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OTFM Spotlights Young Entrepreneur, Mireya Amaral

November 14, 2013

Two years in the making, the Old Town Farmers Market-Tianguis Cultural's Young Entrepreneur Program creates life-changing opportunities for young people like 11-year-old fashionista, Mireya Amaral Uribe.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - This Saturday, you may notice something new at the Old Town Farmers Market-Tianguis Cultural - the Young Entrepreneur Program. Two years in the making, this program creates life-changing opportunities for young people with a "make it, bake it, grow it" passion.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit

As a social entrepreneur, OTFM-TC Founder Charlotte Semple has always championed entrepreneurship. While developing a Canadian nonprofit, she encouraged her five- and seven-year-old to create their own little businesses. They started a theater group and charged admission. As the children grew, so did their interests. They created a string of small businesses that sold everything from greeting cards to recycled art. Today, both are prospering on their own entrepreneurial adventures.

"It was great fun to watch their enthusiasm and creativity," says Semple. "In many ways, they just copied what I was doing at the time, creating and branding. It is this young entrepreneurial interest that I want to feature at the market, and Mexico is the perfect place to run such a program because many children live in entrepreneurial households."

It Takes a Village

Thanks to the intuition of L.O.C.A. founder and OTFM-TC vendor, Sylvie Scopazzo, Semple was introduced to 11-year-old Mireya Amaral Uribe and her mentor, Cherie Verber. Verber, a former family and marriage therapist, who had begun teaching neighborhood girls how to sew in February 2013. Mireya's natural talent immediately caught Verber's attention.

During that time, other ex-pats noticed the young girl's willingness to learn. Bruce Byng, chef owner of Teatro Limon and Bistro Limon, donated $2,000 pesos and a new sewing machine. Pam Thompson-Webb of HealthCare Resources Puerto Vallarta facilitated a market venue; Kathleen Palmer of Deja New Consignments allowed her to participate in a charity fashion show; Mary Jacobs designed a company logo; and Pam Alexandra was her go-to gal. All the while, Verber created prototypes that fed Mireya's hunger to advance her dress-making skills.

"It takes a village to raise a girl," said Verber. "And with the help of so many, we are empowering Mexico's future, one girl at a time."

Introducing Poder de Niña

Within months, Mireya was launching her own business, Poder de Niña. She sold her dresses in her neighborhood and then at a local market once a month for three months. Mireya fell in love with the process. She wanted to sell every weekend, and the Old Town Farmers Market-Tianguis Cultural gave her the opportunity.

Mireya spent the summer pinning, cutting, stitching and serging. She also increased her English knowledge and learned money management as all profits go back into her business. Semple was impressed and invited Mireya to cut the opening day ribbon for the OTFM-TC's new location. Among the fans were Mireya's proud parents, Antonio and Rosa, and her helpful big brother, Abraham.

Just in Time for the Holidays

Give the favorite girl in your life a Poder de Niña original. Styles, prices and sizes vary, but the inspiration remains the same. Everything is under $199 pesos ($16 USD.)

And be sure to check out Mireya's "dress like your doll" line for American Girl dolls. You will see her own 18-inch doll, Brithany Ixthel, modeling many of the styles. For only $49 pesos each ($4 USD), you can collect every one-of-a-kind design. To learn more or to place a special order, call (322) 294-1563, or email poderdenina(at)


"Mireya and Cherie are a perfect example of what it takes: a youth with a passion and a mentor with the time and experience to guide her," says Semple. "We celebrate that and invite other young talents to join us at the OTFM-TC."

If you know of a budding entrepreneur between the ages of 10 and 16, send them to the market information booth where they can pick up an application. And if you'd like to become a part of the team, we have vendor, volunteer, and chef demonstrator applications, too.

See you on Saturday at Lazaro Cárdenas Park for all the shopping fun!

Located kitty-corner to Daiquiri Dick's Restaurant on Olas Atlas, the Old Town Farmers' Market-Tianguis Cultural is open every Saturday from 9:30 am to 2 pm from the first Saturday in November to the last Saturday in May. For only $10 pesos an hour, you can park in the garage directly beneath the plaza. Or you can take a taxi or public bus, which stops along Pino Suarez Street, just steps from the Market. For more information, visit, or on Facebook: Old Town Farmer’s Market Puerto Vallarta.

Click HERE to learn more about the Puerto Vallarta Old Town Farmers' Market.