Guatemala's largest handicraft exporter
Founded as a retail store in Guatemala City in 1994, La Casa Guatemala offered fine wearable and home decor textiles as well as custom furniture; we also sold vintage textiles, vernacular furniture, and folk art related to the religious and everyday life of the indigenous Mayan population.
We began exporting in 1995, sending unique handcrafts to larger and increasingly sophisticated markets. In continuing to do so, we hope to ensure that artisanal production remains a viable livelihood for artisans in this country.
In 2000 we closed our retail store to focus on this mission.
We are a team of fourteen people based in our Guatemala City office and warehouse.
Our artisan partners belong to a dozen Mayan indigenous and linguistic groups and have mastery of a vast range of traditional techniques developed across their history.
We work with individual artisans, family workshops, and artisan cooperatives in nearly every region, helping to support six hundred to a thousand artisans.
Our network includes: pedal and backstrap loom weavers, embroiderers, crocheters and macramé-ers, sewers, seamstresses and tailors, potters, woodcarvers, carpenters, glass beaders, silversmiths and jade cutters, cobblers, leather belt makers, glass blowers, glass bottle cutters, and basket weavers.
A versatile array of handmade products
La Casa Guatemala teams with artisans to develop personal accessories, fashion, and home decor products in the widest range of possible techniques and materials: handwoven textiles, wood, ceramics and terracotta, metals, Czech and Japanese glass beads, horn, leather, stone, natural fibers, and recycled glass.
We work on a fair trade model, training groups to make new designs, helping them to calculate costs and profits, and paying artisans optimum wages for their labor (we pay advances against purchase orders and balances on delivery). For more than twenty years we have hosted sourcing and product development visits by companies to develop new product lines on that basis. We are regularly audited and have passed compliance for a number of large U.S. brands.
Created by local artisans, shipped worldwide
We export our wholesale products to over a dozen countries on five continents via sea container, air freight, and international couriers. Because of the volumes we ship, and the relationships we have with shippers, we are able to provide very competitive shipping rates.
Our Commitments in Guatemala
Within Guatemala, we are focused on generating sustainable, income-producing crafts, including new opportunities for existing artisan groups, and training for incipient groups.
Our role as an exporter
Our commitment as exporters is to provide access to volumes of high-quality, innovative, competitively priced products, to pack them well, and to ship them on time.
We enjoy bringing buyers and producers together, a model which we believe promotes trust, mutual respect, empathy, and a shared sense of the stakes involved in launching new products.
We work across a range of markets, including large retailers and brands, direct importers, online stores, regional chains, young designers with market links, and iconic world craft and museum stores, our only limitation being absolute respect for the intellectual property each of those clients develops with us.