On this day in 1531 the Virgin de Guadalupe was sighted by a humble man named Juan Diego at a place called Teypeyacac, in what is present day Mexico City. She asked Juan Diego to go to the Bishop and petition him to build a temple for her at the foot of Tepeyacac. The Bishop was suspicious of Juan Diego and called for proof. The Virgin told Juan Diego to climb to the top of Tepeyacac, where he found flowers growing completely out of season. He wrapped the flowers in his cape and brought them back down the hill to the Bishop, The Image of the Virgin appeared on the cape. The Bishop was humbled and set out straight away to build the Temple.
On this day millions of pilgrims come from all over the world to Mexico City to visit the Virgin de Guadalupe. Skeptics are quick to point out the unlikely coincidence of the Virgin's appearance on Tepeyacac, the very site of an Aztec temple dedicated to Tonatzin (earth goddess, mother of the gods and protectror of humanity) which had been devastated by order of Bishop Zumarraga.
On this special day, all of Mexico, and all Mexican sons and daughters on the other side gather for the celebration of the Virgin. An endless parade of pilgrims from the country’s four points appear at her Basilica with their flowers, songs, chants and prayers. They stream in processions led by indigenous dancers, to every church named for her. Wreaths of flowers adorn the signs of streets, neighborhoods, and towns bearing her name. Religious orders, churches and the millions of men, women, boys and girls named for her are especially joyous, as they share her special day.
The nation releases an immense sign of tenderness and experiences a profound expression of Mexican roots and essence and love for Our Lady, Virgen Maria de Guadalupe.
By the early hours of the morning of December 12th, in every niche and cranny Mexico, the burst of fire crackers is heard and their brilliant lights crown this great fiesta dedicated to the Mother of all Mexicans... Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Here we are again, already gearing up for the Holidays! This season we invite you to join us in consciously shopping with a purpose. In other words, we invite you to make your purchases count towards more than just the act of buying and giving. We encourage you, as patrons of the artisans, to help the local and global community through commerce.
Thoughtful giving is always on our minds at aesthetyX, and this Holiday season we strive to offer you a wide variety of unique products hand-crafted by local and global artisans along with fair trade and socially responsible gifts. We want the meaning behind each one to touch your soul and that of the recipient.
'Tis the season to shop, and so we hope you will think of us and the work we strive to do for change. We are thankful for all the patrons of the artisans out there in the world that support our mission.
Every year when the air starts getting crisp and days become shorter Dia de los Muertos seems to arrive sooner than I am prepared for and I always want to do some special in honor of this reverent Holiday which I have grown to cherish.
This year we decided to collaborate with our friends Farra & Juan Miron who have started a wonderful foodie project called 'La Mesita sin Nombre' (the little table without a name) where they host wonderful dinner parties once a month that are food and beer pairings that feature farm to table local food and local unique beer selections, usually in their lovely home in North Park, San Diego.
We supplied all of the 'ofrenda' (altar) decor complete with the vibrant orange marigolds and fuchsia coxcomb as well as the papel picados. The ofrenda turned out amazing, Farra & Lucera make an incredible arch complete with handmade paper flowers combined with the fresh marigolds. The arch perfectly framed a piece of artwork by Farra & Juan's friend Emilia of a charming Dia de los Muertos wedding couple, it was the perfect centerpiece. The ofrenda was adorned with momentos from loved ones passed including photos, dolls, notes, candles, and special items in memory of all of the loved ones gone before us. We made sure everyone learned about this wonderful holiday so that they could appreciate the celebration even more.
As always, Farra & Juan outdid themselves both with the gorgeous spread and the delicioso comida! The margaritas welcomed us in gorgeous glass dispensers and beautiful flowers adorned the tables amongst the wide variety of home-made salsas y postres (desserts).
The 'piece de resistance' and star of the show was the 'Mole Magnifico' - a true labor of love that took hours of collaborative work. Everyone participated in stirring the very large cazuela of mole on the hot stove all night long (including Charles and I). The mole did not disappoint and I have to admit that I helped myself to seconds and thirds and gave myself a self-induced stomach ache by the end of the evening.
We look forward to continuing to honor this wonderful holiday and invite you to learn more about it and participate in our celebration next year... stay tuned.
