I am incredibly grateful to be part of blended family; a family who has always included me in their familial traditions and culture since I was a young child. We share these same traditions with my own children so that they learn to honor a culture of which they are so very much a part of, but to which they simultaneously do not belong. When we sat down to discuss design, it was second nature to suggest a design based on the intricacies of Otomí embroidery and the beauty of hand cut papel picado. These have been a part of my everyday visual culture ever since I can remember. Pavo is, first and foremost, a family business. Our design decisions are not made in a vacuum. Designing wraps based on traditional Mexican artwork was a way for me to honor my family; it was a way to visually acknowledge their importance and how much they mean to me.
We consider charitable giving a private act, one not done for accolades, but because it is a key tenet of our shared philosophy of valuing the social good which can be accomplished by ethical charitable giving. The new year is a time for reflection however, and we thought we would offer some insight into why we give, what organizations benefit from our giving, and which of our products make it possible for us to donate.
Before our version of Otomí went on the loom, we considered how to best make use of the funds from the sale of the wraps; we knew we couldn't share our appreciation for the skilled and complex textile design of Otomí embroidery without giving back to the communities that are responsible for creating this artwork. We decided, before Otomí was even woven, to give 100% of the proceeds to an organization that could reach the Otomí people. We had a difficult time finding an organization that had the necessary economic tools and resources to funnel large sums of money directly into the hands of Otomí women in a way that was both culturally sensitive to the dispersal of money in these communities and that would also insure that women were being aided in way that was safe and empowering. It wasn't until Otomí was woven and after much consideration and input from friends, family, and good old fashioned research, that we decided to donate to the International Development Exchange, with the specification that it be donated to those projects aiding and empowering indigenous women in Mexico. With the release of Otomi, we realized that we could make an even greater impact by also donating funds from Unicornio and De La Sol to IDEX. The money from these releases allows us to continue to donate to IDEX and other organizations, such as Grassroots International. We are in communication with IDEX and receive regular updates on the work they are doing. We are deeply invested in the work IDEX does, particularly the work they are doing to insure economic parity for indigenous women in Mexico.
Going forward we will work with our family members and artists in Mexico to generate artwork for our next generation of wraps. We will continue our charitable contributions which have made a great impact on the work IDEX is able to accomplish for indigenous crafts women in Mexico. Donating is not simply our desire; it is our ethical obligation.
Our search for charities remains ongoing. We are always open to new suggestions, if you have a found a reliable way to directly donate to Otomí women, or if you have another cause close to your heart you think one of our patterns could support, we would absolutely love to hear from you. You may contact us here.