Who is behind Iba Sisters Handmade?
"What keeps me motivated is not the food itself but all the bonds and memories the food represents." Chef Michael Chiarello
Since the start of her art career at Mission High School [class of 2011], owner, artisan, and artist of Iba Sisters, Anna Ibarra, has always experimented with various art forms. From drawing to painting to sculpting to even making art utilizing cooking. She has always been open to trying any medium of art to make a connection with people.
With the encouragement of her high school art teacher/ later on colleague & peer, she pursued higher education in fine arts. During her first year obtaining an associate degree in Fine Arts at South Texas College [class of 2013], one of her college professors suggested she try out polymer clay to make fine, detailed stamps for her ceramics and prints. This sparked the flame of learning polymer clay as an art form. Once she understood how polymer clay worked, she moved from stamps and regular beads and started making more personal things, such as sugar skulls and foods like cakes, chocolates, pan dulce, tacos, etc. She even made characters she liked, such as Pokemon. However, she quickly moved away from those because she preferred to hear the stories and personal connections people would share with her about food and how it reminded them of their culture, childhood, and, most importantly, family.
In 2015, Anna officially made Iba Sisters Arts and Crafts (Now DBA as Iba Sisters Handmade/ Iba Sisters Handmade Jewelry & Accessories) into a small business. Her sister, Cristina, later joined by helping her assemble & create ribbon hair accessories for some of these charms. After a few months, they became vendors at various festivals around South Texas, the Coastal Bend area, and Austin. With continued feedback from satisfied customers, they decided to expand by creating a website to help the influx of customers from around the United States and abroad.
Once Anna graduated from STC, she moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, to pursue her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art (BFA) from Texas A&M at Corpus Christi [class of 2016]. Due to their father's passing, she moved back to South Texas to aid her family right after graduation. Since the end of 2017, all of the Ibarra family has participated in various minor duties of Iba Sisters such as packaging, providing manpower for festivals and pop-ups, as well as assembly of some items. In 2019, her partner joined the team.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, owner Anna Ibarra had two little boys, now taking priority. She cut back on pop-ups and festivals because of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and the addition of new family members. Following that decision, she changed some aspects of her shop, such as accepting wholesale for retail orders to accommodate her existing clientele who wants to shop in person while expanding to various cities around the United States and abroad. You can now find Iba Sisters products at retail shops, museum gift shops, and boutiques. Now, even with the expansion of her family, she continues to work during the night to still create every piece with outstanding detail and lots of love.
Events We Attend
Since the start, Iba Sisters has participated in various events hosted by local small businesses, various cities' governments, and individuals fundraising for causes and charities they support. Their choice of festivals and pop-ups mainly revolves around the arts, handmade/artisan-only shows, and events that aid local communities/charities. On some occasions, they will accept markets outside of those parameters. However, Anna's primary goal is to promote the arts while encouraging people to unite to aid each other, rejoice in Mexican and Texan culture, and share a more profound connection than a material object.
If you would like to contact us regarding your event or fundraiser, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org