An Artisan Mother’s Day During the Time of COVID-19

We asked our artisans what Mother’s Day is like for them, especially now during this worldwide health crisis. Here’s what a few of them had to say.

Gilda (Ruben and Gilda) – Guatemala – Jade Jewelry Artisan

“Mother’s day is a very special day for me, as I remember the most important role God entrusted me with. Leonel and Alejandro are by far the best part of my life. Being a mother is a full-time job and its reward is watching them grow, dream, and achieve each one of their goals.

We’ve been staying home during this time and this has taught me to value our family time even more. The boys have started to spend more time in the workshop learning our craft, and this has given us a lot of quality time. I think all of us needed this badly but never really had the time.

This has proven to be a difficult time for artisans like ourselves. Thank God we have the opportunity to keep selling through NOVICA and this has kept food on our table.” 

Marcela Par – Guatemala – Woven Handbags Artisan

“If the truth be told, being a mother is way too much fun. I have five children and living with them through each stage of their life has taught me a lot. I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy. I’ve been a widow for more than 10 years and it has fallen to me to become the sole provider for my family.

My children are my main daily inspiration. However I’m 52 years old and, during this pandemic, I’ve had to take care of myself even more. My workshop is a long walk from home and because of the quarantine and restrictions, I haven’t been able to work as I used to. I have a small loom in my house, which has let me work a little and I’ve managed to weave a few things.

This is a difficult time for me as an artisan, as local sales are basically nonexistent, but thank God I have NOVICA to keep selling my weavings to people all over the world. I hope this crisis passes quickly and we can go back to our small workshop even stronger.

I wish all the mothers in the world an excellent day. God blesses our task with the joy of seeing our children accomplish their dreams.”

Mayra Leticia Hernández – Guatemala – Backstrap Loom Artisan

“Being a mother is a total miracle for me. This is why this day is really special for me. 

Because of various medical problems, my hopes of becoming a mother were fading. My husband and I really wanted to be parents but my health didn’t allow it. Being a man of faith, he prayed every day for me to heal and that we could add a baby to our family.

We spent many years without good news until one day after some routine tests, the doctor surprised me with the news that I was pregnant. It was a total miracle.

Since that day I’ve been the happiest woman on earth with Gabriel, my first son. Today we’ve been blessed with another baby named Osiel Santiago. He’s six months old. I feel like God heard our prayers and provided the miracle of creating life for me and my husband.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been suffering from stress to the point that the doctor is a little worried. I haven’t been able to go out and sell my table runners. Right now, we don’t have public transportation in the country, and this is the only transportation I have access to. My only income right now comes from NOVICA, and I’m deeply grateful for your support during these difficult times.”

Guisselle Mora – Costa Rica – Blown Glass Jewelry Artisan

“I remember that, as a girl, my greatest desire was to be a mother. I had the best mom I could hope for — she was full of virtues and had a lot of love. I simply wanted to be like her.

I think this is why I have enjoyed each stage in the lives of my three beautiful daughters so much. They are a gift from God and the center of my life. This time of staying home has allowed us to share even more and enjoy each other. Some members of my family continue to work outside from home, so keeping our faith right now is very important for us.

I have taken this time as an opportunity to create new designs for NOVICA and continue that wonderful bond that has been built as an artist with my clients around the world.”

Elena Ixtamer – Guatemala – Backstrap Loom Artisan

“I’m the mother of four wonderful children. They have been my strength every day. They cheer me on to continue working to give them a better future.

We live in a little town called San Juan la Laguna. Here we have a small shop and we also do tours where we demonstrate the process of dying threads and weaving them into beautiful pieces of art. Our town is visited by national and international tourists every day. However, due to the restrictions during the pandemic, streets are completely empty and no one from outside the town has visited for over a month. I haven’t been able to sell even one piece here so, right now, I’m focusing my complete weaving capacity for NOVICA.

For the time being, this is my only source of income and the only way I can keep feeding my children every day. I’m thankful to all of you that keep buying the handwoven designs that I love so much.”

