DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Jorge Baldor explains it this way: “We all have it in us. We have to believe we have it in us, and take the steps to make it happen.”
That’s what the Dallas business owner said while sitting in his Oak Cliff artisan market.
Baldor returned to Jefferson Boulevard, Oak Cliff’s Main Street, just a few blocks from the street he lived on as a child.
He opened Mercado369, a market of Mexican art, Latino culture and history, in the middle of a boulevard of small businesses.
On display there are sculptures, paintings, murals and other works, many listed for thousands of dollars.
Baldor admits he could’ve created his marketplace for Latino culture closer to Dallas’ Arts District, but said he wanted it in the neighborhood that he called his own, so other Latinos could benefit from seeing themselves in a exhibition of value and praise.
“We are planted in the middle of Oak Cliff, on the Main Street for a purpose, for a reason. You have to take pride in who you are, and your culture, your history, to be able to move forward. And that’s why Mercado369 is here,” he said.
Baldor was born in Cuba.
His family moved to Dallas in the 1960s.
After graduating from Skyline High School, he started a business model for background checks for apartment applicants.
The business success catapulted his company to high value.
He is now the Chairman of the Board for the Dallas Housing Authority, and pushes for more Latino representation on corporate boards in the DFW community.
He also recently founded a residential shelter for homeless teenagers.
After8 to Educate was crafted, as part of his mission to help students with no homes.
Most of Baldor’s work now reinforces a mission of community value for each other and for yourself.
He says his success can be repeated by others, with guidance and desire.
“You have to look yourself in the mirror and understand, why not me? And you have to say that every day until it becomes who you are,” he said.
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