Do you have "that thing" that every time you're out and about with it people stop you to talk about it? Maybe it's a car, pet or baby. Well for the past few weeks for me, it's been this purse. Old ladies, men, hipster chicks and moms have all been asking me "Where did you get that bag?"
Manos Zapotecas bags are handmade according to time-honored traditions by Zapotec weavers in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico.
It started when Shelley Tennyson (who previously owned and operated a whitewater rafting business catering to women, taught outdoor and adventure education in the mountains of California and taught English at a university in Tijuana so she's basically the original #girlboss) participatedin the En Via non profit microfinance program. What she realized is that the artisans were creating incredible pieces but were lacking the market and audience to take their businesses to the next level. And Manos Zapotecas was born.
Like most things in the artisanal world these bags are meticulously handcrafted and designed by the artisan group. I was offered a bag to review and it took me two weeks to chose one because they are just so beautiful. The straps are sturdy and, I hope this makes sense, have less shoulder slippage than a lot of other bags I own so carrying it around all day is really quite comfortable. The zipper is custom and the pockets inside just make sense and are constructed with as much quality as the outside of the bag. Each bag comes with a tag signed by the artisan that made the piece. I can't express how much I love that. Artwork is always cooler when it's signed by the artist.
The video below gives great insight into the company and the incredible weaving and dying process that makes each bag one of a kind. Additionally I felt a greater appreciation for the importance of preserving artisan traditions and the power of small business in the lives of women. This is a perfect bag for fall and an even more perfect bag to add to your Christmas (or whatever you celebrate) list.
I was lucky enough to receive this bag for review but all thoughts are my own. I don't talk about stuff I don't like, ain't nobody got time for that.