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Spotlight on Small Businesses: La Sirena, 27 East 3rd Street

La Sirena, 27 East 3rd Street

Dina Leor, outside the eclectic shop. (With green Business of the Month decal on the right.)

A colorful little shop that anyone who has walked on East 3rd Street will recognize is La Sirena. A former Village Preservation Business of the Month in 2017, owner Dina Leor celebrates two decades of being in business.

Some small shops pack so much energy they seem to flow out onto the sidewalk, into the street, and across the neighborhood and beyond. La Sirena is still one such place where year-round holiday lights adorn an A-frame sidewalk sign with bolsas de mercado (market bags) and papel picado (paper cut outs) hanging out front, and a wall of colorful shirts and vestidos (dresses) beckon you to enter.  

Nowadays, of course, there are masks for sale. 

La Sirena is located in the East Village/ Lower East Side Historic District at 27 East 3rd Street, just west of 2nd Avenue.

Like all such shops that were sensibly ordered closed in order stem the spread of COVID-19, La Sirena only recently opened after 4 months of being shuttered.

Video by LariosDesign.com

Owner and longtime East Village resident Dina and her supporters used the time during the pause to create an ongoing support page and updated her online shopping experience.

Masks made by artisans in Mexico.

Her love for Mexican art, culture and folklore has continued to deepen over almost two decades of the store’s existence, and her well-curated shop reveals this passion.  She is also a card-carrying member of the NYC District Council of Carpenters, having worked in that trade for a number of years before opening the store.

From @lasirena_nyc and art by Delphine le Goff @displaybydelphine 
“Gracias @displaybydelphine for this wonderful painting of La Sirena”

Dina usually visits Mexico every year and has personal relationships with many of the artisans whose work she carries.  One such woman is Josefina Aguilar from Ocotlán, in the state of Oaxaca, who makes ceramic ensemble figure pieces.

Market bags from Mexico available at La Sirena

Dina has strived to continue to offer opportunities for the artisans she works with. Some have pivoted to designing and creating masks, for example. Dina has continued to source them from Mexico and thereby help to support the artisans stay safe at home with their families and be able to continue their craftwork, while bringing wonderful fashion to our ‘paused’ city.

In a spatially distant and safe way, it is a perfect time to visit in person or online and help La Sirena continue to thrive during these challenging times. You can also see La Sirena on Facebook  and Instagram

Village Preservation is part of the Save Our Storefronts (SOS) coalition of small businesses and residents working together to ensure small businesses survive through the COVID-19 pandemic and thrive beyond. Learn more by clicking the logo below.

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