When Laura Hermosillo immigrated from Chihuahua, Mexico, 20 years ago, she was already a trained clothing designer and talented seamstress. However, as a Spanish speaker, she didn’t feel she had the language skills to start her own business when she arrived in Santa Fe. Instead, she worked for area dry cleaners, including La Unica. When, in 2008, she felt confident enough to go out on her own, the company became her first client — and remains one today.

During the pandemic, Hermosillo adopted a make-it-work atmosphere at Alterations & More. When the company faced business closure mandates and a drop-off in business, Hermosillo began sewing face masks. “I was really concerned about how I was going to pay rent and make money. I started making face masks because we needed something to do, but it also helped my community. We were busy the whole pandemic,” she says. Additionally, her employees, who are mostly fellow women immigrants, took turns working and providing child care for one another. “We take care of each other’s children, so everyone can make money,” Hermosillo says. They’re still trading shifts between alterations and caretaking now because of the ongoing expense of child care.

A decade after opening Alterations & More, Hermosillo earned a Woman-Owned Business of the Year Award from the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce. In 2022 she earned another nod, this time for being a family-friendly business. She says these awards are particularly meaningful to her as an immigrant. “It means a lot because someone recognized the hard work we did,” she says. “With the limitations we have, like with communication, it can make you feel like you don’t have the capacity. So it’s a blessing for someone to put their eyes on us because we’re trying the best we know how.” — AMB






Santa Fe New Mexican