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 through feelings and emotions.
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 Associates 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 getting to know polymer clay as an art form itself. Once she understood how polymer clay worked she moved from stamps and regular beads and started making things that were more personal 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 connection & stories people would share with her about food. How it reminded them of their culture, their childhood, and most importantly their family.
In 2015, Anna applied for the State of Texas- Tax & Sales permit which 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 small 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 which have now taken priority. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown and the addition of new family members, she cut back on pop-ups and festivals. Following that decision, she rented a cubby at The Concept Gallery in McAllen, Texas (also the location for free local order pick-ups) to accommodate her local clientele. 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 & pop-ups mostly 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 main goal is to promote the arts while encouraging people to come together to not only aid each other but also rejoice in our culture and share a connection that is much deeper than a material object.
If you would like to contact us regarding your event or fundraiser, please email us at email@example.com