Though I am considered a short and small person, I am in no way a delicate person. I have been known to be rough and hard on my things. Once, I even snapped a steel handle that was an inch thick at the young age of 13. 

Few items survive the test of time in my life (bless my sweet husband) which is why I am inclined to tell you about Hilos and particularly this fantastically sturdy handwoven palm bag. 

Hilos is a beautiful company run by a wild heart, Maggie. Maggie voyaged to Oaxaca, Mexico as a photographer for a local micro-finance company for women entrepreneurs in the community. In her time there her eyes opened to the fact that even though these artists made beautiful wares, nobody knew about them. 

With her camera, her heart, and her suitcase Maggie brought home the magic of the artisans of Oaxaca. Since her voyage in 2016 Hilos has connected conscious consumers to these wares. Beyond selling their crafts, HIios donates money to education initiatives in the communities of Oaxaca.

This is all great news for us, as now we can purchase these unique and ethically sourced goods from towns that otherwise had no access to retail. Not only are the textiles and bags gorgeous, but they are also able to sustain the use of everyday life. 

HANDWOVEN PALM BAG

I’m not a big purse girl, but when I saw this large woven basket I had visions of stuffing it full with honey and vegetables from the farmer’s market. I was excited to show off my big beautiful bag once a week to the locals and share the story of Hilos. This was how my intention started with this bag, this bag that has now become s kind of security blanket for me. 

The more I used this bag, the more I fell in love with its versatile use. I packed it full of towels and sunscreen for days at the beach. I packed it full of bottles of wine (like ten, and the straps held!), gallons of milk, and occasionally my terrier. This beautiful hand-woven bag quickly became part of my identity, and it has never failed me.

This masterpiece of functional fashion was a collaboration between Daniel, a leather worker, and female artisan palm weavers from La Mixteca region of Oaxaca. Though simple in design, these artisans have created goods that match any purpose, use, or occasion.

After about 2 years of hauling bottles of wine and terriers in this bag, one side of my strap did pull through the palms, even as tightly woven as they were. I was quite sad as now I felt like I had lost my third arm. My helpful husband, seeing my now one-strapped bag, found me some wood-putty-glue substance and we patiently waited 24 hours for the full cure. 

That was about a year ago and I still am loading my bag full of wine, photoshoot outfits, books, heavy pots of soup, and, still, my terrier. The initial burst of the strap did not stop me from trying to keep this precious functional art in my life. After this tiny bit of TLC, the bag continues to perform well in my rough life. I am surprised every day that the bag has still held up, and continues to be my favorite traveling companion. 

HANDWOVEN PALM BAG

I’m not a big purse girl, but when I saw this large woven basket I had visions of stuffing it full with honey and vegetables from the farmer’s market. I was excited to show off my big beautiful bag once a week to the locals and share the story of Hilos. This was how my intention started with this bag, this bag that has now become s kind of security blanket for me. 

The more I used this bag, the more I fell in love with its versatile use. I packed it full of towels and sunscreen for days at the beach. I packed it full of bottles of wine (like ten, and the straps held!), gallons of milk, and occasionally my terrier. This beautiful hand-woven bag quickly became part of my identity, and it has never failed me.

This masterpiece of functional fashion was a collaboration between Daniel, a leather worker, and artisan palm weavers from La Mixteca region of Oaxaca. Though simple in design, these artisans have created goods that match any purpose, use, or occasion.

After about 2 years of hauling bottles of wine and terriers in this bag, one side of my strap did pull through the palms, even as tightly woven as they were. I was quite sad as now I felt like I had lost my third arm. My helpful husband, seeing my now one-strapped bag, found me some wood-putty-glue substance and we patiently waited 24 hours for the full cure. 

That was about a year ago and I still am loading my bag full of wine, photoshoot outfits, books, heavy pots of soup, and, still, my terrier. The initial burst of the strap did not stop me from trying to keep this precious functional art in my life. After this tiny bit of TLC, the bag continues to perform well in my rough life. I am surprised every day that the bag has still held up, and continues to be my favorite traveling companion. 

OVERALL

I have found true love with this bag. It’s exactly everything I have been looking for in my life. Something sturdy, something simply beautiful, something made with love, and something that supports our world. 

I didn’t think that my beachy-palm bag would work in the rugged mountain lifestyle I keep, though now I cannot remember what I did before without it. This bag is amazing in itself, however, the reality of the fine leatherwork and textiles produced from the Oaxaca region is jaw-droppingly impressive.

I cannot express enough how much better my ethos feels when I purchase, wear, or use art made like this. I love knowing that the crafts-women and men are getting fair wages to feed and support their families. I love knowing that the money is going right back into that community and not into some absentee millionaire somewhere that has never seen these villages. 

I am proud of what my American friend has done here. I am proud to see women supporting women and cultures supporting cultures. I am proud to buy, wear, and use anything that the people of Oaxaca have produced. Hilos is part of this puzzle that chooses to support the world and its neighbors; I support Hilos with my heart. 

Designer: Hilos  
Piece: Large Handwoven Palm Bag  
Website to purchase: Hilos Etsy  

*Note: I did not purchase these items. My opinions are still my own.