Dec. 1 2015 10:34 PM

Gini Mann-Deibert finds her calling in Mexi-inspired crafts

Leading up to the holidays this space will include profiles of local crafters whose wares would make excellent gifts.

Gini Mann-Deibert has always been the life of the party. Ever since her college days in Boston she’s been crafting unique party favors for herself and friends. When those friends started referring her to strangers, she realized she might be on to something.

“Even when I got to San Diego, me and my friends were throwing parties all the time,” says Mann-Deibert. “Just insane, themed parties where we would make everything. From the invitations to the piñatas.”

Piñata by Gini Mann-Deibert

After college she moved to San Diego and was working in community-focused healthcare in Coronado before deciding she’d much rather work in Barrio Logan. She’s always loved Mexican culture and says she wanted to work in a neighborhood that was more diverse. Even with her day job, she never stopped crafting things like piñatas and party streamers.

She ultimately created an online shop and named it Dulce Diego, and says it was always in the back of her mind to open some kind of store to sell her handmade goods. She rented out a small space in La Bodega Gallery and started to make other items like aprons, pillows and tote bags, in addition to her popular “Sacred Heart” and “Frida” piñatas. Given the size of a lot of her products she says she had to look for a larger workspace and now has a studio in University Heights. On December 12, she’ll be opening a Dulce Diego store in the Por Vida Coffee & Gallery building in Barrio Logan. There will also be five or so other craft stores in the space she collectively calls “ El Mercadito.” She says she also wants to use the space for community projects as well.

“My role individually will be to try to help individual kids in the neighborhood who might have some art stuff to sell and to try to create a space for them to build that entrepreneurial spirit,” says Mann-Deibert. “They already have the spirit, but maybe not the resources. Even when I was in school, all I wanted to do was help people. To help build a community.”

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