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The artisans she buys from use traditional,
handmade methods. She sells
blouses and necklaces featuring chaquira
(hand-beading). A large picture of
Gonzalez’s grandmother hangs above
the checkout counter, showing her working
on a brightly colored huipil using a
traditional backstrap loom.
The designs on the artisans’ products
are inspired by what’s in their
environment, like birds, animals,
flowers, and even people and farmers.
Gonzalez sources items from a
collective, too, to share more artisans’
work. The clothing tags show
how long the pieces took to produce,
which can be anywhere from
one month to nine months.
“It’s an honor for us to be able to share
the artisans’ work with everyone,” she
The boutique also carries accessories
like glassware, hand-painted hats, and
earrings with pressed flowers made in
Mexico. It also carries linen products
from Italy and American brands she
sources from the Garment District.
In order to be sustainable, Gonzalez
doesn't buy in bulk.
Although Gonzalez started online,
she’s happy to have a retail store, and
said customers enjoy coming in to try
things on. After months in quarantine
that may have resulted in gaining some
extra pandemic pounds, she said many
women appreciate the flowy items
she sells, like a 100 percent linen frock
from Italy with a faded tie-dye pattern a
woman tried on when I visited on a busy
Saturday. Gonzalez gently checked on
shoppers and suggested other items if
something wasn’t the right fit.
When Gonzalez opened the store,
she kept the handmade, Mexican
apparel to the side, thinking it wouldn’t
be a huge seller. She was happy to
realize she was wrong — it’s “the main
thing people like,” and is now the first
thing you notice when you walk in.
“People gravitate toward the
handmade,” she said. “Some of them,
it’s because they want to learn more
about the culture. Some of them,
it’s because they care about the
environment, so they’re really inspired
by the way the designs are made and
the intention, and some of them just
really like that they’re different.”
Gonzalez is working with artisans to
fulfill custom orders, some of which
are for traditional Mexican clothing
designed in modern silhouettes. Plus,
another artisan who makes tenangos
(ponchos) is creating cropped versions.
In the beginning, some customers
shied away from buying traditional
clothing because they thought wearing
them would be cultural appropriation.
That’s a misconception, Gonzalez said.
It’s not harmful to Mexican culture —
it’s actually helpful. It means a lot to
artisans that consumers value their
work and want to wear it, and it keeps
“If you appreciate and support
artisans, you are not culturally
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