Maybe it's knowing that international travel is off the cards for the foreseeable but I have seriously itchy feet at the minute. Not in a 'you should get that looked at by a doctor' kind of way, more in an 'I need to hit the road' kind of way.
One of my fave parts about going away is picking up quirky knick-knacks from the places I visit. One of a kind wares from local traders that are a gorge reminder of past adventures. Colourful artisanal accessories always catch my eye (I'm a magpie for patterns) and Meirex is a new Mexican/Irish boutique that delivers on both counts.
A fusion of Mexican and Irish culture, Meirex is the brainchild of Silvia Carbajal. Originally from Mexico, she's spent the past five years living in Ireland so is practically a local by now. Originally only planning to stay for six months, that quickly escalated and soon there was no going back. As Silvia puts it: "The culture and people made me fall in love with the country and I decided to stay. The warmth and generosity of the people make me relate to my country and that's why I love saying that Ireland is my second home." We're a fairly sound bunch most of the time, but that's making us blush.
Wanting to bring a little piece of Mexico to her new home, Silvia launched Meirex this past summer. An online boutique that specialises in handmade artisanal accessories and home decor, her products blur the line between contemporary and traditional. The perfect online replacement for those traditional stalls we all love browsing through while on hols.
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Did you know the embroidery technique comes from the prehispanic times? The Mayan women, from the Yucatán region, wove feathers using maguey spikes to create a needle. That needle helped them threading their threads with which they joined and embroidered their clothes. All women had been taught from their mothers and grandmothers to weave from the age of 5 or 6, which makes embroidery part of their cultural identity. The most intricate designs are learnt by heart and followed intuitively without patterns. For most artisans the embroideries represent their emotions and feelings, and the way they see the world. The motifs represent the surrounding flora and fauna from their region. Nowadays, embroidery in Yucatán represents the main income for most of the Mayan families. . . . . . . . Video by Studio Maya
And for the cherry on top, her products are one of a kind and can't be found anywhere else. 100 per cent hand sewed or embroidered by indigenous communities around Mexico, each piece is made using traditional methods - a mix of weaves and textures that is as unique as the person who made it.
Playing into the idea of conscious consumerism, Silvia said that it's important shoppers are tuned in to where their purchases come from.
"For most artisans, the embroideries express their emotions and embody aspects of their personalities, lives and experiences. Many of the artisans have been taught by their mothers and grandmothers from an early age. The most intricate designs are ones learnt by heart and followed intuitively without patterns.
For that reason, the artisan's time and dedication should be rewarded and the story expressed in every piece deserves to be recognised. We need to be more conscious about our purchases."
Joking that the relationship between Ireland and Mexico "goes beyond tacos and tequila", these colourful creations make for several new additions to the 'Reasons I love Mexico' list.