Mirian Otzin – Guatemala – Woven Wall Hangings, Backpacks and Handbags Artisan

“Being a mother is one of the things I’m most grateful to God for. It’s completely wonderful to carry another being inside of you, and holding my child in my arms is something you can’t put into words. That’s why a mother’s love is something so unique — because from the moment a woman becomes a mother, she will fight every day to give her children the best she can.  I learned from my mother whom I’m lucky to still have in my life, sharing all the special moments.

During the crazy times that we’re living with the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected us all directly, we’re lucky enough to have our health and be safe. However, our income has suffered; art is not one of the essential products people are looking for these days. All stores in Guatemala are closed and our investment in materials is standing still without the hope of a short-term return.

I’m grateful to NOVICA because, for me and many artists like me, this is our only source of income. Thanks to their system and the space they have opened up for artisan women like me, we still have hope that we shall overcome this. During these hardships, thanks to NOVICA we’re still crafting in our home-based workshops, making sure we’re following all the health protocols set by our health department. Also, NOVICA has made the rules we must follow to keep everyone safe very clear.”

Zandra Sajbin – Guatemala – Jade Jewelry Artisan

“I’m thankful to God every day for the blessing of being a mother. It’s something wonderful. I have three children. They are my inspiration to fight for their well-being. 

I wasn’t fortunate enough to have a mother. I grew up in an orphanage where I really missed that mother figure. That’s why I fight every day so my children have the love I didn’t have and, at the same time, they fill every void that my childhood left inside me. The best gifts they can give me are their love and hugs, and I wouldn’t exchange that for anything in the world.

This past month and a half that we’ve been home together has left us many wonderful moments. I’m still working, as the workshop is inside my house, but I dedicate more time to them.

Work and sales have been limited but I’m thankful for still having my sales with NOVICA. This is our main source of income and I hope it will be for many years to come.

Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day!”

Fabiola González – Mexico – Handcrafted Leather Handbags

“I feel deeply happy and grateful to have a doorway to continue sharing my work in a continual way.

With the global situation we are facing, for me, NOVICA has been a source of strength and happiness.

You have let me continue to support the artisans who collaborate with us, people who still believe in Mexican handicrafts.

Today more than ever, we need to be there for one another and stay strong.

Many thanks.”

Adriana Trejo – Mexico – Beaded Jewelry Artisan

“I’m very grateful for the support NOVICA has been for me and for my family.

With this quarantine, I couldn’t sell in several places like the market or in the streets because they were blocked. 

NOVICA has given me a sense of tranquility and the security that I’ll be able to meet my family’s needs. It gives me hope to know that my jewelry can continue to be sold on the Internet.

As a mother, I’ve become my daughters’ teacher, and motherhood has taught me to be more disciplined with my time.

I feel calm and strong. Many thanks to all of you who have supported us through NOVICA.”

Alaya Cholprasertsuk – Thailand – Batik Artisan of Apparel, Wall hangings, Décor

“Due to the COVID-19 situation, places have been forced to close. So I had to temporarily shut down my workshop and suspend all four artisans who work with me. I still have no idea when I can restart it again. At this moment, I can only sell through NOVICA. Even in this situation, it doesn’t all look bad if we know how to live our life happily.

On the coming Mother’s Day, as the mother of a teenager with special needs, I find it necessary to control the state of mind to feel relaxed and avoid conflicts. I want to encourage all mothers to overcome this difficult period.”

Sareeyakarn – Thailand – Gemstone Jewelry Artisan

“We can’t predict the future. I’m trying so hard to raise my children by myself as best as a single mom can do. Everything’s going well with income only from NOVICA. Thank you for all your support. We are depending on your purchases.

I have a small shop that brings in some money but, with COVID-19, I had to close it. And although my income from NOVICA is less than before, it helps us survive. Thank you, my beloved customers, because your purchases keep us positive. 

As a single mother, I’m very concerned about the changes in the world and how they will affect my children. I believe the power of any mother’s love will help us make it through this pandemic.”

