Hand-woven accessories in Central America
"My dream motivated me to create my own designs and experiment with different colors.""I was born and raised in Guatemala, and all the women in my family are weavers. I remember when I was a little girl my grandmother teaching me how to dye with natural pigments, and how to weave. By the time I was 10 years old I was weaving on my own, when I got home from school. When I finished school I joined different associations in my community that were dedicated to textiles – I was in charge of selling their products.
"However, I really enjoyed the dyeing process most, and I was getting more interested in making dyes, obtaining different colors and shades, and in different techniques.
"Then I started working with private businesses dedicated to exporting textiles, and I began to dream. I dreamed of having my own venture dedicated to rescuing and preserving our textile traditions, especially the use of the backstrap loom and of natural dyes. My dream motivated me to create my own designs and experiment with different colors.
"Now I am working with some women who like me, like to dye and weave. I am also writing a guide about dyeing processes, including a list of plants and the colors they produce. I'm going to leave this guide in my village's library for safekeeping so we don't lose this beautiful art of dyeing that is respectful to nature.
"I am grateful to my mother and grandmother for all that they taught me, and also to all the people who trusted me with an opportunity to work for them, because I learned so much from them in terms of administration and design.
"Now that I've started my own venture, I can only hope it grows so that I may offer work to more women in my community, teach them about natural dyes, and in so doing, share with them an art form that they can pass on to their children, like our ancestors used to do.
"Another of my dreams is to have a garden where I can harvest cotton to teach visitors all about them, and I also want a nursery for cochineal.
"I am grateful to Novica customers for supporting me in my endeavor, because with their support, as well as that of my family and friends, I have managed to get to this point. I know I still have a long way to go, but this beginning fills me with happiness and energy to carry on. Thank you for your faith in me and my products."