Artisan Organization: Patrizia Elisabetta
Country: Central America
"I was born in Italy and when I came to Guatemala on holidays I fell in love with this country, its people, their generous and friendly disposition, the weather and of course, their culture. That's why I made of Guatemala my home in 2001.
"I've been impassioned about apparel since I was a little girl ‚Äì how I loved to watch the clothes people wore when they came to the parties my parents organized! I began to study fashion design but due to different circumstances I was unable to finish. Then, when I came to Guatemala I began meeting people in the world of fashion design and was fortunate to become friends with one of Guatemala's most famous designers. He has been like a mentor to me, teaching me and guiding me through this profession.
"I've learned on my own for the most part, always observant of styles and trends in international fashions, which I've blended with the colors and traditions of Guatemala. I am also very serious about helping the environment, so I also recycle fabrics and other materials. For example, one of the first items I designed was a caucho belt, which I crafted by recycling the inner tube of a bicycle wheel. And though I don‚Äôt do these types of accessories anymore, I still keep one to remind me where I started. Now I specialize in cotton fabrics.
"My friends say I'm a very creative person, and they might even say I can be short tempered. But I believe that my great passion for what I do makes me somewhat of a perfectionist. I relish in the challenge of designing something new and making it, and I love the sense of satisfaction I get from seeing it finished, especially when it is well-made. In that sense, I can be very strict with the people I work with, especially about sizes, quality, and cleanliness when working.
"Funnily enough, the weavers that work with me have learned Italian. That's because sometimes I inadvertently switch to Italian when we‚Äôre talking, but now they understand it well!
"The hardest thing I've had to face is letting go of some people due to economic reasons. It's been one of the most difficult things I‚Äôve ever had to do in my life.
"In my free time I like to read, listen to music and play sports. That's how I fill my time now that my daughter has left for college and I'm all alone in Guatemala. I also research and study global trends as a way to continue growing as an artisan ‚Äì I want to make a name for myself in the world of fashion design.
"I thank Novica for offering me the opportunity of including me among the talented artisans they work with. I am proud of my work, and I hope you‚Äôll like it too." "