Dover city center store brings imports from the Spanish-speaking world

DOVER – A new store has brought specialty products from Spanish-speaking countries to downtown.

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De mi Tierra, which means From My Land in Spanish, offers alpaca wool blankets and clothing, handmade leather products, natural body care products, greeting cards and more. There are teddy bears covered in soft, cloud-like alpaca wool and “warmies,” stuffed animals filled with lavender that can be heated or cooled to comfort sore muscles.

“What I like the most are the alpaca wool blankets, the ponchos, the ruanas,” said Hailey Diaz, who owns the store with her husband Juan Diaz, originally from Chile. Ruanas are oversized shawls with fringes.

“The great thing about alpaca wool is that it’s hypoallergenic,” Hailey said. The fibers don’t scratch like lambswool can, she said. Alpaca items can be machine washed on the gentle cycle.

De mi Tierra is a family business that started with the help of advisors Mike Impagliozza and Tim Rife of the Small Business Development Center at Kent State University in Tuscarawas.

Hailey and Juan Diaz are shown at their store, De mi Tierra, in downtown Dover.  it sells alpaca wool blankets and other items imported from Spanish-speaking countries.

For now, Hailey is all staff. Juan works as a machinist in Ashland County. Her son Evan, 19, and daughter Javiera, 16, will help with store staff during the summer. The family lives in the unincorporated community of Moreland south of Wooster.

They made buying trips to Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala and Ecuador. Some items come from wholesalers.

Top-selling items include embroidered shirts for men and boys from Mexico. The store is offering a $5 “dad discount” for the purchase of one for a man and one for a boy.

For women, there are sweaters with appliqués in alpaca wool in the arpillera style of Peru.

Accessories include handbags, backpacks, laptop bags, toddler sandals and glass bead earrings. Mexican pottery and note cards of original photographs are on display.

The body care products contain avocado, banana, aloe, shea butter and coconut. There are lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, scrubs, and body sprays.

By summer, stock will include tropical wood tablet and cellphone stands from Peten Flores, Guatemala, and tagua seed necklaces from South America.

Alpaca figurines are among the items on sale at De mi Tierra, a new business in Dover city centre.  The store sells clothing, handbags, backpacks, and other products imported from Spanish-speaking countries.

The store at 131 W. Third St. will have an open house from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

“We want everyone, every language and every culture to feel like they can stop and see the place, people who can’t travel right now, people wondering if we have something they’ve seen on their travels,” Hailey said.

“The idea is that people just come and visit,” Juan said. “We like to talk to people.”

There will be three raffles at the end of Saturday’s open house for a set of body care products, a large alpaca sweater and an alpaca wool shawl in the color of the winner’s choice.

Hailey, who considers herself an expert on Chinese checkers, is offering a 20% discount on merchandise to anyone who can beat her at the board game during the open house.

De mi Tierra is open on limited days and times: 1-5 p.m. Tuesday, 1-7 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

The store opened on March 26. It can be found on Facebook as De mi Tierra LLC.

Maria R. Newman