I've always taken a more personalized approach to running a company. Travelling back and forth between Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala and back home to Canada allows me to spend quality time with our artisan partners. We share similar business goals, and we share meals. They have a very special place in my heart, and are like my second family. The artisans do not work for me, rather I am working for them. They want to create and sell their products - my job is to help find them clients. And it is an absolute privilege and pleasure to be able to share their story of preserving their lives and their culture through art and design. 

Leanne McElroy  / Founder

Meet the Makers: Ecuador

On any given morning, the Ecuadorian town of Otavalo is a rainbow of textiles. It is a special place of history and tradition, where centuries-old artisan practices continue to thrive in villages around the northern town. The Indigenous Otavaleño people have been weavers since pre-Incan times. Wander through the village to hear the chatter of mechanical and manual looms at work. This is a town that winds down, not up,

in the evening, since so many of its residents rise early to make goods for the day ahead.

Our artisan partners proudly carry out a centuries-old art form in the creation of our blankets and textiles. They weave to preserve their history, heritage and family story.

A craft passed down from the generation before them, husband and wife Juan and Luz Maria are master weavers, creating some of the softest blankets in the highlands of Ecuador. Juan learned directly from his father, who was a pioneer of textiles in the area. Luz Maria gained insight and knowledge into the world of fibres and cloth from her father who worked with manual wooden looms.  And they have passed on everything they know to their daughter Sandy, so that she is able to keep the family business thriving for the next generation to come. Together, for the past 25 years, they have built a family owned and operated business using age old expertise and cultural heritage combined with modern technology, and are able to provide steady employment to 15 families. Each and every purchase supports their ability to continue to grow and economically

support their community. 

Meet the Makers: Mexico

This cooperative of Zapotec women was started by Pastora, the oldest of five sisters, as a way to provide for her family after they lost their father. Over 25 years later, and this weaving group still exists as a way for single moms, widows, and unmarried women to make a living.

Smiles widen with pride as the women told us about the different stories and symbols found throughout their weavings. Symbols of beauty, liberty, nature and history are woven into each thread...everything that this cooperative stands for. These weavings aren’t merely objects to fill a home - they are artifacts of their own personalities and their Zapotec roots.

Local sheep wool is washed, combed, carded and hand spun into yarn. Yarns are hand dyed using all natural elements, including seeds, tree bark, bugs and leaves. Once the yarn is ready, a traditional pedal loom is used, and each yarn is woven one-by-one to create the design. Depending on the size, each rug (or tapete) takes about a week to complete.