Hola! My name is Paola Del Carmen. I was born and raised in Guadalajara, Jalisco then at about 9 years-old my family immigrated to the United States. Ever since I could remember, I would count down the days until summer rolled around so that I could go back to Guadalajara.
México has always had a special place in my heart and I recently realized that this love I had for my culture has always guided me to find my place and calling today. My admiration for the dedication of our people, hard work, innovation, and perseverance led me to believe at a young age that no matter where I ended up, one day I would dedicate myself to sharing the magic I saw in them and our country.
Like many children in Mexico, I had the blessing to grow up at my Mamanina's house. She is my mother's mother and I have always loved coming to her house. Mamanina's house is comforting, warm, full of happy memories, so many family members, and endless amounts of food. My Tia Norma has always lived with her and as far as I can remember, was basically a second mother to me. She had her own little shop on the second floor of my Mamanina's house where she had sowing machines and was always busy making pantsuits for a local business here.
My Tia Norma has always been the kindest and most supportive woman, the Tia everyone goes to for everything. A few summers back, I had shared with her that I wanted to create a little handbag for myself that I could take back to Arizona and carry a piece of mi México querido with me. She told me she could help me as long as I found the material. I went on a hunt for the material and we ended up making about three or four of these handbags for me to take me back home.
The rest is history you could say... I took them back to Arizona and a few of my friends loved the pops of color, the story behind them, the embroidery, and the fact that it was a simple accessory that would compliment any look. I shared with my Tia that some of my friends had wanted one, and then that turned into friends of friends.
It felt like a crazy idea but I Skyped her and asked if she would like to do this with me and create a fun little business with our handbags. She was so supportive since day one and loved the idea of getting to be more creative with her work.
Mexico en la Piel
came to fruition....
I realized this was what I wanted to dedicate myself to full-time. I quit my job and after many months of going back and forth with my Tia about where we saw this going, I told her this was the path I wanted to take and she has been right there with me. Along with my mother, who has always believed in me and my father, who has guided me, I'll never understand what I did to deserve them both. Also my friends/cousins, who have never let me give up and are everything to me.
Pedacitos de Mexico....
We have sold many handbags throughout the years, created Palma Earrings made out of palm from Guerrero, added Mochilitas to our line made out of vaqueta. Then we launched our Cadenitas, jewelry that hopes to be a gentle reminder of who we are and where we come from. There is so much that Mexico en la Piel brings to my heart. The power to connect with many Artesanos throughout our country, the connections and stories that are shared, and the lessons that are learned.
I want to continue to educate our community about the value of learning from our people, traveling and hearing their stories. Supporting las cosas Hechas en Mexico. El arte de Mexico. La gente de Mexico. Los grandes maestros, los Artesanos. They are the future of our country while carrying handed-down magic and traditions in their hands.
Your direct impact...
You are impacting a chain of people every piece in Mexico en la Piel, there is a trail of hands who have created and contributed to making that piece. We work with around 9-12 local business to find each part needed to complete one of our pieces. We have built a community and a special bond with every local business we work with in Guadalajara as well as the Artesanas we stay in contact with even though we are miles away. There is magic in community, there is power in it.
Though Mexico en la Piel, we want to empower everyone to embrace their own beauty and roots and hope to take you along all our adventures, growing experiences, and learning moments in México.
Gracias por tanto.
Paola Del Carmen