remember telling my husband, ‘I want to do something, I don’t want to stay home.’ I got my nails done for the first time in my life and I loved it. The next week I was in school for nails and I got my license. I was 19 years old.” Lopez went to work in a salon; a few years later, the owner of a building on Springwells in Mexicantown offered to sell her the space. Lopez, who was 24 at the time and by then had had a second child, asked her husband’s opinion. “He said, ‘Why not? Do it, that’s a good opportunity’” Lopez says. “He actually pushed me. So I fixed up the building and started my salon by myself.” Today Favi’s Nail Salon has three employees. Lopez still lives in Detroit and says opportunities for Hispanic businesses in the city are strong. “One thing I will never do is leave Detroit,” she says. “I think I’ve been so successful here with my Hispanic community that I’ll never leave. I still have my house in Detroit, and I love my neighborhood.” “There’s always a door for somebody Hispanic because we work so hard,” she adds. “If they give us a job, we’ll take it. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s a job, we’ll take it. We just want to improve ourselves, we just want to improve our home, we just want to improve our neighborhood. We’re just here to make our life better and for our kids, too.”

If You Like This Post, Please Share It!

Comments are closed.