Located on 3rd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, La Sirena today offers a wide variety of authentic handicrafts, textiles and exquisite decorative and collection objects of 100% Mexican origin.
By Jorge Ayala
New York, October 2018
In the fall of 1999, a Mexican artisan store opened its doors in New York that caused an extraordinary sensation; In its first week, it obtained a review in Time Out Magazine and, shortly after, in The New York Times. «I was very lucky,» said Dina Leor, owner of La Sirena Mexican Folk Art, during a pleasant chat inside her business located in the East Village of Manhattan.
Located on 3rd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue, La Sirena today offers a wide variety of authentic handicrafts, textiles and exquisite decorative and collection objects of 100% Mexican origin, with a variety of states represented, such as Oaxaca, Guerrero, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico City, Yucatan, Guanajuato and Chiapas.
Dina Leor’s passion for Mexican culture began when she was only 9 years old. Born and raised on the island of Manhattan, but with Argentinian roots from her mother, she traveled to Puerto Vallarta for the first time during a summer vacation, where she fell in love with the country.
Leor´s entrepreneurial spirit seems to have been inherited from her mother, who every summer rented their apartment in Manhattan and with that money traveled annually to Argentina as well as to visit the family in Mexico, a country that stole her enquisitive heart.
«My business is part of my life and my heart, when I feel bad, I come to the store and coming to work makes me happy, because I love the crafts I have. I remember the artisans when I visited them in their homes, their families. This is my passion and my life. I have other activities not related to this, but in the end everything is related», Dina Leor stated.
La Sirena´s first location was on B Avenue and 7th Street in Alphabet City, an area not well traveled at the time because it was considered dangerous. But after articles in Time Out and The New York Times, on a wintry morning, she found a long line of people waiting for it to open.
Today, the store is on 3rd Street and thanks to the exquisite selection of Mexican handicrafts, customers can always find something different at La Sirena to take home a sentimental piece of Mexico.