It’s been 19 months since I’ve been to my home in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca. In the past several years I’ve been walking, eating for healthfully (gluten and lactose free. Most of the Oaxaca and Chiapas made clothes from my beautiful collection do not fit! I’ve gone from size large or medium to small/extra small.
In the weeks to come, I will be posting these for sale. Buy them now and I will bring them back to the US and mail them to you when I return on November 15 — just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
I’m posting a preview of some of these here today. There are many more. So, please look for future postings!
How to buy: Tell me the item you want by number. Send me your mailing address. I will send you a PayPal invoice after you ID your choices. The invoice will include the cost of the garment + $12 mailing. I’ll be mailing from Taos, NM when I return.
More to come in the next days. Thanks for considering!
Rosario is my Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, friend who is an excellent embroiderer. I asked her to make more shoulder bags to send to me to offer to you. The dimensions are similar for all of them:
The bag is 8″x10″ (Because they are handmade, there is some variance.)
The shoulder strap is 43″ long. Use as a shoulder or cross-body bag.
They are lined and have an inside pocket.
The zipper is sturdy and easy to use.
The floral motif is carried over from front to back.
The embroidery is dense and detailed.
Each bag costs $58 plus $12 mailing. Total is $70. We can combine orders.
To Buy: Please email me email@example.com with your name, mailing address, item number and your payment preference. I will mark it SOLD. You can purchase using Venmo, Zelle, or PayPal. I will send you account information when you tell me you are ready to purchase.
I’ve known Rosario for years. She comes from a humble family that works hard to make ends meet. I have encouraged her to develop her sewing and needlework skills, and give her a new sewing machine a couple of year ago to help her sew dresses and blouses and to make these bags.
Thank you for supporting this handwork. It’s not too early, either, to start thinking about the season of gift giving and how special a handmade gift from Oaxaca would be!
I just received another group of 14 French knot embroidered blouses from Francisca in Aguacatenango, Chiapas. The needlework is extraordinary! Francisca is one of the finest blouse makers in this tiny village of blouse makers. The finish work is amazing. All the seams and hems are done by hand. There is no machine stitching used on this 100% cotton garment! The bodice and short sleeve version are filled with smocking.
Recently, Francisca’s husband Antonio left Chiapas to migrate to High Point, North Carolina, to find work. He is bussing and washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant. It is decent pay and he is sending money home to clear up some debts that accumulated during Covid. The men in small Mexican villages are underemployed or have no work there. Mostly, they are subsistence farmers who do not sell to each other because they all grow the same crops. It’s the women’s work that often sustains the family, and with a drop in tourism, income has declined dramatically. I continue to help them by buying outright and offering these beautiful blouses to you for sale.
This group has eight (8) garments that are size Large and six (6) garments that are size Medium. Most are short sleeve for easy summer wearing. They are made out of breathable Mexican manta, a natural cotton that softens when washed. Care: machine wash in cold water on gentle using a mild soap (like Fels Naptha or Zote), hang to dry, press if desired.
Each blouse is $120 plus $12 mailing via USPS Priority Mail.
To Buy: Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, mailing address, item number and preferred payment method. I will mark it SOLD, send you an invoice to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Choose if you want to buy using PayPal. Venmo or Zelle. I can also send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use these payment methods. All sales final.
Special orders accepted for XL and XXL @ $150.00 each. 50% deposit required. Takes 45-60 days to make. Please contact me if you are interested. Choose red, royal blue, deep purple, lavender, light blue, lime or forest green, yellow, orange, beige. Available in long or short sleeve. email@example.com
In red, I have 3 size large with short sleeves, and 3 size medium with short sleeves. Order by number. I will mark each one sold until they are gone!
SOLD. #1 Red Size Large. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice.
SOLD. #2 Red Size Large. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice.
SOLD. #3 Red Size Large. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice.
SOLD. #4 Red Size Medium. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice.
#5 Red Size Medium. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice.
#6 Red Size Medium. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice.
In blue, I have 4 pieces that are size Large and 2 pieces that are size Medium.
SOLD. #7 Blue Size L. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
SOLD. #8 Blue Size L. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
#9 Blue Size L. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
#10 Blue Size L. Short Sleeves. 14″ wide embroidered bodice with tie neck.
SOLD. #11 Blue Size M. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
#12 Blue Size M. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice with round neck no tie.
SOLD. #13. Spring Green Size M. Short Sleeves. 12″ wide embroidered bodice. One piece.
SOLD. #14 Spring Green Size Large. Long Sleeve. 14″ wide embroidered bodice. One piece.
Thank you for browsing and your consideration to support our worthy artisan.
I love this bag style. I’ve been using one like these for walks, hikes, and just everyday wear for the last year-and-a-half. It’s functional and versatile and colorful and cheerful. Just about everything fits — a coin purse, credit cards, lipstick, pen and notebook, hand sanitizer and alcohol spray, lipstick and moisturizer, kleenex, and even pepper spray — just in case!
