The Tlalli Design Vision

A refuge from the world of mass production.  Mexico is home to a breathtaking diversity of artisans working in all manner of materials and employing techniques that go back generations and even hundreds of years.  Most artisans work independently or in small family workshops where they retain full control over all aspects of the production process.  The skilled craftspeople with whom we work embody a model of labor that privileges artistry over efficiency, a sense of pride in one's work over the pressures of the mass market.

A quest for the uncommon.  Most wholesalers and retailers who buy in Mexico source their products through trade shows, working with suppliers that can produce in large quantities for the export market.  As a small boutique importer with deep roots in Mexico, we are able to travel off the beaten path, often working with artisans who are unable or unwilling to supply the larger commercial buyers.  

A belief in the value of cultural knowledge.  Nearly all of the artisans whose work is represented in our shop utilize techniques that are historically significant.  Many come from indigenous communities whose cultures vary widely in different parts of the country and whose relationship to the dominant mestizo culture is often conflicted.   We believe that an understanding of these complexities is the most powerful sign of respect that we can pay to the artisans with whom we work.

A commitment to design excellence.  One of the most exciting aspects of our work with artisans is in the area of design.  This work is collaborative by nature.  In some instances we commission work that involves the application of traditional techniques in new ways.  In other cases, we bring artisans together to generate new ideas that would be impossible to achieve separately.  The results of such collaborations are entirely new product lines that both respect the integrity of traditional production techniques while also appealing to contemporary needs and tastes.