The talented artisans in Peru, Armenia, and Guatemala are the heart and soul of Melange Collection. These communities each uniquely specialize in handicrafts distinctive to their traditions and cultural history. Learn about our remarkable partners here.
Nestled in a remote village in the Andes mountains of Peru, we collaborate closely with skilled artisans who master the art of knitting. Most of the stuffed animal designs in our collection are meticulously knitted combined with loomed sections, while some designs are knit entirely by hand with needles. After the toy animals are stuffed and assembled, the artisans finish with detailed embroidery. Through this income-generating partnership, the artisans are able to secure food and clothing for themselves and their children.
The artisan partners in Armenia specialize in the intricate crafts of crocheting and sewing. This journey began with seed funding from Save the Children to create jobs and promote Armenian crafts. What originally commenced as a project to knit Christmas ornaments and stockings now provides safe and dignified employment to hundreds of women. Our knit pillows, stockings, and clothing are woven on looms in a workshop in Yerevan, and the crochet ornaments and toys are completely hand-knit with needles. Multiple artisans converge their skills to create each product, often involving an artisan to work on one aspect of the design and then handing it off to the next artisan to contribute their expertise, and so on until the product is complete. Through this process, artisans of all levels get to contribute and engage in the work.
Experience the wonders of Guatemalan craftsmanship through our collaboration with a women’s cooperative in a small village on the shores of Lake Atitlan. Working together in small groups of five or so, the artisans specialize in weaving beaded ornaments and pins. Glass beads are placed in a multicolored pile upon a flat surface in front of each woman. The beads are picked up with needles held between the thumb and index finger in a process so quick and precise that it seems like sleight of hand. As beads are delicately and meticulously accrued, the sculpture emerges in a vibrant mosaic. Beaders learn to weave or sculpt each new design separately, and to achieve the uniformity necessary they have to memorize hundreds of steps for each figure. Very good beaders can produce up to two pieces in a day.