Abrazo Style is delighted to bring you handmade women’s clothing and accessories that look great and feel great, too. Available in limited quantities, our goal is to fuse the best of contemporary style with the rich artistic traditions of Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico. We offer a taste of the classics you know and love as well as a growing selection of our exclusive designs.
Abrazo Style is committed to creative enterprise as a foundation for healthy and vibrant communities, and we are guided by principles of fair trade and compassionate commerce.
Your purchase supports a pathway to success for our artisans and their families. In Abrazo Style clothing you will look good and feel great knowing that every garment tells a story.
About the Founder:
It’s hard to believe, but I have to say I have the perfect job. As an artist, traveler, and person who loves living in all life's colors, Abrazo Style is my dream come true. When people ask me how I became involved in “the clothing business,” I have to laugh. Really, I'm more likely to wear hand-me-downs than the latest fashion. But Abrazo Style is so much more than clothing. It is the people, the relationships, and the journey of creating beauty that define the company, whether it's a beautiful blouse or a more educated, happier child.
I started Abrazo Style (originaly "Latin Threads Trading Company") while living with my family in a small village outside the city of Oaxaca, Mexico. We moved there for a "year abroad" to study Spanish and to experience a different way of life. We had no idea our lives would be fundamentally changed through this experience. One year extended into two, two into three, three into four, and so on.
Each year arrived with a new excuse to stay. During our fourth year I suddenly found myself at a crossroads in my career. At the same time, I met Marta. She was standing by the side of the road, looking for a ride. I picked her up and, well, the rest is history. Though the most culturally diverse and artistically rich state in Mexico, Oaxaca ranks as the second poorest in the country with an extreme poverty rate of 76%. Marta was part of that statistic. She was poor and struggled with her husband to provide for their family. Marta was motivated to create a better life, and with Abrazo Style providing the opportunity, she has grown in skills, confidence, and resources. She, and others like her, are my inspiration.
Family by family, our goal is to encourage enterprise, empowering individuals to flourish independently and through their communities.
Abrazo Style's Right Hand:
I never imagined there would be so many, many details and people (not to mention blouses!) to keep track of, but Celina Cruz, our on-the-ground person in Oaxaca for four years, somehow managed to keep everything moving in great form. At the end of 2014, Celina decided to move on to new projects.
We're now delighted to welcome Efrain Martínez as our new Mexico manager. Originally from Mexico City, Efrain has for several years worked for non-profits that help local communities in Oaxaca. He is currently completing his Masters degree in social enterprise while while simultaneously taking day-to-day control of Abrazo's production and community relations. We can't wait to see where his heart, talents, and acumen will take Abrazo Style--as well as the Oaxacan and Chiapan communities we work with. Look for many more stories and images in future months and years!
Fairly Traded Goods:
Fairly traded goods are becoming the new “haute couture” of the fashion world, and that’s how it should be. As contemporary style and traditional handcrafted clothing converge, it is easy to imagine stocking your wardrobe with exquisite scarves and blouses that are completely handmade and designed to stay active in your closet for years. The best part is, the clothing FEELS good to wear because it’s being made by local artisans who are fairly compensated for their skills and talents.
At Abrazo Style, we, along with our artisans, are committed to a shared goal of sustainable fair trade where trust, creativity, and empowerment build a pathway out of poverty. The story behind what we create is as important as the product itself because behind every blouse, scarf, or accessory there is a person. Together with Pascuala, Marta, Cristina, Felipe, and other indigenous artisans from Oaxaca and Chiapas, we collaborate on new designs and reinvent the classics. We encourage artistic vision and the development of good business practices, and share useful skills such as contemporary tailoring.
Artisans work in their homes or in closely connected groups and deliver directly to us during our regular visits to their communities. As the saying goes, good things are worth waiting for, and the product you buy from Abrazo Style is an example of our ongoing commitment to working honorably and ethically in communities with these artisans. We can make a positive difference in their lives, and we hope in yours too.
Abrazo Style is collaborating regularly with approximately 50 people, mostly women. Our immediate plans include reaching out to more communities in remote areas, solidifying regular design training programs, and offering a scholarship program for girls to attend school at all levels.