Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Liz Sanchez. My husband (Rey) and I live in San Antonio, TX with our three children. My favorite things are exploring new nooks and crannies in our city–even better if it is in nature! Put me by the water on a beautiful day and that is about all I need! 🙂
What exactly is Tribal Designs?
Tribal Designs is a collaboration with a community of indigenous women in Central Mexico. They live a remote, mountainous area, and their jewelry-making is a main source of income for them.
What inspired you to start Tribal Designs?
We lived in Central Mexico for about two years, and used to accompany an outreach group once a month to this particular village. During our visits, we would often bring out clothing and food. The remoteness and environmental harshness of where this village is located (at the very top of a mountain) creates a very unique set of challenges for the families to be able to survive and thrive. Even so, they are true artists, dreaming up creativity and beauty and making that come out in the pieces they create. Their determination to create beautiful–against all odds–really blows my mind.
How did you come up with the name?
The idea of working with these ladies was on my heart for several years before we actually took a step towards doing it. I felt for sure like the word “tribe” should be in the name, since the women belong to one of the oldest tribes in Mexico–the Huichol tribe. My original thought for the name was “Mountain Tribal Designs”… since the women live in the Sierra Madre mountain range. However, after taking votes from several people–the consensus was “Shorter is Better”. 🙂 I was happy to be able to work a mountain into our logo! 🙂
You empower women artisans through Fair Trade, can you tell us about that?
The women we work with find themself in a very marginalized position. Being a women, they don’t have the same rights and authority as the men. Also, within Mexican culture, they are often stigmatized for their culture. I share this because our goal with Tribal Designs is not only to provide income, but also to take every opportunity to say, “You are important to us. Your voice matters. We are about all of us–we are better together.” On the practical side, we discuss with them the prices we will offer them for each piece before each piece is made, so that everyone is honored in that.
How do you find your artisans?
(See above) 😉
What is your favorite part about running Tribal Designs?
My absolute favorite is whenever I get to spend time with the women. Seeing their faces, being able to see how they are doing, sharing jokes and laughter along with sad news– all of those things are the fuel in my tank to keep going! I also love problem-solving, and there is all kinds of that involved in this endeavor! 🙂
What is your least favorite part about running Tribal Designs?
I pretty much love everything about it… but, I will say: I will be thrilled when I can have a professional doing my promoting and social media output. It’s not my area of expertise!!
Is there a favorite product?
Ah!! How to decide? I will say I wear our earrings the most–because they are such an easy way to dress up an outfit or make a fun statement for the day… and we have such a wide variety!
How do you spread the word about your company?
Any way we can! We are on Facebook and Instagram. We have a website (www.tribaldesignsmx.com) and do send out email updates to our customers. We also spread the word through markets and vendor events, as well as partnering with several boutiques that are selling our pieces in their stores! So exciting!
Do you have any advice for fellow entrepreneurs?
Start with what you have. Do that first thing, and then do the next thing. Ask questions, use Google. 😉 You won’t know the whole picture at the beginning, but you will know each step when it is time to take it. Just. Keep. Going.
Do you have a favorite quote or go to saying? ☺
“Not everyone can do big things. But each of us can do small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I’m so thrilled to be able to share Tribal Designs with you! THANK YOU so much for reading! We hope we will be sending you your own handmade creation soon!