Big Love – Mexico
Settled in my seat and looking out the window, the cabbie asked if it was my first time visiting Mexico. I replied no. He looked in the rear view mirror and flashed me a smile. Then it hit me – the familiar feeling that marks my return. Mexico is home to me, without it being a place where I have a permanent address or speak the language fluently (not something I’m proud of).
Don't get me wrong – I've had my fair share of shit experiences. (The stereotype that cops pull you over to shake you down for a bribe? Yup, it happened to me.). But it makes the visits real. It’s not some pipe-dream trip where everything is perfect. I’ve been to Mexico 6 times, and each trip has created the kind of memories that last a lifetime – making friends with people that you wished lived closer.
And like a big welcome home party full of friends and presents, scoring the goods on this trip was like one nonstop celebration. Last year, I hunted high and low for vintage Scribe notebooks and found only two – this year we scored enough for the STMT X Mexico Kit! I couldn’t believe my eyes when we walked into a papelería and spied stacks of them on a counter… Waiting for us to snatch them up and bring them home.
Same thing for the writing instrument – last trip, I brought back a double pencil, HB and red lead. They quickly became a RAH fave. Scanned their pencil selection and when I saw them – hi-five! Love how they perfectly match the notebooks!
Left the shop and popped into their sister shop across the street. I spied cute pencil pouches and immediately craved them – RAHStrs have been asking for a pouch to store their sweet stash of RAD AND HUNGRY goods. The problem? The quality was really shoddy. Bummed that they wouldn’t work – but I left the shop determined to find someone who could make them for us.
I started by asking shopkeepers if they knew of anyone, then I asked the hotel concierge, and I just kept asking everyone I could. And then I stumbled across a craft / design fair at the University of Guadalajara. BOOM! I approached vendor after vendor asking if they sew and would be interested in making pencil pouches for us. Some people didn’t have time, others didn’t sew, but then we met Moises and Elizabeth, a husband and wife duo selling handmade jewelry and home goods. Instantly fell in love with them – you know when you meet someone and you just know that they’re good people? That’s Moises and Elizabeth.
2 meetings and 5 samples later, the design was finished. I’m so f’in stoked about our pencil pouches! They scream Mexico – but what I love most? That they’re handmade by new friends for RAHstrs. I love how RAH has been able to connect so many amazing people. Despite all the cool office supplies in our past STMT Kits, these pencil pouches are by far my fave item we’ve ever included.
Mexico is grimey and chaotic but it’s also really beautiful. I love walking down the street and seeing every other person eating ice cream while walking with their kids or beau. I love the food, I love the papelería on every corner, but what I really love? The people. Totally makes sense that a homegrown, popular corner store chain is named OXXO. Mexicans give BIG love to everyone. And we got BIG love for Mexico.