Update (August, 2019)
“We have been working with NOVICA for almost a year, which has been a great education for us as a family of artisans. It has been a beautiful experience to learn to work under a world-class standard. That has helped us to be continually learning and to work hard, to create more beautiful combinations of our colors.
“We owe this beautiful inheritance to my mother, who instructed us on the waist loom. She was a hard worker, and always looking for ways to support the family. And, more than anything, to preserve the inheritance of our roots.
“My mother taught us that each piece must be an object full of history; She taught me the beautiful customs of the ceremonial centers of Toltecas, and how each of our garments should reflect that mystical tradition. Each of our brocades reflects a worldview of our Mexico, an extension of the wealth of its people.
“We have had the opportunity to visit the shore of Lake Chapala, and to give employment to more than five people who make up this beautiful family team.
“I am very pleased to share this beautiful vision that is the basis of each of my clothes, which is not only mine, but a whole town, a generation that we have dedicated to this since we were very young. Continuing to create pieces full of color is the goal to follow, and sharing a piece of my mother's teaching makes me feel very proud and calm.
“Knowing that our pieces can reach other countries and we can share this tradition; it fills us with great satisfaction. Our quality technique and 100% handmade--that is our greatest essence and personal brand.”
Original Artisan Story
“We are the Toribio Díaz family. We were born in San Juan Cotzacon, in the state of Oaxaca. Since we were very young we learned the techniques of brocade using the waist loom. The practice of weaving with the waist loom has been practiced in our town for generations. Our family was one of those who decided to preserve this beautiful tradition.
“We started by observing our parents as a daily activity, and in this way we began to be fascinated by the beautiful brocades that our mother made each day. It was a fun challenge: the sleepless nights, and learning to make mistakes and move on. Our great tool which has allowed us to grow every day, is to be aware that we do what we love, and this allows us to share our passion with other people. We particularly love expanding our techniques for fabrics; and to expand our knowledge and offer a wide variety of styles to our customers.
“The process of each of our pieces begins from visualizing the colors, what texture it will have, how we will combine the colors, and above all, what we wish to transmit with it. Our inspiration is always the nature of our surroundings, and each touch that makes our beloved San Juan Cotzacon authentic.
“Our main raw material is cotton fabric (we love its versatility), and the mercerized thread that is used to make brocades; which we get in Villa de Mitla. Each one of the corresponding activities is distributed according to each one's taste, from the direct contact with each one of our clients, to attending the fairs and exhibitions, and the bulk creation of each of the styles we work with.
“Our desire at the beginning of this project was to consolidate our work and share it with the respectful people and lovers of our Mexican folklore. We learned the beautiful value of discipline and hard work; but above all, trusting ourselves on the fly. Realizing that we are capable of being disciplined gave us a drive that we never imagined.
“We love sharing our work; it has given us experiences that allow us to remain focused on our mission. One of the challenges was not speaking the English language, so we communicated through signs with our foreign clients. Our next goal is to preserve the artisanal technique of the waist loom brocade; demonstrating the pre-Hispanic ancestral motifs. We are always innovating and perfecting our techniques, with a specific goal of maintaining quality.”