MERIDEN — Sandra Quituisaca’s experience as a seamstress started in Ecuador, where she learned how to sew as a young girl in school. After 17 years of working as a seamstress, Quituisaca recently opened Sandy’s Tailoring in downtown Meriden.
Quituisaca immigrated to Wallingford from Cuenca, Ecuador with her husband, Diego Tocto, in 2006. They moved to Meriden a year later.
“Coming from a different country, I didn’t know English and only knew how to sew,” Quituisaca said.
With her family still living in Ecuador, Quituisaca is grateful to have the support of her husband, their three children, friends and in-laws.
Tocto, who works in construction, helped get the shop ready by painting and renovating the space in time for her grand opening ceremony.
“I’m proud of my wife and I’m glad that she started this business,” Tocto said. “We’re going to keep pushing and do better.”
Hector Cardona Sr., a longtime client of Quituisaca, put her in touch with the owner of the building, which resulted in her renting it out for the shop. According to Quituisaca, Cardona has been a huge help in the process of starting her own business.
“I want to thank my husband for doing everything here. I love the place,” Quituisaca said. “And I want to thank Mr. Cardona because he is the one who always pushed me to do better.”
Originally, Quituisaca wanted to open the business in 2020, but the pandemic delayed the process. Now, Sandy’s Tailoring is finally open at 61 W. Main St.
During the recent grand opening ceremony, a priest came and blessed the new business. All the guests gathered in a circle while the priest recited a prayer.
After the prayer, Quituisaca’s longtime family friend and first English teacher, Karlene Ball, addressed the crowd.
“I just wanted to say how much I'm really proud of Sandra and her whole family. I've known the family for a while. What wonderful people, people of good character, hard working people,” she said. “I'm so proud to have known them as a teacher and as a friend. And I just wish her the best.”
State Rep. Hilda Santiago and Mayor Kevin Scarpati made an appearance for the ribbon cutting and awarded a General Assembly Official Citation to Sandy’s Tailoring.
In addition to Santiago, the citation included recognition by State Reps. Michael Quinn, Jonathan “Jack” Fazzino and Jan Hochadel.
“The Connecticut General Assembly offers its sincerest congratulations to Sandy's tailoring, the grand opening of a Latina of a Latina and women owned business,” Santiago said. “We are commending your entrepreneurial spirit and the sewing you continue to do in the Meriden community. Real entrepreneurs don’t wait for chances, they create them and you seem to have tailored the opportunity and set an example for others. May your business prosper in the years to come. Congratulations.”
“This is exciting to see businesses come back to downtown,” Scarpati said. “Thank you for believing in Meriden and investing in Meriden.”