<b>Owner: </b>

Amanda Lasker

<b>Short bio: </b>

Hometown: Lake Providence, LA, on the Mississippi Delta. B.A. from Newcomb College in New Orleans. Worked in Mexico and Guatemala. Married to Robert Lasker, patent attorney; two daughters, Cindy and Brenda.

<b>Why did you choose this particular business? </b>

Because of my love for all things Latin American and because I lived in Guatemala and Mexico. My family lived in Guatemala for 25 years and grew cotton. Gossypia means "cotton."

<b>Why did you choose to work for yourself rather than as an employee for someone else? </b>

It evolved as I came from a family of farm and other independent businesses, and it was my natural way.

<b>What have you learned from being in business? </b>

That you have to advertise, that you have to change but not too much or you'll lose identity which is like losing soul.

<b>Share an anecdote of a challenging or humorous experience or biggest surprise learned from working your business: </b>

The surprise is that I had to evolve into selling clothing to make it in the retail world.

<b>What have been the advantages and/or disadvantages of operating a business in Alexandria? </b>

The possibility of owning my own location and feeling part of a town with so much identity, which I don't want it to lose.

<b>Manager: </b>

Dixie Friichtenicht, over 20 years.

<b>Short bio: </b>

Husband, Admiral Richard Friichtenicht, 2 daughters.

<b>Key staff: </b>

Lilliana Ilich, Loretta Landry, Tanju Ozisik, Irene McGhee, Susan Frank

<b>Description of services and/or products: </b>

Latin American Folk Art, arty clothing, Flax Clothing, eclectic imported jewelry.

<b>Professional affiliations/associations: </b>