Tag Archives: colombia

First Craft Show

23 Oct




I did my first craft show yesterday at a small church in North Tonawanda, New York. It wasn’t really a show that reached my target market, but it was very close to my house and I managed to make six sales. Not great, but covered the cost of the table and then some.

More importantly I got to do a bit of networking, met some great people in the area including some fellow Etsians who stopped by to show their support and say hi. I handed out a whole bunch of business cards, online discount codes to people who attended the show and got a lot of great feedback on the products.

People were very interested in the story of how Made in Mogotes came to be. I put together a display book of photos from the village, how fique and guadua turn into bags and jewelry. I heard a lot of life stories. I learned a lot – about what people actually purchase at churches in small towns, about things I need for the display, about bits and pieces that may have come in handy.

Overall, even though I didn’t exactly make a killing, I didn’t ever expect to in the first place and I think it was a successful experience.

The next one will be a shopping night in Lancaster on November 11, but more details on that closer to the date.

On a side note, I added a section called Vinyl Ventures to the shop. It’s for some garden products like bird feeders made by my dad. They’re perfect for winter, maintenance free and classy so check it out if you get a sec.



A Fique Spooling Contest

12 Jul

One of the main materials the artisans at Made in Mogotes use is fique. If you haven’t seen the process, check out this page. About a week ago, as part of the Corpus festivities in Mogotes, a fique spooling contest was held.

This is where the fique is transferred from what looks like a long ponytail onto a spool that is sold in the shops. At this point, it is already washed and dyed. Some women prefer the older method of the wooden machine with the foot pump. Others use the newer machine that does the same thing in a different way.

The fique is hung from long pieces of guadua next to the machine to begin. Whoever spooled it quickest was the winner. Thought I’d share some photos so you can see where it all starts when the bags are made.

A few artisans waiting for the contest to kick off. 

The new version of the spooling machine.

Ready to work on the old machine. 

Spools on the new machine

This woman was pretty incredible to watch.
She is completely blind yet she participated in the contest and did a great job of it as well.
A lifetime of practice.

To see bags made from some of the fique artisans in this little village of Mogotes, Colombia, hop over to the Etsy shop.

Featured Product Sale: Brown Stripe Wristlet

30 Jun

*Buy this wristlet here today only and get 20% off the item price.

Eliana, one of the artisans for Made in Mogotes was inspired after completing the Brown Stripe Backpack we sold to the lovely Leslie in Tennessee. So, she finished up this nice little piece yesterday with similar colors. It’s brand new and up for grabs. Completely handmade (well, besides the zip…)

In celebration, whoever wants it gets 20% off if you buy today only. Hope over to the Etsy page to check it out along with plenty of other choices.

If you like the design but prefer some bright colors or butterfly or bow detail instead of a flower, just say the word and it can be created for you as a custom design at no extra cost.

Made in Mogotes

29 Jun

That bag you sling over your shoulder every day… do you know who made it? Where it came from? What the materials are and how the materials were made? I didn’t, until I came to Colombia and started to meet some of the artisans who sit in living rooms in the tiny village of Mogotes rocking babies in strollers with one foot while fiddling with knitting needles and fique.

One afternoon, we were on the farm when I heard a zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz of what sounded like a chainsaw coming from the farm next door where fique plants were growing in abundance. It meant they were being cut. We walked over, ducking under the stiff, pointed leaves, and were welcomed to watch the entire process of how the plants become mush. Another day, we were down by the river, and I watched the mush being cleaned and hung in the sun to dry. And then, at a neighbor’s house, how the cleaned mush material is separated into spools of thick, rough thread. It’s dyed. I went with Eliana, one of Mogotes’ artisans, to buy stacks of fique. She taught me how to make a small wristlet. Shops take the bags from the artisans and transport them all over Colombia.

Made in Mogotes was created to ship fique bags and other products using guadua and other materials from Mogotes all over the world. It’s meant to introduce you to some artisans and crafts that are lovingly handmade in a country that is brimming with creativity. Stay tuned for products, interviews and other goodies here. And in the meantime, check out the Etsy shop. It’s new, but will be growing quickly.