Life In Mexico

Know Your Source – Chiapas Master Leather Artisans

Louis Vuitton.  Marc Jacobs. Chiapas?  I spent 1/3 of my life working for the companies who churned out “it bag” after “it bag”.  I remember adding people’s names to the waiting lists for the multi-color Murakami bags at Vuitton!  Now I’m here in Chiapas and certainly not working on “It bags”, but instead working on creating sustainable livelihoods through broadening the potential markets of rural master artisans.  Not to mention providing guidance and ideas on various products and styles that can be made from local materials and marketed to a wider demographic. 

Handmade Chiapas Bags - Artisan Made

Consulting on the new Teo Clutch with the artisan (Chiapas, 2013).

The quality of  the leather goods they produce here is astounding. On top of that, they work with all local materials – and –oh my- do they work!  Preparing the skins is definitely not easy.  First they have to wash it and then allow time for it to dry.  Sounds easy enough.  Next, it’s the machete work!  Skins are quite thick and are difficult to manipulate if they’re not light and thin.  They take their big ol’ machetes and scrape scrape scrape until they get the skins to the preferred thickness.  Now, they have something they can work with. 

Chiapas Leathergoods

Oiling up the leather with some natural vegetable oil (Chiapas, Mexico 2013)




In the case of every leather artisan we work with, it’s a family affair.  The fathers and sons work together, the sons learning from their fathers, the mothers and daughters helping in the workshop.  Some of the artisans are award winning, another should be a stand up comedian, and others work with very well-renowned local designers.  

Chiapas Handmade Leather Goods

Getting the leather ready in Chiapas, Mexico (2013)

We are here to introduce you to the folks who make your leather goods.  Take a look! 

———>  Passport Holder:

——–>  iPad Mini Sleeve:

——> Leather and Handwoven Fabric Tote:

——> Recycled Huipil and Goatskin Clutch:


2 thoughts on “Know Your Source – Chiapas Master Leather Artisans

  1. We love that you are helping raise awareness for ethical business and increasing demand for items produced by artisans. By working together we believe it is possible to keep artisans employed and end unethical labor practices worldwide. We think you might like some of our Fair Trade items which can be found on our website at
    Thank you for supporting Fair Trade!

    • Thanks very much for your comment. It’s wonderful to hear from likeminded folks. Thanks for directing us to your site. If we can partner together at any point, please contact us. (contact at All the best, C

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