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Northeast Ohio is full of creative people following their dreams while trying to make a living. From jewelry crafted out of broken street glass to sound equipment engineered for rock stars, see what people are "making" in the community.

Making it: Echeri Shares Mexican Culture in Cleveland

MAKERS: Lucia Esmeralda Gutierrez and Mike Woods

BUSINESS: Echeri International

SHARING CULTURE: The word Echeri means "land" and comes from the language, Purépecha, spoken in the village in Mexico where Gutierrez grew up. The business owners recognize the responsibility that comes with sharing Gutierrez’s culture through the items they sell made both by her and various artisans. “My job has a lot to do with giving them credit,” Gutierrez said. “But also with creating economic development in my hometown.”

WHAT THEY DO: Through their Instagram page and Etsy store, since 2017, they sell Mexican made jewelry, decorations and rebozos, which are shawls.  Making one item could take anywhere from a couple of days for the jewelry to a few months for the rebozos. Gutierrez makes some of the beaded jewelry.Gutierrez also travels across the country teaching seminars about the history and practical uses of the items. 

THE FAMILY: Gutierrez met her husband, Woods, while he was abroad for school in Mexico. They split their time between living in Cleveland and staying in Mexico for a couple of months out of the year. They have two young children who like to help out by picking some of the items they feature on their social media. “It’s like seeing both worlds of our family combine into something beautiful, that… gives someone happiness. So it’s a very profound satisfaction when we see there’s a place for our story here,” Woods said. 

Natalia Garcia is a digital producer for the education team at Ideastream Public Media.