In this post we want to shed some light on how artisan goods are supplied and purchased in Mexico, how we as a company source our products and hopefully enlighten your perspective a little bit.
When travelling to a beautiful location such as Mexico it is all about the experience, memories and finding a way to preserve them when we come home. For many of us, souvenirs are a regular part of a vacation but do we give enough thought to what and how we purchase? The global souvenir industry is worth billions of dollars, and often provides vital income to those who need it, but it is also a largely unregulated market. It is almost impossible to stop the flood of cheap imports that take business and livelihood away from genuine local artisans. Souvenir shopping is not just about obtaining an item we want it is also an opportunity to gain cultural insight and interact with the local people. Supporting local and authentic makers is one of the best ways to give back to the community. That souvenir that you desperately want was crafted by loving hands and is more than just an item, it is representative of culture, talent, pride and sustenance. As such, it should be viewed with respect and paid a fair price for. We are often talking about quarters and dimes when we barter in Mexico, shaving points off a purchase where the savings don’t really matter to us but they do matter a great deal to the artisan and their family. In the same stride, we will waltz into Walmart and accept the multinational’s sticker price for any item without opposition. How does this make sense? Hopefully you will keep this in mind the next time you travel south.
As a company we proudly source all our products directly from small family based workshops. We know exactly what we are buying, where it was made, what materials were used and whose hands crafted it. We curate low batch, high quality items and we always pay a fair price for what we purchase. It doesn’t make sense for us to barter with our partner artisans as we are striving to create long term relationships with them that will benefit us both in the future. We are incredibly proud of our business and social practices and hope this shines through in our reputation and offerings. ♥