"When I began to work in a disciplined way, I realized I needed to be more constant and my creativity needs to evolve. This showed me … that listening to my own heart is transcendental."
Update (July, 2019)
“When I was presented with the opportunity from NOVICA, it allowed me to share my passion for colors and work in a more disciplined way. Seeing trendy designs made with the traditions of the loom is very powerful for me.
“I encountered challenges everywhere. One of the toughest challenges throughout this adventure was being a victim of crime; they stole all of my wares. Sharing this is painful, since I had to start from scratch. But, this situation has given me strength.
“One of the parts that I love the most about my work is preserving traditions, and I believe that this is my mission. I use traditional symbols from my community, some of which have disappeared altogether. I know the significance of each one.
“Today, my primary goal is to establish my brand. I am proud of doing my job. I learned from the age of 12, and it makes me happy to see my much younger daughter doing it.”
Original Artisan Story
"I was born in a Maya town in the highlands of Chiapas. For as long as I remember, I'd watch my mother and grandmother weaving scarves and rebozo shawls and I loved it. Their dedication was contagious and I wanted to weave from the first moment I saw them.
"Sometimes, my mother would let me take some of their weavings to school to sell. But I wanted to help them more. I began working on the backstrap loom. It's a fascinating part of the weaving process.
"The color combinations we can achieve are incredible and we even use metallic golden threads for a touch of elegance.
Thanks to my mother's patience and her careful instruction, I was able to master the backstrap loom.
"Looking around me, I find inspiration in the colors of nature, the majesty of nature and the gifts she gives us each day. When I imagine certain colors, shapes or brocades, my hands try to respond to the original idea until the design is completed. My hands and I are great companions.
"When I began to work in a disciplined way, I realized I needed to be more constant and my creativity needs to evolve. This showed me the importance of self confidence and that listening to my own heart is transcendental.
"Every day, I work together with my family. We usually talk together while we work and this has let us get to know the creativity of each person. It strengthens our confidence in one another, that assurance that each of us is a primordial part of this project.
"We use materials from the region, such as the wooden rods for the loom, which we collect from nearby trees. Then we place them on the loom and arrange the cotton warp threads from one extreme to the other, adjusting one end to the waistband and the other to a fixed point. We link the threads with the heddles and begin to weave.
"My next goal is to teach my daughters this beautiful art that has let me develop my creativity in ways I never imagined. I want to leave them this priceless legacy and teach them to be self sufficient. I dream of my work being seen and recognized in different parts of Mexico so that people say, 'This rebozo is the work of Silvia Ruiz.'"