Life In Mexico

5 Reasons that THIS is the Perfect Summer Blouse

chic mexican folk blouse

These blouses are amazing, especially as we’re heading in to the steamy days of summer.  They are deliciously made by hand, created by the talented weavers of southern Mexico and best of all – they’re BEAUTIFUL.  They come in tons of fun candy colors and also just simple classic classy white.

  1. These blouses are handmade in the truest sense of the word.  The artisan starts with a glorious pile of threads and turns those magnificent threads into this blouse.  All the while adding in the small design detail and brocading their unique signature into the blouse.
  2. This is slow fashion.  This blouse wasn’t cranked out in a factory in Asia.  No, this blouse took over a week to create using a technique that dates back to the Mayan period.
  3. This is ethical fashion.  Only local materials are used – not because it’s a trend. No, just because that’s how things are done in rural Chiapas.  Further, not only is the artisan paid a fair wage for her work, she also works from the comfort of her home, near her family.
  4. This blouse looks great on ALL body types.  Are you square shaped?  No problem, in fact, so is the blouse.  Are you a little wide through the shoulders?  No, problem, the blouse will look great on you.  Have a bit of a tummy?  Don’t worry, this blouse flows great on all body types.
  5. Support rural artisans.  Yep, you can also feel good about purchasing a blouse like this.  You contributed to the continuation of a cultural tradition, to the economic development of a community, and to the support of women artisans.
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It´s fun to show off our cool Mexican blouses on #viernestradicional

Our best-selling Margarita blouse in hunter green with beige hand embroidery. Exquisite hand-detailing – we are in love with these blouses! Super light weight and great for summa-summa-summa time! And yes, our dog Wembley likes to dress up too! #wembleyforever

Life In Mexico

It´s fun to show off our cool Mexican blouses on #viernestradicional

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Traditional Fridays #ViernesTradicional

el pasado viernes 28 de febrero dio inicio la campaña #viernestradicional promoviendo el uso de prendas tradicionales/ artesanales en san cristóbal de las casas, chiapas. la iniciativa propuesta por impacto textil y la dirección de patrimonio urbano de la ciudad, alcanzó el interés no sólo de la gente local sino de otros participantes del país. queremos invitarlos a unirse a este movimiento local promoviendo en sus redes y compartiendo sus propias imágenes en fb, tw o ig con el #viernestradicional.

on friday, february 28, the traditional friday (#viernestradicional) campaign was launched in san cristobal de las casas, chiapas to promote the use of traditional and artisanal dress. this initiative is being promoted by impacto textil (a local ngo) and the city´s cultural patrimony office. it is not just a local movement, it is already circulating around the country – and hopefully the world! you are invited to share this fabulous initiative on your social networks, and better yet – participate! take a selfie in your favorite traditional outfit and share it on facebook, twitter or instagram using the hashtag #viernestradicional.

Life In Mexico

Traditional Fridays #ViernesTradicional

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Life In Mexico

Lighweight Spring Scarves

In the winter, scarves are a necessity, but in the spring, they’re a must have accessory!  These are some must have scarves for spring – not only are they lightweight, but they’re super versatile and go from being a chunky neck scarf to something light to cover your shoulders on Saturday night in your LBD.  And to top it all off – they’re handwoven on the backstrap loom.  Handwoven means the artisans started with just threads, and with their immense skill and talents, they wove these threads into a scarf using an ancient technique passed down for generations.  You won’t find that artisanship quality or soul at the GAP.  

 

Here are the top picks:

 

Classic White – your everyday go to scarf that just screams ¨Look out everyone, spring is here!¨ 

Colors & Tradition – For the girl with a bit of a wild side with an appreciation for fine art and creativity of the rural artisans.

Poppin’ Red – Make your bright red statement with this handwoven scarf for a pop of color on those days with April showers.

 

View the entire handmade scarf collection at www.chiapasbazaar.com

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Life In Mexico

Our Mexican Wedding Favors

At our recent wedding in Tulum in the Riviera Maya, we couldn´t let our guests go home empty-handed.  Nor could we exclude something amazing from Chiapas – the state where Mauricio is from and Courtney´s adopted home.  

