Made in the 956: Valley employee celebrates 50 years at Weslaco boutique
An employee at Lionel’s Western Wear and Boutique in downtown Weslaco is celebrating 50 years of working at the store.
In a world filled with big box stores, there's one family-owned business in downtown Weslaco that's withstood the test of time.
“Lionel's started as Lionel’s Department Store in 1959,” said owner Sandy Pena. “It was started by my father, Lionel Oliveira Sr."
Now named Lionel's Western Wear and Boutique, there's something else in the store that's also withstood the test of time.
"I was 18 back in 1972,” said Arcy Rodriguez. "There was no applications, I just called the store."
It would take a few calls, but before she knew it, Arcy was hired.
I started as a sales clerk," Rodriguez said. "I just started coming every day and I liked my job and of course from day one they treated me like family so I stayed on. I met my husband here. He came in to buy a pair of work boots and he fell madly in love with me and from then on, I kept on working."
Fifty years of welcoming people from all over the Valley to the store.
"Arcy's 50 years here, having that person, having that type of employee here that are really genuinely kind and caring and want to help you find what you're looking for," Pena said.
Lionel's future is looking bright. During the pandemic, Pena's son, Marc Pena, helped create a website for the store.
"When they shut us down with COVID, I helped implement the online store. And then when we came back to business I helped implement the point of sale and it's all with Shopify," Marc Pena said. "I definitely see that the store has potential for the future."
Arcy's looking forward to the future too with many more years at the store.
"I really want to ask them to support us because we are a small family business; there aren't very many anymore," Rodriguez said. "We've been here since — the store has been here since 1959. I've been here since 1972. Come on in and we'll be glad to help them, too."
Lionel's Western Wear and Boutique — and the family that keeps it going — all Made in the 956.
To shop at the store, visit https://www.shoplionels.com/
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