Moacir and I have been home for 3 weeks now and have been adjusting to life back in Australia. Coming back home has been beautiful. There is nothing like the feeling of being reunited with your friends and family. At the same time, our heart is torn between two places. We miss the friends we made in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Guatemala, including all the artisans we met and worked with. We miss our family at Mision Mexico and we miss the breathtaking scenery, incredibly kind people and the uniqueness of each day.
Despite missing so many things, coming home with a purpose and a dream is extremely special. As soon as we came home to Noosa, I spent a week setting up our Cielo office. I unpacked beautiful blankets made by San Juan la Laguna’s Single Mothers Weaving Co-operative and instantly Victoria, Ingrid and Betty’s face appeared in my mind. I put bags on display from the Santo Tomas Jalieza Weaving Co-operative and memories from our time with Humberta, Betty and Evelia came flooding back. I placed colourful blouses made by the Jolom Mayaetik Women's Weaving Co-operative into boxes and memories of Liz and Elvia helping me choose these pieces were vivid in my mind.
We have started a business that we are passionate about and I genuinely get excited by looking at each handcrafted design. But what makes Cielo even more special is that we can positively impact the lives of the people we developed those relationships with. Knowing that the sale of one of our pieces contributes directly to the artisans, their families and their community is incredible. I have been working tirelessly since I’ve been home and the motivation has not left me once. This is because I want this business to go well for myself and Moacir, but I also want to give each artisan more of a sustainable income for years to come. Many of the weaving co-operatives we work with do not see much tourism. Currently in Mexico, the teacher strikes and road blocks are driving tourists away from these areas. We are only small right now but are hoping that with time we can order more pieces and further support these talented, creative, hard working and innovative artisans. They deserve that and so much more.
Once the online store is up and running we will also be donating 5% of the profits from each sale to Mision Mexico Children’s Refuge in Tapachula, Mexico. This is another reason for us to keep striving and working hard as we hope this can grow over time. Pamela Skuse (Mision Mexico’s mother) came to visit two of the weaving co-operatives that we are working with. We were so happy to have her come along to meet some of the artisans behind Cielo. Moacir and I are so excited to be able to give a little bit back to Mision Mexico as they have given Moacir so much. If you would like to know more about Mision Mexico and why it is so special to us, click here.
For the next month Moacir and I will be busy setting up the online store. There is so much work to do but we are thrilled to share it all with you. A lot of people have been asking when our launch date will be and as soon as we know we will announce it on social media (the blog, instagram and facebook), so keep an eye out! Thank you so much to everyone who has followed our journey and shown interest in Cielo! Your support means so much to us.