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated to remember those friends and family members who have died. In keeping with this tradition, please join us on Sunday, November 1st at 4pm to celebrate the lives of our loved ones. Please bring an offering (food, beverage or special memento) for the “ofrenda” or altar that honors the departed. Homemade molé, margaritas and micheladas will be served. Come celebrate your loved ones with us! Here's the address: 3673 Grim Street San Diego, CA 92104
¿Que dice? Did you say molé? Ok, count me in! My Dear Grandmother loved molé. I'll bring her even more chocolate for the ofrenda. See you at the fiesta! -D.K.
aesthetyX and Institute of the Americas invite you to celebrate and benefit the work of non-profit organization, Barro Sin Plomo (BSP) "Clay without Lead" and Mexican artisans on the evening of November 5th. The evening will include a reception and sale of lead-free pottery, a presentation by BSP leaders Victor Aguila, Anna O'Leary and Cisco Pinedo. There will be a video by Galatea Audiovisual with wonderful footage from the BSP documentary in production, "Tierra Brilliante".
The event will take place from 6-8 PM November 5th at Institute of the Americas on the UCSD Campus: 10111 N. Torrey Pines Road. La Jolla, CA 92037
Hopefully, all of that information from our post "Evolving to Fair Trade" has sunk in. We ask you kindly, to take on our mission for you this week. In honor of Fair Trade Month, we ask you to tell three friends about Fair Trade: What is it? What does it mean? Why should you buy it? You can also tell them where you buy you Fair Trade products, and encourage them to do the same. Throughout this month, events will be held around the country to celebrate Fair Trade Month. To find out what events are being held near you, or how to start an event yourself, head to the calendar on the Fair Trade Month website!
Have you attended a Fair Trade Month event already this month? Let us know about it! Comment on this post and tell us all about the event! Thanks for sharing your knowledge of Fair Trade with the world!
GRUPEDSAC- Group To Promote Education and Sustainable Development, is dedicated to offering solutions for poverty in the Mexican countryside through training, skill development, ecosystem restoration, and motivating the organizational and management capacities of small farmer communities with the purpose of generating knowledge and allowing them to satisfy their basic needs of pure water, healthy food, appropriate housing, and sustainable energy.
In order to fulfill its mission, the organization has two training and demonstration centers on alternative technologies where the promotion of self-sufficiency and self-development are the main goals. The Center for Education and Rural Development (CEDER) in Huixquilucan, State of Mexico, and the Instituto Tonantzin Tlalli (ITT) in Ejutla, Oaxaca. Both centers were built using appropriate green technologies and Permaculture design principles. They offer guided visits, trainings, and workshops at both sites.
During a recent trip to Mexico, Judy and Charles came across this non-profit organization at the trade show and bought some unique handbags, coin purses and clutches all made from recycled wrappers. Come have a look at the classy, intricately woven accessories made from discarded, colorful and shiny candy wrappers. Talk about sustainable!
THIS JUST IN- Hurray! We received a shipment of some new sculptures from one of our favorite artisans- Roberto Tirado. They are playful as well as elegant, and range in price from $45 to $450 depending on size and style. There are some adorable little birds that have a tall perch to go perfectly in the garden. I haven't seen Roberto's Woman with the Cat before, but now I'm in love with her. :) Hopefully you'll get a chance to see these exquisite beauties before they go away to good homes. Come have a look- there might even be one your home or garden cannot live without. I'm telling ya, Roberto Tirado has really accomplished great work in these new, unique sculptures. See you at the gallery!
Thank you Jim and Suzie Pearson of Acholi Beads for the great Trunk Show last weekend during the Leucadia Art Walk. It was a huge success!
We look forward to working with Acholi Beads again soon, and in the meantime we will continue to carry a wide selection of Acholi earrings, bracelets and necklaces in the store. We are proud to be an Acholi Beads retailer. If you missed the Trunk Show this time around- come on down and see what's new. Have a great Labor Day!
This Sunday the 30th, aesthetyX will be hosting an Acholi Beads Trunk Show during the Leucadia ART WALK. Two Acholi Beads representatives will be setting up right outside our door! Enjoy the Arts this summer by strolling the 101 in Leucadia and stop by aesthetyX to see what's new from Acholi Beads.
We have some new paintings from Hong, the talented artist who also happens to be an elephant! Three years ago, Hong began painting, and has steadily developed her skills. After learning to paint flowers, she moved on to more advanced paintings. We bought some of Hong's amazing artwork through Exotic World Gifts. Exotic World Gifts supports distant villages by offering fine handcrafted items rich in tradition and cultural diversity. They travel to remote locations around the world and discover the women, men, and now ELEPHANTS who create beautiful, authentic handcrafted items. Please share their vision with all your friends and family, so we can all make a positive and lasting contribution to the world.
Come down to the aesthetyX gallery and see what Hong the elephant has created! The paintings make great gifts or conversation pieces for your home.
We are carrying merchandise from SPIRAL Foundation again! This is a wonderful organization working with global artisans. We invite you to join us in supporting their work. SPIRAL Foundation is a humanitarian non-profit that works Spinning Potential Into Resource and Love...
