Recently, I left the beautiful place I called home for 24 years of my life and moved approximately five and half hours south (by plane). For nine months I have been adjusting to changes in culture, language, climate, and diet, to name just a few – I love adventure! When I go to my favorite corner store that sells fruit, vegetables and other basic food items, I come home with a bag full of produce that lasts an entire week for my husband and me for between $10-15 U.S. Dollars (depending on how much of that is fruit).
My first reaction was to comment to my husband how cheap that is. He gently reminded me that I now live in a place where the average annual gross income is about $6,143 USD (www.worldsalaries.org). Although the cost of living is also much lower, it is still difficult for the average person to earn enough to support a family, own their own homes and vehicles, etc. In an economy where the minimum wage is so low, small business owners have a great advantage at having a financially stable life.
I know many people in Pennsylvania (many of whom work at Weaver’s Orchard, naturally) and other parts of the United States that are increasingly aware of the need to support small businesses and the many benefits of doing so, both for the producer and consumer. I am happy to be able to support small businesses in the area I live in now.
I present to you: Tecali de Herrera, Mexico, a small town in the southeast part of the state of Puebla, just less than an hour from where we live. Tecali, meaning “stone house” in Nahuatl (one of more than 60 dialects spoken in Mexico), is famous for it’s beautiful pieces carved from onyx and marble, including lamps, tables, sinks, bowls, animals, fruit, bath sets, and many other gorgeous hand-crafted items. Many families dedicate themselves to either working the stone or selling it, sometimes doing both.
We had the privilege to meet one man, Emilio, who makes a living by working the onyx and selling it wholesale to the biggest onyx and marble retailer in Tecali, a store by the name of “Tellez”. His goal is to be able to find a place to open his own store, as he will then be able to greatly increase his profit and business.
We are so pleased with his work and the care he and his employees take to make a long-lasting product. We already have dining table, coffee table, table lamp, and several wall sconces decorating our house! (We may end up single handedly keeping our friend in business!)
I fell in love with onyx and marble. And, so, my husband and I decided to share it with you! You may have noticed the lamps sitting on top of the case of jams and preserves, or the painted and natural stone fruit with the other hand-crafted items by the check-out. We will be continuing to bring a variety of items each time we make it to Weaver’s Orchard to visit the family! If your style is a more natural look, you just might fall in love with onyx and marble, too.