Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosts ribbon tying ceremony for Diva’s Fashion and More

DOWAGIAC — This week, a Dowagiac business that opened during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic received a warm, official welcome to the business community.

Wednesday, the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-tying ceremony for Diva’s Fashion and More, 56044 M-51 S. The chamber began hosting ribbon-tying ceremonies earlier this year to celebrate businesses that opened during the COVID-19 pandemic and could not take part in a traditional ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“We are excited to have another new business in town,” said Kris Soenen, chamber president. “It’s an example of how vibrant our community can be and allows the community to come together and be more supportive of each other.”

Co-owned by sisters Elizabeth and Marlen Cuadros, Diva’s Fashions and More sells everything from clothing to piñatas to candy. Elizabeth describes her store as “basically a party store with clothing.”

Though Elizabeth is from South Haven and Marlen is from Chicago, they said they decided Dowagiac was the right place to plant their business due to competitive rent prices and opportunities to grow in the community. Nearly a year later, Elizabeth said she believes she made the right choice to bet on Dowagiac.

“We saw an opportunity, and we took it,” Elizabeth said.

Diva’s Fashions & More opened in September 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. After months of shutdowns and restrictions, Elizabeth is proud to say that her business is succeeding.

“It’s been hard, but we are still here,” she said. “If we can make it through COVID, I think we got this.”

Soenen said she was happy to see the Dowagiac business community growing — especially during the pandemic.

“You’ve made it through a very difficult year,” Soenen told the Cuadros family. “That’s very impressive.”

Elizabeth said she was grateful to the chamber for hosting Wednesday’s ribbon tying ceremony.

“I’m excited we finally got to do this,” she said.

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