JOIN US IN CELEBRATING FASHION REVOLUTION DAY

Why The Fashion Revolution Matters

by Hadley Armstrong, Marketer at Ketzali

When I first moved to Guatemala, I knew nothing of its traditional weaving techniques, its artisans… and really nothing about the “fashion world” in general.

I came to Guatemala because I had always admired its strong passion for culture and natural beauty. When you’re in this country, you literally feel like you’ve gone back in time because you’re surrounded by one of the greenest and most untouched environments, with thousands of people wearing stunning traditional Mayan dress. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

That’s why when I met Maya, the owner and founder of Ketzali, I was more than eager to learn about her mission of employing local artisans to create clothing for her emerging brand.

Maya invited me to visit many of the artisans who work with Ketzali in their rural communities across the country. Some of these artisans—like Pasqual-- have almost a dozen sons and daughters who all work together to weave their products. Within minutes of meeting them, I could tell that their traditional weaving skills had become a big part of their lives—both as a lifestyle and as a career for their entire family. Weaving provided them all with clothing, an income, a skill, and a livelihood. It was then that I truly realized what an impact weaving has on Guatemalan culture. Not only is it a career and specialty for thousands of people throughout the country, but the different weaving patterns also represent what town you are from, your marital status, and how old you are. It’s not just clothing to them—it’s an identity and a way of life. Day in and day out, Guatemalan artisans work to sell their creations, but with the number of artisans and the lack of demand, sometimes families can’t make enough to send their kids to school or even eat dinner at night. Maya’s passion for weaving and textiles combined with her love for helping local men and women succeed are at the very heart of Ketzali.

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When Maya officially established her company in 2011, her goal was to create collections that could appeal to stores across the world while still upholding traditional Guatemalan weaving techniques. That way she could employ local artisans and also market the products to a larger audience to create more projects for the weavers. Her vision would give artisans the opportunity to increase their incomes, practice and improve their skills, and learn new techniques.

Within a few months of working with Ketzali, I began to realize more and more how important the Fashion Revolution really is. Fashion, one of the biggest markets in the world, employs millions of people in numerous countries, yet many of the people who make our clothes are not given the opportunity to have a fair wage or healthy working conditions. Companies like Ketzali are very rare, so it’s so important for us to spread the word: behind every piece of clothing, stands a person.

Now, ten collections later in 2015, Ketzali has helped employ dozens of artisans and women co-operatives throughout Guatemala, improving all of their living and working conditions. We have built priceless, irreplaceable relationships with our artisans, and we have watched them work hard to gain more respect for themselves and their unique skills. The next time I go to buy to a piece of clothing, I will remember the faces of each and every one of the artisans who work with Ketzali. Who made your clothes? Think about it.

Behind the Scenes

As we get ready for our Semana Santa (Easter) holiday here in Guatemala, we can't help but think of how much we appreciate all of our artisans and their families. Without them, Ketzali would not be here today. Remember that all of our pieces are individually handmade by a woman or man in Guatemala, and every product we sell has a story and person behind it. We hope you find a piece that speaks to your heart, and when you wear it-- you will always remember that someone worked hard to create a gift especially for you!

What's New With Ketzali?

Hello friends!

Now that we have our new website up & running, we can't wait to add more pieces to our online store. Keep your eye out during the next few weeks for new products to pop up online!

xoxo,

Ketzali

Trajes Tipicos - San Marcos La Laguna

During the months of July and August, the different towns and cities from Guatemala crown young ladies as their queens so they can participate in the coming activities for independence week in September.

Since our studio is located in San Juan, we were able to see our town's tradition and how they crowned the upcoming queen. Other queens from diffent towns attended this event to show their friendship to the previous "reina" and to support her as she crowns the next "reina".

The first queen we will talk about is from San Marcos La Laguna! The traditional blouse "guipil" is made of cotton and the color red means the blood that the Mayans shed. The belt "faja" means mourning and the embroidery is an homage to the lake.

Ketzali's wall @ Queue Agency!

Check out the first pic of our wall at Queue Agency. We took this pic after hanging our handmade wood scarves-holders / decorations! Jane and her team will be placing different styles on the wall depending on which market she will be showing!! The wood decorations are such a great compliment for the scarves!



Want to see our newest collection in NYC? Visit:


Queue Agency


Jane Kim


A. 511 W 25th Street.


Suite 505. NY,  NY 10001


P. 917.701.1128


E. jane@queueagency.com

Mother's Day 2011!


We were so happy to celebrate Mother's Day with all the women we work with in San Juan! We had such a great time with them and we share some fun stories and ate a very- yummy cake! We also gave them many copies of different articles we found about woman's health, exercises, nutrition, and weaving techniques.