Desak Nyoman Parwati – Bali – Batik Robes and Décor Accents

“During this pandemic, my entire life and everyone’s life patterns have changed.
Some of the artisans who help me cannot work as they should. Sometimes I feel confused and worry about how I’ll support my family and how to give work to my assistants if this situation continues.
I hope NOVICA shoppers will continue to support me, giving me the confidence that orders will come in. My sales in NOVICA not only affect my family life but also affect the family life of those who collaborate with me.

A clever person once said, “Business is not always looking for profit. There must be social benefits in it.” I believe that.

I speak not only as an artisan but also as a mother. Thank you, my respected customers. Thank you for giving me your trust. I will do my best to never disappoint you.”

Saktut Raitawati – Bali – Batik Robes and Apparel

“I am the mother of three children. One of them will go to university and another is in high school. It is very hard for me to be in this current condition. I don’t know when the pandemic will end. I will not be able to feed my family if conditions continue like this.

I hope NOVICA shoppers enjoy my work and purchase my batik apparel and accessories. I have to help the artisans and tailors who work with me to put food on the table for their families.

I am so grateful to NOVICA. You always care about the artisans and put our importance above anything else. Thank you for your support and attention.”

Telma Morais – Brazil – Painter

“I became a mother at the age of 42. Today, I am 72 and belong to the Coronavirus risk group due to age, diabetes, and hypertension.

I am at home, but the NOVICA team is working, selling, and packing my paintings. I am very grateful. I like to paint angels, saints, children, and picturesque scenes from my homeland.

Tais, my only daughter, is preparing the crib to receive her baby, my first grandchild. He is an ode to life and hope in this difficult time that we’re going through and renews my belief in humanity, in the birth of new values, in unconditional love and fraternity. 

On this special day in which we celebrate Mother’s Day, I want to say that Earth, our mother, is in labor and, amid pandemonium and pandemic, a new era is emerging.”

Tina Quaye – West Africa – Jewelry Artisan

God bless all mothers, especially in the circumstances of this unforeseen season. I pray that all mothers stay safe, and I pray that all of us meet again in good health, a year from now. I wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day.

I’d like to say thank you to all of you for the sales of my beautiful jewelry.”

Verita – Brazil- Painter

“Maternity, for me, translates into emotions rich in maturity, love, tenderness, and a heart overflowing with affection and unrestrained joys. It’s stunning!

I have two children, Marcela and Fabio. They are gifts from God. We always celebrate Mother’s Day as a family with lunch, cake, gifts, and lots of hugs and kind words!

This year, Mother’s Day will be celebrated with wisdom and distance with virtual hugs and kisses, with declarations of love thanking God for his grace and mercy.”

Vera Mariano – Brazil- Handcrafted Leather and Gemstone Jewelry 

“Ever since I was a teenager, I had the desire to be a mother and build my own family, surrounded by love, harmony, and understanding. I am the fifth daughter of nine brothers. I came from an unstructured and troubled family.

Thank God, I have managed to make my dream come true.

I am the mother of two wonderful children, Caio, 28, and Arthur, 21, who live with me and their father, Ricardo. I’m very proud and grateful for the men my children have become.

They inherited their parents’ taste and skill in the craft of leather craftsmanship, which has lasted for 30 years. We work together, but each one with his own style and creation. Our livelihood comes from our leather jewelry, which we sell at fairs.

Unfortunately, we are going through a difficult and delicate time. In addition to the fear of destroying our health, there is the aggravating factor of putting us in a situation of economic vulnerability. The indispensable social isolation suspended the fairs. We now depend on my mother-in-law’s financial aid and sales through NOVICA.

But in spite of everything, I believe that together we will soon overcome all difficulties. I believe that, in the current chaos, there is a greater purpose.

I wish all mothers much peace, love, and hope. And that soon you can receive the hugs of your children.”

Happy Mother’s Day to all from our artisan and from ourselves!

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