PATRICIA JIMENEZ GOT HER START learning to sew, crochet, and make dolls with her grandmother, while growing up in California. “My grandmother always told me to be strong, no matter what,” says Jimenez, who carried that advice with her to fashion school in New York, and eventually to a job at a luxury goods company.  

But after a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2017, Jimenez needed a change. She packed up her Jeep, grabbed her tuxedo cat, Cookie, and hit the road, visiting almost 30 states before Covid-19 halted her journey. “Traveling and adventure gave me a clear perspective on what I needed to do,” she says. “Not only to survive, but to adapt to a new world.” 

Encouraged by family in Las Cruces, Jimenez landed in New Mexico and opened The Little Shop on Main as a pop-up shop in 2020. She began to make vegan hand sanitizers, bake designer cakes, and craft handmade items. When she couldn’t find a bigger, more permanent space, she moved the store to Taos for a year. 

from left Stainless-steel Buddha prayer bead necklace, $95; Frida tile, Deanda Imports, $14.95.

But with support from Downtown Las Cruces Partnership, she found a 1,000-square-foot space in the heart of Main Street and reopened in December 2022. The boutique features Jimenez’s photography, wire-wrapped jewelry, and vintage hanging lights, as well as New Mexico Soap, Mexican-made furniture and glassware, and pet accessories. 

As “partner in sales,” Cookie hangs out in the store, watching shoppers and greeting regular customers. “She runs the place without lifting a finger,” Jimenez says.

Read more: Lisa Fontanarosa brings a little European flair home—no passport required.

Visit The Little Shop on Main at 275 N. Main St., in Las Cruces.