All net proceeds from the handicraft sales are returned to Vietnam and Nepal to fund primary health care, medical and educational projects, giving to those involved in the production process a sense of pride that comes by helping and sustaining many others, in even greater need than themselves. Members of all The Spiral Foundation Workshops have an active role in the allocation and monitoring of all funds generated by proceeds from the sales of The SPIRAL Foundation Gift Line.
Come on down to the aesthetyX store and shop with your heart as you shop to give back! We have a gorgeous SPIRAL bowl made from recycled papers that has been crafted into a beautiful piece of art.
Social responsibility is an ethical or ideological theory that an entity whether it is a government, corporation, organization or individual has a responsibility to society. As a socially responsible business, we at aesthetyX feel we have an obligation to certain areas that should be measured regardless of the outcome needed. These areas are as follows: economic function, quality of life, social investment and problem solving. In other words, gaining financial success in ways that honor ethical values, and respect people, communities and the natural environment is our goal for aesthetyX.
James Pearson of Acholi Beads talks about his unique "socially proactive" business in a thoughful way, "...our beads are made from paper that is being discarded by printers in Uganda, the East African country where they are made. By using this paper productively we cut down on waste and help curb deforestation. This is socially conscious. And our workers are far from sweatshop laborers. They work from their homes on their own time to make our products. And we pay them more than their asking price, because we know their prices are tailored to a local market where poverty is status quo. But we also go the extra mile. Instead of just hiring any Ugandan, we sought out refugees from northern Uganda, where a terrible war has ravaged the population for over 20 years... That is socially proactive."
At aesthetyX, we strive to be a sustainable, socially responsible business that offers you unique, fair trade merchandise. We are moving in the direction of bringing you even more fairly traded and sustainable products that are authentic and rich in cultural diversity. We believe shopping with a purpose is the only way to shop!
What it means to be Fair Trade
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate and flowers.
Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South. Fair Trade Organizations, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.
Fair trade is, fundamentally, a response to the failure of conventional trade to deliver sustainable livelihoods and development opportunities to people in the poorest countries of the world. Poverty and hardship limit people’s choices while market forces tend to further marginalize and exclude them.
We thank you for shopping with aesthetyX and supporting our efforts to evolve with the fair trade world and socially responsible movement. Please let us know if there is anything you would like us to carry, and we'll look into finding it for you.
Nest has been a great inspiration to many women, including all of us at aesthetyX. The mission of Nest is to support women artists and artisans in the developing world by helping them create sustainable entrepreneurial businesses. To do this, Nest provides micro-credit loans to be used for the purchase of the supplies and materials necessary to begin and/or maintain art or craft-based businesses. We will be meeting with a team of San Diego Nest volunteers to discuss our partnership and continued support of this wonderful non-profit. We will either start carrying new product from the women they support or donate a percentage of our store sales back into Build a Nest so that they may continue their important work with artisans. We are proud to be a Friend in a ongoing partnership with Nest. We'll keep you posted after our meeting with Nest! In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine and surf! Oh and check out Nest.
As we approach our next trip to Mexico this August, we would like to share with you some of our past travel adventures to Mexico. If you have any travel stories that you would like to share with Aesthetyx, please send them our way. We'd love to hear about your eXperience... Just submit them by leaving a comment in this blog entry. Buen Viaje...
If you'd like to read a travel blog, just click below on the city of your choice. Enjoy!
There are only three days left to find the most amazing deals at Aesthetyx! Enjoy the savings this summer! We will be holding a HUGE sale June 20th-30th. You may save up to 50% off select items for 10 days only! See you at the SALE!
BIG BANG!! is a global festival of events scheduled for May 9th, 2009 to promote a fair trade solution to poverty, climate change and economic crisis. Check out: http://www.worldfairtradeday09.org for more information.
During the BIG BANG global celebration, fair trade events will pass through every continent, country, city, town and street over 48 hours and Aesthetxy will be celebrating as well by holding an event featuring global artisans from Barro Sin Plomo (BSP), Acholi Beads and more.
Our event will take place Saturday May 9th from 4 P.M to 8 P.M. at the Aesthetyx gallery in Encinitas located at 466 N. Coast Hwy 101 Suite 5. During the celebration, Aesthetyx will serve Fair Trade coffee from The Pannikin as well as Fair Trade chocolate from Askinosie Chocolate.
We are excited about participating in this global event in celebration of Fair Trade. We are supportive of the efforts of all retailers who strive to purchase their goods fairly and responsibly.
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a "fair price" as well as social and environmental standards in areas related to the production of a wide variety of goods. It focuses in particular on exports from developing countries to developed countries, most notably handicrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, fresh fruit, chocolate and flowers.
