Learning Luxury Craftsmanship from Mayan Women
As part of my Pan-American road trip, I recently spent six weeks in Guatemala, a country filled with a rich Mayan culture. Although I truly enjoyed visiting the impressive ruins of Tikal, the lovely island-city of Flores and the vibrant colonial town of Antigua, my heart belongs to Lake Atitlan.
As soon as we arrived in San Pedro, a small Mayan community nestled between the San Pedro volcano and Lake Atitlan, I was mesmerized by the sheer beauty of the local Mayan women. With their traditional huipil or blouse, corte or skirt, sash and shawl, these women shined in their bright colors especially when compared to my “made-in-China” shorts and blouse. It noticed luxury craftsmanship at its best.
I wanted to learn more about their culture therefore I spent some time with a local woman in a nearby village learning how to weave the traditional Mayan way. After learning how to weave a scarf, I learned something that shocked me: luxury brands should learn from Mayans as they hold the key to luxury goods.
Because these women put their heart and soul into every piece they create.
Because everything is handmade.
Because each piece will hold up to the test of time, lasting more than a century.
Because each piece is unique, hand-crafted one at a time.
Because most pieces are bespoke; guidelines given by the buyer.
Because service was done with a smile and often with a laugh.
Because you felt like a member of their community when you entered a small boutique.
And because you made a new friend.
Luxury brands are often caught up in the “snobbiest” of luxury and forget the true essence of the word. Luxury is not about spending the most money for a marketing campaign; it’s about creating a product that is spectacular in a niche.
Think of Coco Chanel,the woman, and not just the brand she left behind.
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Tags: bespoke, luxury, luxury brand, luxury product