HARLINGEN — Starting with a casual conversation over coffee, Dora and Jared Castaneda discussed a book on entrepreneurship and realized they both wanted to start a business that embodied doing what they both love.
Dora is Jared’s mother, and they realized both had a love for vintage furniture. For Dora in particular, glass is what grabs her attention, and Jared likes chairs.
By fusing both their interests, they created a thriving business that will soon celebrate its second anniversary.
“We share this love for pretty things and hunting for vintage pieces of design history. When we find something special it is exciting,” Jared said. “We wanted to capture that feeling for anybody else interested.”
Procured Life and Home opened its doors in 2019. It is located at 413 W. Van Buren Ave. next to Bandera Coffee, where the initial idea began. It opens from Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The store captures both Jared and Dora’s personalities, as well as their personal tastes. On one corner, there are various plants to set the ambiance and mood. Pink and blue walls set the tone, but they both said it used to be all black and white. Gradually, they have added more color and changed their aesthetic.
Dora and Jared believe a business and themselves should be ever evolving.
Besides offering furniture pieces, such as vintage chairs or coffee tables, they offer a space for local Rio Grande Valley furniture makers to feature their pieces.
“What can we bring to Harlingen specifically that has not been done yet?” Jared said.
The entire concept is lifestyle and home décor, but it has grown into so much more.
For example, one of Dora’s daughters features vintage clothing in the shop as well. As a mother, she said it was fulfilling to see what each of them brings to the table.
Now, not only have they included their own family into the business, but also people they either had met before or met because of Procured.
The family has grown.
“It seems like it has grown because just hearing where we were two years ago and to know we were a small part of their dream is very rewarding for us,” Dora said.
“A lot of them started pretty small, and we have seen them grow significantly. Seeing where they started is something we want to be a part of, to be a catalyst for other smaller businesses throughout the Valley,” Jared said.
Dora emphasized the importance of featuring local makers is to let people know it is not necessary to shop outside the Valley to find beautiful items.
“These people are here in our community and make things just as beautiful. You don’t have to go look for them in Dallas or whatever, and we should support that,” she said.
A few of the makers featured are Carla Hughes, a ceramic artist from Harlingen, Eva Ryan, a paper craft artist from Brownsville, Ivan Benavides from Seaside Woodco from Los Fresnos, Priscilla Carbajal, a natural dye textile artist from Raymondville, and Gloria Reyes from McAllen, who specializes in sustainably made jewelry.
Procured also works with a local coffee roaster, and every season a flavor is created especially for the shop.
When thinking of what to name their business, Dora said Procured means to obtain something with much care, and the shop is a perfect representation behind the sentiment.
“We want people to take an item they are going to use with intention. We want to encourage this slow living approach to things,” Jared said.
For Dora, watching someone beam with happiness over a piece is one of the most rewarding moments, and Jared agreed.
“That is kind of the beauty in all of this, seeing someone select something with intention or care,” Jared said.
The local makers featured at Procured all bring different talents through their items. Dora said whenever a customer is interested in an item, they explain what each maker does.
“We explain their process, who they are, let them know this is a person who lives close by. For example, Seaside who lives in Los Fresnos,” she said.
“We know these people, and we are getting to know them more and more,” Dora said.
“There is this humanizing system of consumption here and not only to know it is made with two hands but whose hands those were is very important to us,” Jared said.
Every month, all makers meet with the Procured team to collectively create ideas and think of a new collection.
On Friday, at the return of Harlingen Art Night, the collection was unveiled.
Dora said it is always interesting to her to see a maker arrive with a finished product with signs of hard work.
“Like Priscilla, who does linens, and to see her coming with indigo dye sheets and seeing her with blue hands, it is like wow,” she said.
Both said they have learned so much from their craft; it has been a win-win situation for both Procured and their makers.
Not only are these makers featured daily at Procured, but the shop has also hosted popup events for local bakers, vintage sellers and other artists to have a space to offer their goods. The goal for Procured is to create a community that supports one another and locally made craft.
“People are out there. We just need people to also support them,” Dora said.
“This is all about supporting them, and it just trickles. That is the community we thrive on,” she said. “We have the brick and mortar. Let’s support people who don’t but have the same dream.”