KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As the common saying goes, “big things come in small packages,” but for Centro Hispano de East Tennessee, big dreams are coming true in East Tennessee in the form of small businesses opening.

In the corner of a shop off of Kingston Pike, Eliusca Gil works with rings, chains, charms, and stones of all colors, creating wearable and personalized with her culture shining through in every piece.

“Venezuelan women, we’re very flirty,” started Gil. “We always dress up, with jewelry, makeup, all of it and that’s how it is.”

Gil has called East Tennessee home for four years now. She said the jewelry in her shop, Chloe de Lux, makes the Smokies feel more like home. She also spoke about how it helps her be there for her family.
“This all began for my children because I wanted to spend more time with them and complete my work well,” she said. “This is why I decided I want to be my own boss/business owner.”

Gil said it’s thanks to Centro Hispano’s program Big Dreams in Small Businesses, or Grandes Sueños en Pequeñas Empresas, that her business is a reality.

Centro Hispano’s Grandes Sueños en Pequeñas Empresas is a small business support initiative designed to guide Latino entrepreneurs in the development, implementation, evaluation, and planning of their small businesses. By providing access to technical support, financial capital, and general business management knowledge, Grandes Sueños en Pequeñas Empresas aims to empower Latino small business owners to work toward sustainable growth and long-term success.

Now, Gil is paying it forward, mentoring the next class in the program.

Like Monica Gonzalez from Mexico who wants to start a party business so people from her culture can celebrate special occasions how they normally would.

“I didn’t have the structure to build my own business,” said Gonzalez. “They helped me to build my, find my own name, my own slogan, my own image, my logo, and how to start to create a business that will be successful.”

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Gil said just like a piece of jewelry, with a little bit of work, these small businesses can shine and become a vital part of our community.

“Work on your business every day like grains of sand, it’s all about being informed, it’s very important that you’re well-informed of things in this country that has become our new home,” said Gil.

Centro Hispano is located in John Tarleton Park at 2455 Sutherland Avenue in Knoxville. The phone number is (865) 522-0052.