this is a sponsored post
A few years ago I “met” Em from Little Tienda
via instagram. She posted a few photos of her beautiful Mexican blouses and I gushed and swooned and before long, a white cotton number was in my wardrobe. It’s much loved and always worn.
I know many of you have experienced the same feelings; delicate embroidery and vivid colour has you hooked. But do you know Em’s story? She travelled to Mexico as a child; her memories of that journey still strong. Twenty-seven years on she continues to treasure the souvenirs from her trip – a hand-loomed Falsa blanket and a pottery cat. She’s visited Mexico many times (most recently in 2013) and with each experience her love of the country and its people grows. I spoke to her about Little Tienda
, her support of hand-crafted and fair trade and what it’s like to be a working mother of 3.5 kids (she’s due soon!).
After the birth of my third child, my brother asked me what I was going to do now. I answered: ‘Raise three children.’ He reminded me of my years in the corporate world and the many years of tertiary study and suggested a couple of things that I might want to try. I said to him that if I was going to do anything it would be the creation of a little shop from Mexico. So Little Tienda
(‘tienda’ means store or shop in Spanish) was born.
Tell me a little bit about the craftsmen that create your products – where do they come from, how do they live and why do they make what they do?
We have artisans that supply pieces to us from all over Mexico. Most of our clothing comes from Oaxaca and Chiapas – both states are well know for their textile artisans. I have visited three of the families in their homes and have spent time with them and their children. They live in beautiful little houses, filled with laughter and joy. 3-4 rooms (living, kitchen and bedrooms) and the bathroom/ laundry outside of the home. Small by Australian standards but bursting with pride and love.
They create traditional Mexican clothing by using techniques passed down from their mothers and grandmothers (we make some modifications to suit the Australian style). They choose to create clothing because it allows them the flexibility to work from home (toddlers at their feet if need be) and take their older children to and from school. This resonates with me – it’s how I have chosen to work and I know I’m lucky to have the opportunity to do so.
What are your best selling products?
Our most popular pieces are the Las Flores Dresses
(all three of them) for their casual and easy wear, the Zita Dress
for the exquisite embroidery, absolute comfort and undeniable style, the Florecer Blouse
for sweet embroidery (perfect for everyday wear) and the 100% cotton serape
, handwoven and ideal for the beach, picnic, couch or bedroom.
You’re a mama of 3.5 kids – how do you balance work and motherhood?
I work really hard and know that the rewards for my efforts are being with my kids whenever they need me. I feel so blessed to do what I do, so grateful for the support that I receive from my customers and so proud to support women and men in their craft throughout Mexico – how can I not put in 100% everyday? I am so passionate about Little Tienda that is hardly feels like work (although book keeping -seriously, why?). I am also reminded by other incredible women that we are all doing our best. I am sure there are days when I fail someone, but on the whole I just focus on the bigger picture and work one day at a time to piece it all together.Do you own a piece of Little Tienda? If so, how do you like to wear it?