Entrepreneur Spotlight: Mayra Aviña


“Anyone can propose their idea and then get the tools and feedback to make it successful.”

When Mayra Aviña first started creating art at the beginning of the pandemic, she wasn’t intending to turn it into a business. Her art was for herself, helping her grieve, heal, and build resilience during a time of loss. But when friends and family started encouraging her to sell her pieces and start a side business, Mayra decided to build on that momentum and launch Cempaxochilt Arts.

After learning about RMMFI through a past graduate, Mayra enrolled in Business Idea Lab in January 2021. With the program’s emphasis on both personal and business foundations, Mayra was excited to not only learn the steps necessary to launch a business but also to have the space to explore whether owning a business was really something she wanted to do.

Another draw of the program for Mayra was its inclusivity and accessibility. She had thought about pursuing a business career during college, but she was discouraged by a professor with a narrow idea of who could be a business owner who told her she wasn’t cut out for it. Mayra found a very different environment in RMMFI’s Idea Lab, one that was welcoming and supportive of individuals from diverse backgrounds. As Mayra describes it, “Anyone can propose their idea and then get the tools and feedback to make it successful.”

Through the four Business Idea Lab class sessions, Mayra found a starting point for turning her art into a more formal, successful, and sustainable business. She learned how to define and articulate her business idea with a mission statement and an elevator pitch, determined actionable steps for starting up, and gained information on funding options. Mayra appreciated that the Idea Lab curriculum was approachable and scaffolded and that options were provided so that entrepreneurs could move at their own pace.

The volunteer coaches were also an important part of the Idea Lab experience for Mayra. She found the support from her coaches essential because they shared their expertise in a kind, empathetic, and encouraging way. Mayra especially appreciated that her coaches were understanding of the fact that she only wanted to run her business part-time. They took the time to understand her motivation and supported her definition of success.

Cempaxochilt Arts sells watercolor art, prints, and commissions that are based in Mayra’s Latinx and Indigenous roots. Through her art, Mayra wants to celebrate her culture and empower others from her community who don’t often see themselves represented in art. She is also committed to ensuring that her prices are accessible for her community. Mayra’s hope is that those who invest in her art identify with it, see themselves in it, and get joy from it.

Mayra is now in Business Launch Boot Camp, and she believes that Idea Lab set her up well for success in the next phase of her entrepreneurial journey. She feels grounded and knowledgeable about her next steps, and she is grateful that Idea Lab helped her build her confidence as a business owner. Mayra is working on registering her business as an LLC, investing in copyrights for her artwork, and implementing her marketing plan to generate more sustainable revenue. She’s excited about the future and is looking forward to continuing her own learning and growth as her business develops.

You can find Mayra’s artwork on her Facebook and Instagram pages, and she’s excited to participate in art pop-up events as things open back up. In the future, she plans to explore selling through wholesale accounts, as well.