Asking our Woman Artisans

Asking our Woman Artisans

international women's month


we speak with 2 amazing artisans about what it means to create and run a business as women

Speaking with "Lady Death"

In further celebration of International Women’s Day, our next entrepreneur and businesswoman is Rocio Chavez Marquez based in Tonala, Mexico. She runs her shop Catrinas Doña Muerte or Lady Death, which makes papier-mâché versions of the iconic La Calavera Catrina, which has become a symbol of Dia de los Muertos and was originally created by Mexican cartoonist Jose Guadalupe Posada in the early 1900s.

Rocio started seriously creating at 18 years old, having learnt from her parents, also artisans themselves. Born and raised in the artistic area, she always gravitated towards the diversity in the crafts and traditions of the region. “It took me a little over a year to develop my own technique and start making the Catrinas.”

“That we make all our products with a lot of love, with a lot of affection, and that they carry our essence.”

by Rocio Chavez

Once she had the formula, she began to develop the steps and create her own designs, and once she did, she hired other makers to help. 

“The truth is that I did not think it would grow so much. What I have achieved to date, that I have spent 33 years dedicating myself to papier-mâché crafts and 21 years dedicating myself to the manufacturing of Catrinas, it has exceeded my expectations!” 

As a woman what has been the biggest challenges/successes in running/starting your business?

Callings: When I started, the challenge was to work day and night to achieve what I wanted to do, even though they didn't believe in me. I had neither capital nor workers; later, I was able to hire workers and now we are like a family. 

Successes: I have already grown more and we sell to customers from many countries. Now we are more workers, I expanded my workshop and we work fewer hours, approximately 8 to 10.

What does it mean to be a woman in business for herself in your country?

It is a great satisfaction and a great pride to be an artisan and businesswoman in my country.

What message do you have for other women who want to start their own business'?

That with a lot of effort, love and dedication, you can achieve anything you imagine or want to do. You can do it!

Tumbled Earth, Kara Clarke.

We're introducing a new vendor coming to our Bazaar later this year and on our online shop possibly as soon as this summer! 

Meet Kara Clarke, she launched her earthy, handmade jewellery company Tumbled Earth in 2013 wanting to create modern designs that feel good to wear while also being versatile and easy. Surrounded by the mountains, rivers and lakes of Kimberley, BC it was natural to be drawn to the stones tumbled and worn by the waters of the Kootenay River. 

 As she puts it, "We don't just sell jewelry, we are on a mission to bring a little bit of nature's magical connection to women around the world." 

 She has this advice for women who want to start their own business, "Start now!  Don’t spend too much time thinking and stressing over all the small details until it’s perfect in your mind…because it never will be perfect.  Of course, you need to have your business idea and a thought-out concept of how to do it…but start it.  " 

We will let you soak up the rest of the advice she offers her fellow woman business owners in her own words. 

"Even the smallest of steps create momentum and move the needle forward towards your goal.  If you’re anything like me, I love to check things off my “to do” list."

She adds, "Failure is okay.  You learnt not what to do in business so you pivot and try something else. "

"To avoid burnout and bring your best self into your work she shares this wisdom,"Take care of yourself both physically and mentally so you can show up as your greatest self with the energy to take on your business. " 

"Being an entrepreneur is loads of hard work and takes determination and resilience so you want to feel your best so you can do your best.  I know for myself when I get enough sleep, move my body, eat healthy, mediate and nurture my relationships with loved ones; I am in such a good head space to tackle whatever life brings me. "   

You are going to give your best.  You are capable.  You can do hard things.  Today is going to be a great day.

by Kara Clarke

"Ask for help." She laments.  "We can’t do everything, even though we try sometimes.  Get as much help as you can from family and friends and as much as you can financially afford. " 

"As entrepreneurs, we wear many hats.  We are good at a lot but not great at everything.  In my business I get help for photography, book-keeping, jewelry making, running my brick + mortar store, marketing, etc. "

"The last thing I would like to say is choose positivity.  We can’t control what happens to us in life but we can choose our attitude. " The quote above Kara is the most important thing to tell yourself, sage words indeed that as fellow woman business owners we will be sure to take to heart!  

We are so excited to carry her product this upcoming Bazaar season, for now, check out Tumbled Earth's website!