Artisan Organization: Solis Family
Country: Central America
"I'm Maritza Solis and I'd like to introduce my beautiful family. Together, we create all kinds of handicrafts. Some of the most popular are our small journals and notebooks.
"We are eleven people in all ‚Äî Karen, Kenneth, Priscilla, Kevin, David, Hugo, Sofia, Valeria, Alan and Marcela. We've formed a wonderful team and have worked together for a number of years.
"You might be wondering how this came about. Well, let me tell you. I used to work with children but, unfortunately, I became ill and had to resign from my job. I became a bit discouraged because I knew I'd have to produce something at home that could help us financially.
"I began taking classes in dyeing fabrics, in artisanal tiles, but I wanted to use what I'd learned in small gift items and I realized that journals would be perfect.
"I began crafting them and gave them to family members as gifts. They immediately fell in love with them and started asking me why I didn't sell them. I wasn't sure this would work out but I took the chance.
"I began teaching my sons and daughters, and they taught their spouses. Together, we began crafting more and more journals. At first, we used only my hand-dyed fabrics on the covers but, later on, we felt the need to use motifs that represent us as Costa Ricans.
"My niece began painting tropical themes in watercolor and we digitalized them so we could print them on the covers of our different notebooks. With everyone helping, we crafted more and more designs and they were well accepted. This inspired us to create even more.
"We're very excited about sharing them. They represent much work, dedication and love for us. Beyond being a source of income, this project has helped bring us together as a family. We're an excellent team where everyone helps everyone else.
"We dream of one day offering work to others, especially women and homemakers who need a job that lets them take care of their children. We help them manage their time so they can have an income without neglecting the home. We understand the needs of our country and want to do what we can to support its development.""