Local Business in Downtown Santa Ana Closes its Doors

Owner+Lilia+Cerpas+poses+in+front+of+Genesis+Bridal+Boutique+located+in+Downtown+Santa+Ana+on+4th+Street+at+the+entrance+of+her+store.++Photo+taken+March+22%2C+2021.

Wendy Rodriguez

Owner Lilia Cerpas poses in front of Genesis Bridal Boutique located in Downtown Santa Ana on 4th Street at the entrance of her store. Photo taken March 22, 2021.

Wendy Rodriguez, Editor-in-Chief

When Lilia Cerpas started her business 20 years ago, she never thought a worldwide pandemic would push her to close her doors for good.

“The COVID-19 pandemic affected me a lot; all events were cancelled,” said Cerpas. 

Located in Downtown Santa Ana, Genesis Bridal Boutique, plans to close by the end of March 2021. 

Cerpas’ landlord refused to work with her when she owed back rent due to the store being closed in the early months of the pandemic. On top of that, the lease expired, so if Cerpas wished to keep the doors open, she would have to catch up on payments where she was already three months behind.

Cerpas tried to stay afloat in those early days. Back when the pandemic started in March, she had five employees helping her, but she had to lay them all off. 

The bridal shop was one of many businesses that switched from selling special occasion dresses to sewing face masks. 

Lilia Cerpas fills out a receipt from one of her recent sales. Photo taken on March 22, 2021. (Wendy Rodriguez)

Cerpas alongside her sister, Vicky Cerpas, and her niece, Victoria Lopez sewed late into the night for approximately four months. The masks kept the shop afloat but it was temporary.

Once the public had masks, sales slumped which led to the inevitable end.

For Vicky and Lopez, they’ll miss the store that was the family business.

Both said, “We feel nostalgic because we struggled for many years, but my sister is very entrepreneurial with big dreams. We are sure that whenever she starts another project, she will do very well.”

In the meanwhile, Cerpas’ goal is to get rid of everything in stock. She is using her Instagram and Facebook pages to advertise final sales that include all of her inventory which includes wedding, bridesmaids, quinceañera and communion dresses for 50% off and accessories for 25% off. 

After closing the boutique, Cerpas plans to continue working, but with her services reduced. 

She still has yet to sign a contract, but her next small project is to hopefully, sell her accessories at Main Place Mall in Santa Ana.

“To all my customers and people of Santa Ana, thank you for trusting me. If there is anything I can do for you, it will be my pleasure,” said Cerpas. 

As Cerpas ends this chapter in her life, another one is about to begin.