What does it take to stay open as an O.G. Latino boutique shop specializing in handmade clothing and accessories in some of the most sought-after real estate in all of Los Angeles? According to Noelle Reyes, the power Latina behind Mi Vida, one of the last standing pregentrification locales on York Boulevard in Highland Park, the secret lies in “keeping it real, being there for the community and simply staying positive.” On any given day, the store that offers everything from original Chaz Bojórquez artwork to a saguaro cactus–shaped iPhone case doubles as a meeting place for the neighborhood, acting as a pop-up location for local chefs serving Mexican-American–style Hawaiian musubi, or as a donation-based, six-hour-long meditative “coloring station” in collaboration with a local independent artist. As the shop is about to turn 10 years old, Reyes has no plans of moving anywhere: “We are strong, we know how we impact our community, and we will continue to showcase our identity here.”

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