New downtown business eager to bring clothing, culture to downtown Niles

Published 2:40 pm Thursday, December 2, 2021

NILES — There is a new business in downtown Niles eager to offer high-quality clothing to the community.

Lupita’s Dresses, 117 N. Second St., opened its doors to the community in October. The store, owned by Lupita Tejeda, features dresses and accessories for events and occasions including prom, quinceañeras, weddings, baptisms, pageants and more.

Tejeda is happy to have her shop up and running.

“I’m excited,” she said. “Not many people know about the Hispanic businesses here in the community. Setting up a business is difficult, especially when it comes to possible language barriers. It has been difficult at times, but all the time I say I can do it.”
Lupita’s Dresses was originally based in Coloma before Tejeda purchased the business from the previous owner and moved it to Niles.
“We bought everything,” she said. “Coloma is pretty far from Niles, so we decided to open the store here. This is the first business I have owned in my life, and I’m excited.”

Tejeda and her family moved to Niles from Tonila, Mexico 17 years ago. For Tejeda, opening Lupita’s Dresses is her latest step in her journey to chase the American dream.

“We can see the opportunity,” she said. “We want to offer something different to the community, culturally. These dresses, this business, it’s all important to me. To be able to offer the whole community an aspect of my culture is a great feeling.”

Since moving into the new location, Tejeda’s business has received a positive response from the local Hispanic community and beyond.

“I’ve had customers come in from Kalamazoo,” she said. “We’ve had a really good response from the Latino community because I think when one Latino person does something good like start a business, we feel proud of them because they are our brothers and sisters. This is a very good opportunity for us, and I love being here in downtown Niles.”

With the support of her family behind her, Tejeda hopes Lupita’s Dresses will become a successful business as well as an asset to the community.

“This is a family business,” she said. “Everybody worked together to make this happen. Maybe someday I can buy my own building because so many people are coming in from Hartford and Coloma. For now, I’m really excited about this place.”