Phyllis decided to name the business, "El Pachuco Zoot Suits," after the main character in the "Zoot Suit" play. She saw "El Pachuco" as a handsome, brave man, with extreme character that turned heads and was highly respected. According to Phyllis, "El Pachuco" was who you became when you put on the Zoot Suit.
Being that she was in the jewelry business at the time, a small section of the store was used for the new Zoot Suit venture. The first item for sale was a Zoot Suit chain. With the current family business being jewelry, creating the Zoot Suit chain was a natural first step. The store placed a small ad in a new magazine that called itself "Lowrider Magazine," a new venture in its own right. Against Phyllis' wishes, her husband added "Zoot Suits coming soon" to the print on the ad she purchased. Knowing how difficult the Zoot Suit was to locate, this only added pressure to the situation. The magazine ad produced a great response with many Zoot Suit chain orders; the only problem was that the people ordering the chain were asking where they could get the Zoot Suit to go with the chain!
The Search for the authentic "Zoot Suit"
The main thing on the agenda was to find an authentic Zoot Suit. Phyllis never thought it would be almost impossible to locate or purchase a one. She went shopping in downtown Los Angeles, and was unsuccessful. She then figured if she couldn't buy one, she could have one tailor made. Phyllis was unsuccessful again. The tailors she spoke to could not understand why in the world she would want one of those suits. Many of the tailors didn't even know what a Zoot Suit was! That did not stop her; she then moved her search to Orange County, and again, no success. By this point, she realized that a market had to exist, but a supplier did not. Finally, after about six months of searching and being criticized for wanting to start a Zoot Suit business, she found a tailor in Santa Ana that claimed to know how to make a Zoot Suit. That is where she met Edmundo Galvan, a Master Tailor from Chulula, MX that knew how to build the original Zoot Suit. Edmundo was working at a Sweat Shop in Santa Ana, so he was eager to get away from the harsh conditions and begin working for Phyllis. Big Ray found Edmundo an apartment and he started working for the Estrella family full time. Now that they had the main ingredient to build the Zoot Suit, they were now officially in the Zoot Suit business.
The Artist behind El Pachuco
El Pachuco needed something to indentify itself to the world of Pachucos. Phyllis went on the hunt again trying to find someone that could draw a Pachuco so she could use it as a logo for the store. With no luck in finding an artist that could draw what she wanted, fate brought in a young man by the name of Julian Mendoza, who had walked into the store to purchase a Zoot Suit. Julian became a returning customer and was in the store a few times before he showed Phyllis his artwork. Phyllis was floored by Julian's drawings. One day, Phyllis asked him how he was able to draw the Pachuco scenes so well. Julian answered, "I think it's because I live the Pachuco lifestyle and dress like this all the time, so it just comes natural to me." After a few months, Phyllis purchased one of his originals for $400 and started using it in her advertizing campaign. Now, the El Pachuco logo is known worldwide, and is even used in the lining of the Zoot Suits, as well as the tags.