We chose the name “The Citizenry” to celebrate the people behind our products. Think our favorite part of our job is getting to build relationships with incredible artisans and share their stories. We couldn’t let 2015 pass us by without telling one story in particular.
It hails from a small village right outside Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s here that we stumbled upon a talented group of weavers known for their Zapotec-inspired textiles.
When we first met with them, right off the bat we felt right at home with a warm welcome from their mascot, a cute pup named Indigo. From there, the head weaver, Pastora, invited us into their open-air workshop to walk us through the whole process – from cleaning and dyeing the wool to weaving and stitching. Then, over a cup of Oaxacan hot cocoa, she shared how it all started…
After losing her father, Pastora, who’s the oldest of five sisters, started this cooperative as a way for widows, single moms, and unmarried women to earn a living. That was 20 years ago, and since then, the group has continued to grow, giving them the chance to refine their craft and bring in a steady income for their families.
We started our partnership with them about six months ago, and this collaboration has already produced some of our most iconic products: the Baya, Ceniza, and Espadin pillows. For every pillow sold, one-third goes to the artisans, one-third goes to shipping and packaging, and one-third goes to The Citizenry.
With this additional revenue, they’ve been able to make improvements to their homes, buy school uniforms for their children, and cover some of their medical costs. Needless to say, it’s been humbling and exciting to see this income make such an impact in their day-to-day.
For our first artisan grant of the year, we wanted to do something to help them continue to grow and build on this momentum. So, we’ve recently provided new sewing machines that will double their production capacity and earning potential.
We’re beyond proud of the products and partnership we’re building with this group. Together, we’re proving that business can impact social change. Thank you for supporting us and our partners so far. We’ve got big plans for 2016 and many more stories coming your way this year. So glad to have you along for the ride!