Don Luis owns and runs a small weaving workshop and employs 3-4 other people.
Based in the Andes Mountains in the North of Ecuador, they use traditional wooden handlooms and some other hand-operated looms to weave their magic into our Classic blankets, throws and scarves.
After a year of working in Ecuador, our local associate Renè and I were dissatisfied with our initial supplier and began searching for a new artisan to collaborate with.
We returned to the bustling marketplace in the North of Ecuador where we had found our original supplier, but this time we were returning, not as tourists, but having more experience in business and knowing exactly what we were looking for.
In a market full of hundreds of people, we saw this man with a beautiful smile and peaceful energy and made our way over to say hi to him. He took us to his home for our first meeting and it was here we started showing him pictures of the products that we wanted to create with him.
Surprisingly, he already knew the products because it turned out he had been the one making them the whole time! We had not known we had been dealing with someone who was just a middle-man.
We thought this was quite a magical experience and laughed about the chances of meeting our current maker in a marketplace full of so many people. It felt like a very meant-to-be moment and from that time on we have had a direct relationship with this humble and honest man.
Since 2017, we've had the pleasure of working with Don Luis and witnessing his growth, both personally and professionally. Over the years, his family has expanded, his business has thrived, and he has even renovated his house and added an extension.
Due to the pandemic, it had been difficult for us to travel to Ecuador and see Don Luis and his family in person. However, in 2022, our local associate Rene was finally able to visit him again. During his trip, Rene spent time with Don Luis and his team, taking them out to lunch and discussing production plans for the coming year. Together, they set deadlines and goals to ensure timely completion of our orders.
Once production was complete, Rene returned to Ecuador to inspect the products, check the colors, and organize the shipment to Australia. It's these personal touches that set us apart and make our collaboration with Don Luis and his team so special. We're proud to work with such talented and dedicated artisans, and we're grateful for the opportunity to continue our partnership for many years to come.
At La Sierra, we believe in the importance of ethical and sustainable production, which is why we work directly with artisans like Don Luis to create our products. By building personal relationships with our makers, we can ensure fair wages and safe working conditions for everyone involved in the production process.