Roxana Pixley first came to Chicago in 1989.
What began as a vacation turned into a love affair with the city and with her new boyfriend. She closed her profitable beauty salon in Reynosa, Mexico, and leveraged her business savvy to duplicate that success on the north side of Chicago. In a few years, she owned a bakery, a restaurant, a supermarket and another beauty salon.
As for her newest businessEl Faro Seafood, at 2701 W. Division St.Pixley explained that she chose this location in the heart of the Puerto Rican community of Humboldt Park because her salon clientele in Ravenswood was largely Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican. "I love Puerto Rico, and I love this area," she said.
Roxana began her gender transition in Mexico and completed it while living in Chicago. Speaking of herself as a trans woman, Pixley said, "In Chicago, there have not been obstacles when it comes to business. Nothing of this sort has cut into my achievements." She added that she owes her success to "hard work, respect for her employees, and good administration."
The only business-related problem Pixley mentioned is her command of English, saying she wished she spoke and understood the language better. When asked whether she encountered anything unexpected while starting her new restaurant, she admitted that she did not expect so many requests for vegetarian dishes. She explained that she was in the process of amending her menu so that vegetarians could join their friends at El Faro.
Pixley works six days a week, traveling between her Ravenswood beauty salon and her Humboldt Park restaurant. On Mondays she stays home, listens to instrumental music and Latin jazz, and plays and cuddles with her eight Chihuahuas. In between cuddles, she organizes what needs to be done for her businesses, such as ordering beauty supplies and food, going over the bills and taking care of the payroll.
Pixley described herself as someone who is not very political; she does not get involved much in politics, but said she now follows the news, and that she supports those who do become involved. She said, "Every day I watch what is going on with this president. Things are going to change. I have hope that they are going to change. They have to change for the next generation."