Fair trade's strategic intent is to work with marginalized producers and workers in order to help them move towards economic self-sufficiency and stability. It also aims to allow them to become greater stakeholders in their own organizations as well as play a wider role, and achieve greater equity, in international trade.
Please join us in this celebration! We will be showcasing more Barro Sin Plomo pottery and you will have the opportunity to meet BSP's developing director Anna O'Leary.
Spring is here so it's a perfect time to celebrate Mother Earth on April 22nd - Earth Day!
We at Aesthetyx are taking the 3R's mantra 'Reduce - Reuse - Recycle' to heart by supporting gloabal artisans who take the 3R's to a whole new level. By supporting these artisans, you support their efforts toward independence while protecting the environment and giving or receiving a unique gift!
Come see some of our green and sustainable products by these talented artisans next time you're in the store:
* Acholi Beads made of discarded magazines by displaced women from the Acholi tribe of Northern Uganda. * Barro Sin Plomo (clay without lead) lead-free pottery hand-crafted by artisans in Central Mexico * Kenyan Soapstones carved and painted by hand by artisans from Kenya
SAVE THE DATE - Saturday, May 9th for our First Aesthetyx World Fair Trade Day Celebration featuring Anna O'Leary and Barro Sin Plomo
Aesthetyx proudly welcomes Anna O'Leary to our new gallery! Anna is the vice president of Barro Sin Plomo (BSP) Mexico and has worked in Mexico for over two years on the design and implementation of its projects. Anna was previously a consultant to Aid to Artisans in Mexico as well as the marketing coordinator of lead-free pottery. She is currently the Director of Development for Barro Sin Plomo USA. And she is working out of our new gallery in Encinitas! We are happy with the change, and hope that all of you will soon have a chance to check out the new space with all its beautiful BSP pottery. 10% of all sales of BSP pottery out of the Aesthetyx gallery will be donated back to Barro Sin Plomo. Come by and have a look at the exquisite work by these talented artisans!
A LITTLE ABOUT BARRO SIN PLOMO:
In 2003, anthropologist Victor Aquila Sanchez and ceramist Barbara Garrido, founded BSP as a non-profit Mexican organization dedicated to lead-free pottery production. Barro Sin Plomo is now working in five Mexican states with 300 potters who have or are transitioning to lead-free glazes.
In 2004, BSP helped launch a for-profit social enterprise, Echery Pottery (www.echerypottery.com) which specializes in packing, shipping, and exporting of lead-free pottery. BSP and Echery Pottery are both based in Patzcuaro, Michocan Mexico.
Barro Sin Plomo has ongoing efforts to eliminate lead glazes in traditional pottery production in Mexico and now in the U.S., construct fuel-efficiant kilns, introduce lead-free glazing technologies and equiptment which will enable these family based businesses to re-enter and reclaim important international markets for their products. The primary focus for BSP right now is to eliminate lead-glaze in the states where there is the hightest population of potters currently using lead glazes and where there are hundreds of artisans requesting assistance from BSP's training team.
The two most important ways people can help people expand this effort right now is by making a tax deductible contribution to BSP USA or by purchasing lead-free pottery.
Please stop by and visit the Aesthetyx gallery, and see what's new in the world of pottery.
In 2004 we began our business in order to achieve a higher mission to create a socially responsible company that would give back. Inspired by the artesianias (arts and crafts) of Central Mexico, we decided to showcase and sell the work of worldwide artisans in order to help support and sustain these talented individuals and their families. Through the years, we have worked directly with many artisans to achieve this goal but, there is much more important work to be done.
Our goal is to be able to further assist artisans who do not have the means to market themselves and get their products to those who will appreciate them.
In line with our social mission we have decided to refocus the concept of our Encinitas store to become 'Aesthetyx- an Artisan Gallery and Showroom' beginning in February 2009. Together with the multinational organization that unites Mexican non-profit, 'Barro sin Plomo' and Barro sin Plomo USA (clay without lead), we will feature the work of many talented artisans that this wonderful non-profit assists. Barro sin Plomo's (BSP) mission is to end the use of lead in traditional Mexican pottery substituting lead-free production methods which protect the health of the artisans and their communities.
Within the new gallery we will continue to carry most of your favorite artisans in addition to the Barro Sin Plomo featured artisans. With our new concept we will be phasing out some of our merchandise before we temporarily close our Encinitas store location to do some remodeling January 19th - 31st.
Starting January 10th we welcome you to take advantage of some amazing 'AS IS'(items that may be slightly damaged and/or nicely repaired) deals sold at major discounts, as well as significant markdowns of 70-90% OFF select merchandise, and 10% OFF the ENTIRE STORE!
We look forward to having you eXperience our new concept this spring and thanks again for your support of our store and our mission!