Nearly a decade ago I drove from San Francisco to Baja, Mexico for the first time. The plan for that long weekend was to check out the Valle de Guadalupe - a burgeoning wine region in northern Baja - to drink some wine, explore the hills, and drive the coast. The trip was all of that, and then some. I was immediately enchanted by Baja - the stunning, unexpected landscapes, the slower pace of living, and the feeling of wildness from the vast open spaces, incredible oceanic life and abundant plant and animal biodiversity.
That first road-trip turned into many, as I could not stop returning to Baja and exploring more of the beautiful peninsula - from the Pacific Coast to the Sea of Cortez, from Tijuana to Los Cabos, and so much more in between. What keeps me going back is the extraordinary beauty of the region, and the kind and fun-loving people, their traditions and relaxed approach to life. I love the vaquero culture in the mountain towns, the small fishing villages dotting both coasts, the dozens of Spanish-built missions, the prehistoric rock art ... The miles upon miles of uncharted dirt roads into vast desert and empty beaches. So much to experience, learn and explore, and I cannot get enough.
In 2016 I spent the summer living in Baja and after a few months took the road-trip a step further, ferrying from Baja to Sinaloa (with my husband, our Jeep and two dogs in tow) to live and travel throughout mainland Mexico. That time really solidified my love for all things Mexico: the food, language, landscapes, design and most of all the incredible culture of artisanship. Many months and 20 Mexican states later, I returned to the US with ceramic pieces from Guanajuato and Guadalajara, textiles from Oaxaca, silver jewelry from Taxco, a few bottles of of mezcal, and a strong desire to fill my home with nearly every treasure I encountered. I continued visiting various regions in Mexico to research and learn more about the craft culture, and over the last few years have made personal connections with a number of talented artisans and craftspeople who I work with today. From there, The Artesanal was born.
Everything in our shop is curated by me. I collaborate directly with artisans as well as Mexican studios/brands in more than 10 regions throughout Mexico to offer beautiful and unique handcrafted home goods. Everything is made by hand in small batches (no factories) with locally-sourced and sustainable materials (no plastics, harsh chemicals, etc.). When sourcing items I prioritize quality and design, and all products are made to withstand years of use and enjoyment.
The opportunity to visit and work with a variety of Mexican artisans is a true pleasure and privilege, and something that I enjoy very much. Your purchase directly supports these artisans and their handcrafted products, and helps to promote the on-going survival of many culturally-important and generationally-learned craft practices. Furthermore, I always abide by fair trade practices (as defined by the Fair Trade Federation) - everyone I work with sets their own prices and are paid up front and directly. I prioritize lasting relationships and make a point to continue working with the same artists and artisans over time. Finally, I donate 5% of all proceeds to a mangrove restoration project in Baja, Mexico to offset carbon emissions, protect vulnerable habitat and support coastal communities. Your support in my small business not only allows me to grow, but is also a direct investment in the artisan partners I work with, in sustainable and intentionally-made products, in culturally-important craft practices, and in the planet.