by Barbara Russek


03-Bio-Barbara-Russek (1)Barbara Russek, a freelance writer who loves fashion, welcomes comments at



Like beautiful spring flowers, Maya Palace is continuing to blossom!  What started out as a ladies boutique with the motto “colorful clothing and accessories from around the world” is now a one-stop shop for bridal attire and special occasion dressing as well as unique boutique styles.

This fashionista’s dream destination began with a love story.  Co-owner John K opplin was volunteering for the Peace Corps in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica in the early 70s, when he decided to check out the nearby town of Santa Cruz.  Wandering into a clothing store, he was immediately attracted to the manager, the former Susannah “Susy” Baltodano.  Although he didn’t really need the jeans Susy showed him, as John recalls, “I bought the jeans anyway, to impress her.”

The two fell in love and wed in an 18th century cathedral near Santa Cruz in 1972. “Susy was radiant,” John recalls, “in the gown she had made herself, which I didn’t see until the day of the wedding.”

John and Susy decided to honeymoon through Central America and Mexico before settling in Tucson.  The many clothing, accessory and gift items they purchased along the way became the basis for their first business, Aztlan-Maya Imports, which opened in 1974.  In 1978, Maya Palace opened its doors and was an immediate success.  The couple will Capture1 - Copybe celebrating Maya Palace’s 38th anniversary in November.

Presently Maya Palace has two locations, across the walkway from each other in Plaza Palomino, corner of Ft. Lowell and Swan.  To give you but a few ideas of the fabulous fashions you’ll find there:

*The boutique is bustling, with new spring attire arriving from many top designers, including Amma, DilemmCapture12a and more.   To accessorize your new acquisitions, you’ll find jewelry, belts, purses, even avant garde shoes and boots.

Across the walkway, Maya Palace Too, a more intimate ambience, has additional boutique items, including 100% cotton separates, scarves and more.

*Selection of bridal gowns, mother -of –the- bride/mother –of- the- groom dresses, bridesmaid dresses and bridal accessories is the largest in Tucson—with over 500 in-store wedding gown samples in sizes 2-22.   Special orders available.

*Special occasion dresses, which can be worn for prom, pageants or any other gala on your social calendar.

So, before you buy that plane ticket to Paris, Rome or other fashion-centric city, plan a little excursion to Maya Palace.  It could be the most exciting trip you take this year!

Bring in this article for 15% off your purchase (excludes bridal and special orders.)


About author View all posts

Guest Author