Alexis Garcez and the Gente Market: How one person looks to leave a legacy for her community to enjoy | Irvine Moms



Gente Market, one of Santa Ana’s gems, hosted Frida Fest on Sunday, July 25th. Frida Fest celebrated the Hispanic culture by spotlighting Frida Kahlo, one of Mexico’s most famous artists. With July being Frida’s birth month, Gente Market owner, Alexis Garcez, was inspired by the strong woman and cultural figure who, according to Alexis, was ahead of her time.

At Frida Fest, guests were invited to shop around the Heritage Museum Grounds, which was filled to the brim with small businesses and vendors. The small businesses featured were 90% Latino owned and 75% woman led! Sticking very much to the idea of strong women. Many vendors sold event exclusive Frida Kahlo themed items. Garcez herself spent time shopping around for herself towards the event supporting the vendors. We love entrepreneurs who love entrepreneurs!
Gente Market hosted their first event in 2019. The market focuses on elevating Latina owned businesses while promoting their culture. Gente Market’s wish is to gather the Santa Ana community and showcase local skills and talents people in the community have to offer to the world. Alexis’ hope was to bring the unlikely together in a shared space and create a melting pot of talent.

Vendors of all kinds brought out exclusive Frida Kahlo products that were only available at Frida Fest. As guests walked in, they were greeted by an array of woman owned small businesses showcasing their newest and most popular product. Guests were given the opportunity to not only shop from local businesses, but meet the owners as well. Many of the owners and workers were strong local women looking to put their products and services out for everyone to enjoy. In addition to these shops, guests were invited to try food from local food trucks as well, each different from the last. Each Gente Market event also holds giveaway events and spotlights local musical talents from the community.

Talking to Alexis, we found out much more about what drives her and her love for Santa Ana. Alexis explained she’s always been a more reserved and laid-back person who loves to plan parties and big things then step back and watch others enjoy them. Born and raised in Santa Ana, she grew up seeing the diversity in her city. When she went off to college, she realized people looked down on her for being from Santa Ana as though it was a negative thing. She wanted to change the public’s perspective on the city and her culture. Alexis wanted to give back to the city and make a space everyone could enjoy, that’s how the concept of Gente Market came to be. Her community and family are the two main things that continue to drive Alexis to excel and help her community improve. She states she wants to leave the city better than it was growing up and wants to create and leave something for the community to enjoy.

To learn more about Gente Market, be sure to visit or follow them on Instagram @gentenightmarket to stay up to date on all of their future pop-up markets and events! Gente Market will be hosting their next event on October 17th, a Dia de los Muertos celebration that everyone is invited to join the fun in!

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