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Beautiful handwoven textiles and home goods. Meet Alexa Van Camp, the creator and owner.

Why is it important for you to choose pieces that are a celebration of traditional hand woven textiles?

Siempre originally started with the idea of bringing home a souvenir of the places we love – special places that evoke feelings of nostalgia long after you’ve returned home. It was founded on my burning desire to create, a passion for travel and a mutual respect for the talented artisans who connect us across the world.

I work directly with Mayan artisans in Guatemala to create unique hand-woven textile goods. To me, there is something so special about a handwoven product, a process that tells a story through every thread and the traditions and culture that are being preserved through an artisans work. I think it’s such a beautiful thing to celebrate tradition and the women behind it all. These traditions offer meaningful pause and reflection in a moment in time where the world is so connected yet at the same time can feel so disconnected – where fast fashion and efficiency have become the norm.

Meet Alexa van Camp - creator and owner of Siempre Goods - Merrymen Mag

How did you make the shift from geography to producing beautiful home goods and merch?

I am very curious about the world and have always been fascinated by places, cities, landscapes, humans and how we all live – it’s the reason I studied Geography and Spanish in University. My background in Geography, a passion for travel and a creative spirit in love with all things design made the transition happen quite naturally. In an effort to decorate my own home with meaningful objects, I realized that textiles had never been one of those things I’d paid much attention to. Fast forward a few months and I had spent countless hours searching the Internet for the perfect textiles, experimented with a few but still found myself yearning to learn more – to find exactly where these beautiful goods were produced and who made them. I booked a trip to Guatemala on a whim, hoping my Spanish skills would come in handy and set out to connect with artisans themselves. I had found what I had been searching for – something I could be insanely passionate about.

How do you associate goods and relationships?

I’ll never forget how I felt after travelling to Guatemala for the first time, a connection so special. It’s about the people, the landscape and the culture. My connection with my pieces begins with the relationship I have built with my artisans. It has been such a rewarding experience to find a group of talented artisans in a small village in the highlands of Guatemala, to learn about what they do and to create a multinational partnership that is beneficial to both of us. My hope is that by sharing their story and work, my customers will feel good knowing they are helping to preserve a beautiful tradition while enriching their home with a beautiful product.

Siempre Goods - Interview for Merrymen Magazine with creator and owner Alexa van Camp

Why was it important for you to follow your passion and create your own entrepreneurial path?

It’s so important to chase the things that light you up. I found something that really excites me and I was curious enough to see where it would take me. My entire journey of following my passion has made me more passionate – that’s the amazing thing – the more I learn about handwoven textiles, the more I want to know. The stronger my relationship with my artisans becomes, the more I want to share their work with the world. The more products I get to create and design, the more creative energy I find myself having. Creating my own entrepreneurial path has been such a wonderful learning experience for me and I feel as though I’ve only just begun. It’s exciting to be on this path – to be empowered to do meaningful work and to build a business that is based on my own personal values.

How do you work directly with artisans to create one of a kind pieces?

The process begins with gathering inspiration and creating an initial sketch. I then collaborate with my artisans to flush out my ideas incorporating their knowledge and experience to create new patterns and designs that I know our followers will love. Being (almost) fluent in Spanish, I communicate with my artisans in their language, which I feel is important to demonstrate mutual respect and build a strong relationship. Ultimately, my goal is to always honour Guatemala’s traditional textiles while incorporating my own personal aesthetic and a modern vision to create products that are meaningful and authentic.

I want people to know that I am passionately invested in the work I do and want them to feel that every time they add a piece to their home. It’s all about storytelling and the journey of our textiles from raw materials to beautiful products that makes Siempre what it is.

© 2021 Merrymen.

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