At the Spring GR network-wide Pitch Night and Graduation Celebration,
Nancy Quero closed her presentation with why she felt compelled to start her business.
"We were raised to love our culture, and because of that, I decided to start Guelaguetza,” she says.
Guelaguetza is an online business and offers handmade clothing from Oaxaca, Mexico. The designs are made by local artist from Mitla, Mexico and Mexican designer Guadalupe Quero, Nancy's sister. The business also sells unique accessories made with natural stones, wood, shells, and other materials from the region.
Quero says not only are the designs and materials traditional but so is the process to make the clothing and accessories.
"Most of the clothing have handmade embroidering, crochet or designs made in artisanal looms,” she says. “This kind of clothing you can only find in the region of Central Valleys, one of the eight regions of Oaxaca".
Quero's mother, Humberta Ramirez and sister, Guadalupe Quero, both live and work in Mitla, Oaxaca and are part of the Guelaguetza team.
"My mother is my main supplier with the authentic line,” Nancy Quero says. “A couple years ago my sister joined when she graduated as a designer. Helping them motivates me to keep promoting my business."
Currently, Quero sells the products through special shows like the Hispanic and Mexican Festival at the Calder Plaza or the Fourth of July Festival in Grandville. You can can visit the Facebook page, Guelaguetza Authentic & Exclusive Designs,
to check out some items posted and then contact Quero by email or phone to place an order. The plan is for an e-commerce store to be open in Spring 2016.
As for the name, Guelaguetza, it comes from the language of the Zapotec, an indigenous people of Mexico. Quero says it means an interchange between cultures.
"I picked this name because I wanted to have something original that keeps reminding me my roots and my culture,” she says.
To follow Guelaguetza, join their Facebook page here.
Writer: John Rumery, Innovation and Jobs News Editor