It's Finally Here!

It’s Finally Here!
By Brianna Griesinger, Marketing and Communications Coordinator We did it! We finally launched our 2018 line, Cielo y Tierra!

We’ve been telling you all about this line for months now, giving out just small sneak peeks. Now that we’ve launched, we finally get to share our artisans’ beautiful work with you, and you can hop on over to our online store and check out all our new products for yourself!

The line started as we welcomed our new head designer Alejandra Carrillo-Muñoz in Ollantaytambo back in July. The team began playing with brand new concepts and testing out natural dye recipes, and by the end of August our artisans were already hard at work making weaving and knitting samples.

We told you this line was different from anything we’ve done before, and we think that is pretty clear to see at first glance. The line includes several new products such as the backpacks, cosmetic bags, and baby headbands, not to mention new takes on several favorites, such as the shoulder bags, cowl scarves, and boudoir pillows. Nearly every product received a touch up, like zipper pulls or the pocket added to the exterior of the yoga bags for carrying your phone and keys. We added tassels, pom-poms, and textured weavings, giving everything a fresh and modern touch.

While this line is exciting for us to present, it has been a long road of learning for our artisans. When we first showed them the designs, they expressed concern at the new techniques. Our artisans have been weaving since childhood, and they practice this ancient art the same way their mothers and grandmothers did. Many had never experimented with varied textures in this way. After a good pep talk, a few were willing to take on the new designs, and then others joined them. The designs require “them to reinterpret traditional weaving motifs through different, new and unusual techniques,” Alejandra explained. In the end, their execution was beautiful. Once they got working, they proved themselves as the talented artisans that they are, and further proved to everyone just how skilled they are when it comes to textiles.

When the first samples were finished, the artisans came to the office in Ollantaytambo to see the completed products for the first time. Our staff arranged the room like an art gallery so they could walk around and see their work. The energy in the room was contagious as everyone was so excited to see what all of their hard work was transformed into: stunning bags, pillows and accessories. The women laughed amongst themselves as they tried on the bags and knitwear. They knew this was something special. “I love these designs,” Yolanda, one of our weavers from Patacancha added.

“We are working hard to give Awamaki a fresh take on contemporary fashion and accessories,” asserted Alejandra; “we feel it is a great time to further explore and celebrate the talent and skill-set of our Artisans and our team.” It has been a whirlwind of a year, as our artisans continued to impress us, embraced challenges put in front of them, and dedicated their time to improving the lives of their families.

We know we never could have made it to this point without your support throughout the years leading to this beautiful new line of gorgeous artisan-made goods. We hope that you admire them and their creators as much as we do!

Now jump on over to the ‘Shop’ tab to view it all for yourself!

About Awamaki

Awamaki is a nonprofit fair trade social enterprise dedicated to connecting Andean artisan weavers with global markets. We collaborate with women artisans to support their efforts towards educational and financial independence by co-creating beautifully handcrafted knit and woven accessories using hertiage techniques.