They work with traditional artisans in Latin America to create thoughtfully designed goods which empower artisans to earn a livelihood in their traditional craft.
Teysha, www.teysha.is is pleased to announce their first installment of a collaboration with shoe designer, Selena McCartney bringing her 15 years of shoe designing experience to their Guatemalan craftsmen. Selena and Sophie Eckrich, the 29-year-old co-founder of Teysha, are both born and raised in Central Texas with Latina mothers, so the collaboration has been full of cultural exchange and has brought new techniques to the artisan groups in Guatemala.
For the past five years, Teysha has built their own workshop in Guatemala, employing over fifteen traditional shoemakers. They have designed rural supply chains enabling women and men weavers to work in their communities and care for their families.
Teysha has pioneered the custom-designed footwear market enabling customers to directly collaborate with artisans around the world. One of Teysha’s employees in Guatemala, Victor, began with the company when he was 18 years old and working as a leather-cutter. Through working with Teysha, Victor was able to afford to complete his University degree in Accounting and has now been promoted to assistant workshop manager in Guatemala.
That is just one example of how Teysha is helping to better the lives of their craftsmen and women.
“These are the most beautiful shoe I’ve ever owned. They are even more exquisite in person – the fit, the pattern – I am so thrilled with them. Looking to buy more for my (now very envious) family and friends!” – Kaila
Moving through 2018, Teysha plans to continue to expand its collection from shoes to bags, apparel, and home goods, enabling the company to continue expanding its artisan network and impact.
Teysha will also be launching a collaboration in the fall of 2018 with the Whole Planet Foundation, Whole Foods Market’s microfinance foundation to bring more opportunities to artisans and empower more small business owners in Guatemala.
From Co-Founder Sophie Eckrich: My mother is from Mexico, so growing up in Austin, TX we spent a lot of time going back and forth between the two countries. Some of my earliest memories are of wondering why there were kids on the street shining shoes while I enjoyed a relatively care-free life, just because I had been born on one side of the border versus the other. This question compelled me to begin studying international development + poverty alleviation strategies, graduating early from High School to live in a small coffee-growing village in Costa Rica, interning with the Whole Planet Foundation in Guatemala and Peru, and working with other NGOs. Upon graduating from the University of Texas, my friend from high school and I decided to combine our passion for international development with the opportunity for traditional craftsmanship and ethical fashion. The idea for Teysha has always been to create opportunities for people and cultures to thrive through beautiful and meaningful design. We have lived this mission since 2012, while building our own workshop in Guatemala, building an impactful local supply chain, and creating 15+ jobs in Guatemala.
● Teysha textiles are woven on a traditional loom, each textile represents a different community and story. ● Teysha shoes are hand-crafted by second and third generation shoemakers in our own workshop near Antigua, Guatemala ● Teysha pays above fair-trade wages and provides additional training opportunities for our artisan partners. ● All materials are locally sourced in Guatemala, helping strengthen small businesses. Many of our partners are women-owned businesses. ● Teysha is based in Austin, TX and Antigua, Guatemala. Founded by Austenites after graduating from the University of Texas and University of Georgia at age 22!
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