Ecuador: Artisan spotlight ~ Luis Lita
I took the bus to a mountain town about 3 hrs away from Quito. Known for its abundant trading and strong artisan community. It lies in the valley, shadowed by the peaks of three volcanoes.
I arrived late Sat afternoon. In time to catch the last hour or two of the trading market, which inspired a mad dash to catch the artisans before they packed up. I've never been very good at timing my life according to others calendars, despite all the information I am given. But, I've also come to understand that when I am rhythm with my own timing I get exactly what I need.
I often make the best decisions when I don't have the luxury of time to dilly dally.
That was the case when I came across Luis's work. Beautiful beading and leather detail, with just the right color combinations. I knew I had to buy it but I had only just arrived to the market and he was my first stop. I'll admit, I walked away without a sale but got his number. I assumed that I would see his style of work all over the market. Turns out I was wrong and when I went back to find him, he had packed up and gone. After another mad dash to a phone booth to call him, he organized to meet out front of the church where he unpacked the bags on his back and we made the sale. We both left happy.
I saw him the following week, and met his wife and daughter and we talked a lot of business. This is what fair trade is all about; building relationships that involve fair exchanges and respect. I'm excited about some collaborations we'll be doing. I'll post pictures here but look for his work in the store by mid November.