So, before I moved from Durham to Taos, I designed and commissioned my Teotitlan del Valle friend and sewist/embroiderer Rosario to make 10 bags that Janet brought with her from Oaxaca. They got packed away for the move and now, I’ve unearthed them and they are for sale here.
Each bag is durable and one-of-a-kind. They are cotton, lined, have an inside pocked, a zipper closure, a 41″ cross-body shoulder strap. They can be washed inside-out in the washing machine on gentle cycle. Each bag body is approximately 9″x 9-1/4″ in size. Priced at $45 each. Buy 2 for $80.
Remember, these are hand-made and there may be slight imperfections. All sales are final. No exchanges or refunds.
How to Buy: Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, mailing address and item number. Tell me if you want to purchase with PayPal, Venmo, Zelle or Square. I will mark your choice(s) SOLD, send you a payment link and add $12 for cost of mailing.
A handmade, hand-woven textile from Oaxaca is a meaningful gift this year when so few tourists are there to support artisans. Instead of taking you into remote villages to meet the makers this year, I am bringing what they make to the USA to offer them to you. Please support them.
We can collectively help alleviate the economic ravages of Covid-19 this way. Please consider helping the women who make these beautiful garments by making a purchase either for yourself or for a loved one. These are one-of-a-kind treasures.
Growing the organic, native cotton in small mountain plots.
Cleaning, carding and then spinning the cotton with the drop spindle (malacate).
Picking locally sourced plant materials for natural dyes; buying cochineal and indigo from specialty farmers.
Making the dye baths and dyeing the threads.
Dressing the back-strap loom.
Weaving the threads on the ancient back-strap loom.
Hand-sewing the wefts of cloth together with intricate stitches to make a garment.
Washing and pressing the finished textile.
Packing it up and mailing it to us to prepare for you.
Measurements: First number is width. Second number is length. Width is measure across the front, side seam to side seam.
To Buy: Please email me email@example.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services–so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.
Where is Las Sanjuaneras Cooperative located? At the end of a winding mountain road up from MEX 200 on the coast at Pinotepa Nacional is the weaving village of San Juan Colorado. It’s about four hours from Puerto Escondido and is part of our Oaxaca Coast Textile Tour 2022 (next year). Meanwhile, we can support this talented group while we wait until it is safe to travel again!
Textile Care: Dry clean or wash by hand. To wash, turn garment inside out. Immerse in cold water using a mild soap such as Fels Naptha or baby shampoo. Don’t use Woolite — it leeches color. Gently massage the cloth. Squeeze and roll in a towel to absorb excess water. Hang to dry. Use medium steam heat to iron if needed.
Return Policy: We support artisans and funds get transferred immediately. There are no returns or refunds. This is a final sale.
To Buy: Please email me firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please be sure to select Send Money to Family and Friends! — DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
Norma contributes personal essay, How Oaxaca Became Home
Norma Contributes Two Chapters!
Click image to order yours!
Norma Schafer and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university program development experience. See my resume.
Study Tours + Study Abroad are personally curated and introduce you to Mexico's greatest artisans. They are off-the-beaten path, internationally recognized. We give you access to where people live and work. Yes, it is safe and secure to travel. Groups are limited in size for the most personal experience.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, universities and other organizations come to us to develop customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Our Clients Include
*Penland School of Crafts
*North Carolina State University
*WARP Weave a Real Peace
NEW: Oaxaca Textile Walking Tour. One-day Oaxaca walkabout, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Explore select textile market stalls, galleries to learn about Oaxaca’s rich and diverse textiles. Compare quality and cost. Contact us to schedule yours.
Hands-on Dye Workshops + Textile Experiences
We offer textile experiences in our studio where we weave and work only in natural dyes.You can see the process during our textile tours, dye workshops or customized weaving experiences. Ask us for more information about these experiences, customized scheduling, and prices.
1-Day Oaxaca Textile Walking Tour When you visit Oaxaca immerse yourself in our textile culture, how is indigenous clothing made, what is the best value, most economical, finest available. Suitable for adults only. Set your own dates.
Coming Soon!One-Day OaxacaCollectors Textile Tour. You are interested in those special pieces not easily found in galleries, shops or on the street. You want to buy direct from the maker. We take you to meet artisan makers who live on the outskirts of Oaxaca, and who represent their families and cooperatives who live in remote regions of the state.
Stay Healthy. Stay Safe. In Oaxaca, wear your mask. Questions? Want more info or to register? Send an email email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Maps: Teotitlan + Tlacolula Market
We require 48-hour advance notice for map orders to be processed. We send a printable map via email PDF after order received. Please be sure to send your email address. Where to see natural dyed rugs in Teotitlan del Valle and layout of the Sunday Tlacolula Market, with favorite eating, shopping, ATMs. Click Here to Buy Map
Dye Master Dolores Santiago Arrellanas with son Omar Chavez Santiago, weaver and dyer, Fey y Lola Rugs, Teotitlan del Valle