Business keeps memory of husband alive

By Laurie Stone: PNT Correspondent

Editor’s Note: This story is part of a recurring series about local business owners who have been with their respective business for five years or more.

Margie Villalobos has been the owner of La Frontera Fashions for the past 13 years. She dresses the community by offering her customers a unique line of apparel ranging from classy to casual.
“I never thought I would be a business owner,” said Margie. “My late husband, Mario Villalobos, instilled the idea in my head because he did not want me to be employed by anyone other than myself.”
Villalobos credits her husband as being the founder of La Frontera which means, the border. She said he chose the name because at the time, everything they sold was from Mexico.
Since Mario’s death, in 2002, Villalobos said she no longer concentrates on Mexico for her merchandise but on occasion she will make a special trip to Mexico when her customers have a specific request.
Villalobos said it has been hard not having her husband here to help her drive to market but she has learned to deal with the curves that life has thrown her way.
“It’s all about balance,” she said.
Mary Ester Taylor is a friend and customer of Villalobos. Taylor said she has great respect for Villalobos and considers the La Frontera Fashions to be an asset to the community.
“She carries a lot of items that you cannot buy in a department store,” said Taylor. “And the type of clothing that she does offer is what Spanish people and young people like.”
When encountering the public, Villalobos said she has dealt with all types of people throughout her career, but the endeavor has brought out qualities within her that she did not consider to be her strengths before becoming a business owner.
“I am now more outgoing, outspoken and a better listener,” she said
La Frontera is open from noon until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, leaving plenty of time for Villalobos to pursue other areas of interest.
Her dream is to become a social worker. She is currently attending Clovis Community College where is 12 hours from completing her Associates Degree. Afterwards, her plan is to transfer to Eastern New Mexico University to fulfill the requirements needed for a degree which will enable her to become a social worker.
As for La Frontera Fashions, Villalobos’ plan is to move into areas that are more compatible with her degree but she will not close the store.
“I might sell it or let my sons run it but my goal is to keep it open,” she said. “It’s something my husband created for me and I just cannot close the doors.”