Working with the artisans, we put together small passport holders for our internationally traveling guests.  We made them out of telar from San Andres, had them lined with a polysilk material and made them in both bright pinks and more subdued colors for the men.  We also gave small bags of organic Chiapas coffee – another one of our favorite items from this fabulous state.  

Here´s a little peek at what we did.

www.chiapasbazaar.com

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http://vimeo.com/74925913

This word, telar, is thrown around a lot here in Chiapas. We use it quite a bit on Chiapas Bazaar too…like in this blouse, in this table runner, and much more! But what exactly is telar? How can we translate that to English?

Technically, the word telar means loom. But we also use the word telar to signify the actual fabric that comes from a loom, specifically the backstrap loom, which is used with amazing skill here in Chiapas, Mexico. So when you see one of our products that says telar, then you’ll know it comes from the backstrap loom.

This style of weaving in Chiapas dates back to the period of the Mayans. In fact, some of the symbols that you can see on the murals at Bonampak still make an appearance here in the weavings of the artisans. The history and this tradition is mind-blowing. Young girls start to learn how to weave at a very young age, carrying on the tradition of their mothers and grandmothers. When using something made of telar or wearing something in telar, you are wearing years and years of tradition.

Below is a video that shows how to set up a backstrap loom. Yes, for a non-weaver, it’s as complicated as it looks!

Life In Mexico

The perfect gift for your mother-in-law

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There are certain people that are really difficult to buy gifts for, like that really rich uncle and your dad.  Or even your own mother-in-law.  The gift must be tasteful, classic, and hopefully something that she will use.

We have a tip for you today.  The easiest gift you can get her (unless she lives in tropical southern Mexico like mine) is a scarf.  “Ay dios, how cliche!”, you’re saying as you close this blog post.  Wait.  This isn’t just a scarf.  This scarf is special. This scarf has a story that you’ll be able to share with your family members around the holiday table.  You’ll tell them how it’s handmade in Mexico.  You’ll tell them how it’s made using a technique that has been perfected for over 1,000 years – a technique passed down from the Mayans.  You’ll tell them that it takes over a week to hand weave (yes, thread by thread) this scarf.  You’ll tell them it also created employment for women in rural area of Mexico.  Now, you see, it’s not just a scarf.  It has ancient history, it creates jobs, and – mas que nada – it is outrageously beautiful, soft, and goes with everything.

It might be not appropriate for your gazillionaire uncle, but we are sure that your mother-in-law will love it!

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Life In Mexico

The Plight of the Artisan

We’re really thrilled to publish this chill-inducing post by our friend and supporter, Emily Getty . As a seasoned international development professional who has visited Chiapas and lived in Mexico, as well as many other places in the world where artisans toil to survive, she has a meaningful insight into their plight.  

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The Plight of the Artisan

By Emily Getty

Woman Weaver in Chiapas

 

 

I see it in their weary faces, their callused hands and tired feet.  I see the glassy eyes, behind them wrinkled thoughts.  Their work is colorful, vibrant, and beautiful.  Their lives are lived in poverty, without access, without. This is the plight of artisans.  They do what they know.  They make beautiful things in dire circumstances.  Their deepest imaginings come to life on their chosen canvas be it teak wood, wool, linen, cotton or dried reeds.  They make tradition dance before us in colorful scarves, woven baskets and engraved boxes.  They string orange, blue, white and red beads into an intricate pattern that to them tells a history of love, loss and survival.  They work endlessly to preserve their mind’s creations in forms that speak to others in a way that moves them. This is the plight of artisans.

 Artisan man working in Chiapas, Mexico

 

Artisans are everywhere.  They are trapped in situations that force them to hang up their passions and work to survive. They are trapped into making the mundane graphic t-shirts with stupid phrases because they sell.  Their creativity is trapped.  Many are too far away to make a living from their art and are forced to choose a life less beautiful to provide for their families.  Chiapas Bazaar is giving back the power to the artisan and in doing so bringing back the beautiful diversity of artistic goods in Mexico.  Here is to the hope of the artisans trapped in the cocoons of survival.  May you emerge as exquisite butterflies painting the skies with a brighter future.Women artisans working in a village in Chiapas, Mexico

 

 

 

 

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