Join in this conversation of what it means, to be in ethical business, working in Guatemala with local artisans and with the rich textile tradition that resides here.
With Jess B of Stela 9.
Stela 9 began in the summer of 2010 by an archaeology assistant with a love of Mayan culture, artisan leather crafting and weaving traditions. The line was created through a meticulous process of sourcing precious stones, recycled textiles and locally sourced leather that represent our worldly aesthetic and the importance of preserving cultural traditions of artisans throughout Latin America. Our items are handmade by skilled artisans. Stela 9 directly contributes to the livelihood and sustainability of the indigenous communities that these cherished items travel from.
Guatemala is a developing country with a struggling economy, especially for those of indigenous Mayan descent. Limited access to education, financing, and infrastructure make it extremely difficult for artisans to excel here. Our business is defined by our passion to commit to socially responsible merchandise. Through our handmade process of working directly with indigenous artisans we are able to focus on quality while contributing to the livelihood and sustainability of the communities whose jobs are at risk to machine manufactured goods. We strive to compensate our artisans with fair and competitive wages and collaborate on designs to honor their traditional methods as well as promote innovation.
The label was and continues to be inspired by a need to preserve vanishing cultural traditions and fill a void in the market for journey influenced accessories and apparel. By doing this, we are creating a sustainable solution to improve the quality of life for Guatemalan artisans and weavers by creating custom textiles and using locally sourced leathers for beautiful handbags, footwear and apparel. We aim to set a precedent in social, ethical and environmental fashion by continually meeting the needs of our customers by working with artisan groups that fulfill our high standards. When you purchase a Stela 9 product you’re helping to create in valuable jobs and also provide a sustainable income for the beautiful, hardworking people of Guatemala!