HARLINGEN — Yoli Cruz has always loved collecting beautiful things. It could be a chandelier, a brooch or even an old coin from a different country.
Because of her love of collecting she decided to open her own store named “Grasshoppa” Antiques and Tea Room, located at 221 E. Jackson Ave. The name comes from Cruz’s outlook on grasshoppers.
“The grasshoppa was because the grasshopper is very, very strong, and it will go through ups and downs. It is very resilient, and it does not fall and die when things are bad,” Cruz said.
“I feel like I am a very strong person but also when I had started my business years ago at another store, the lady that was my partner came up with the name and I decided to keep it in her honor,” she said.
With a growing collection that ranges from vintage clothing to furniture from the 1920s, she decided to open a shop where others could buy what she has collected over the years.
“I was always shopping and collecting items and one day I thought, ‘why not open a store?’ I thought, ‘well, all I can do is fail and if I do I can do something else’,” Cruz said.
Cruz had already been established at different locations, but according to her, this one gave her enough space for a tea room.
The establishment has five rooms in the back that allowed her to convert one into a kitchen.
In the left corner of her shop, several tables and chairs are arranged with more than one chandelier hanging on top.
This area was arranged by Cruz specifically to host bridal and baby showers, birthday parties or any other special occasion.
Cruz is happily married and has four grown children.
“I’m in love and have been in love for over forty years,” Cruz said with a happy grin.
Before becoming a business owner, she used to be an International Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics for 17 years.
Cruz never meant to stop working for Mary Kay but got very ill to the point where she could not do her duties.
Now, she takes a day at a time and calmly assesses her clients at her store.
“I have no regrets. I love what I’m doing now. Every day is different, and I get to meet different people. Clients buy me gifts just for selling their products,” Cruz said.
“I love my store; I love each and every thing I have. When I’m here, I’m not ill, and I don’t have any worries. This is my therapy. I don’t ask why things happen I just say, ‘God let it be your will.’ And he has been with me since day one.”