We are all woven together!

Plans Ahead!

Posted January 3, 2021 @ 11:39am | by Melanie

Reflecting on the past year, there have been some unexpected results of a very challenging year for many. If I selfishly focus on my personal life and business, I am grateful to say we have found an interesting path forward.

I have been fortunate to intertwine travel and business as a lifestyle. What started as a backpacking trip in the Andes in 1985, led me to turning adventure into a travel and textile adventure businss of thirty five years ! My lucky stars!

The textile business heavily relied financially on the travel part of ArtAndes. Designing culture art history trips to Peru & Ecuador paid for my rugs. It was a clever way to keep the looms going, old world tapestry weaving is a dying art. I could be less restrained with rug ordering as I was always generating new interest to this fine craft of weaving with my tour groups. The spirit of the weavings drew interest to Peru,  we were fortunate to be in some of the best art fairs across the country, this was one of my marketing tools for filling small group trips. I could be a well paid guide and my artist friends in Peru could sell their wares to the kind & appreciative traveler who signed up for a trip. The connections made in rural areas with community visits was sustainable for both craft and culture. This kept us going!

When both trips and art fairs canceled in 2020, I was pretty certain that was the end of the textile business. I left my large studio showroom of 16 years, had a sale and sold the excess textiles I collected over the years, which made my little barn work quite well for the new showroom and an anticipated wind down.  But Covid created a high demand for the beauty and function our rugs provide and we are winding up!

I am committed to keeping a family of six weavers in rug orders through 2021. The Quispe family is being reenergized by the next generation, with the oldest son Samuel stepping into his fathers shoes to mange the workshop. Samuel has been weaving since he was young, but he was more recently pursuing his dream to own a restaurant and doing quite well…until the pandemic forced him out of business.

Having the energy of the next generation can make all the difference for the continuation of craft this coming year. Yet behind all the hard work is Pascuala, the mother & woman that keeps it all together. AND, now that the kids are grown (and weaving) she is now able to dedicate time at the loom too. You will want one of the 2 x 3 rugs she is weaving!!  Put a Pascuala rug in front of your kitchen sink for years of everyday appreciation and joy.  

We are hopeful and thankful to preserve the craft. We are working on new rug designs for spring! After that…Andean travel!

 
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