I was recently interviewed by My Sanctuary Shop on my brand and how I got started. That fun exercise brought me down memory lane of when I really started this Textile Loving Adventure of Mine.........
Back in 2004, I worked for Hyatt Hotels and as an employee, we received free hotel stays, so I forced my best friend to booked a trip starting out at Tuxtla Gutierrez, where we got a free hotel stay and from there traveled to Paleque, Chiapas and San Cristobal de la Casas in Mexico.
That's me at the ruins in Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico ~ 2004
After Palenque, we made our way by bus to the town of San Cristobal de la Casas. My best friend and I were not well traveled enough to do research about any tours or excursions. I honestly remember being in the main plaza one morning and a guy waved us down and asked if we wanted to go on a day trip....SURE! Thinking back, that was probably not smart, but as luck would have it, this spur of the moment attitude ended up being one of my first true experiences meeting artisans and watching their unbelievable talent.
The van drove our group to a small village called Chamula, about 30 minutes from San Cristobal de la Casas. The experience was so unexpected yet special, I still remember that trip today.
The town of Chamula is home to the Indigenous Tzotzil Mayan People that speak Tzotzil, a Mayan language. We were invited into their homes for a delicious lunch of fresh tortillas and ground up pumpkin seeds. We could then watch them weave and shop all their textiles.
Here I am, a sweaty hot mess, helping myself to the pumpkin seeds. The flavor was something I have never tasted before.
One interesting fact that I remember from the tour was that the Chamula people, have this interesting belief that burping cleanses the body of evil spirits, so, they drink a ton of Coca Cola to get themselves to burp. Don't believe me? Read more here.
Do you know that our Wooly Animals that we design and have in the shop are handmade by Tzotzil Women Artisans from Chamula? Back in 2004, I did not realize they made these. It was only a few years later I came to realize this. I enjoy carrying these bright color animals, not only because they are beautiful, but each ones reminds me of this first artisan experience, completely unplanned.