Ahhh....Oaxaca. You know that sensation you get when you visit somewhere that just feels totally familiar deep down in your cells? Even if you've visited a place several times, but you still can't explain the profound sense of knowing it.

Has that happened to you before? 

Me, laden with baskets and other goodies, passing by the Templo de Santo Domingo at night.

It was over 90 degrees every day we were there!
Had to buy myself a fan!

 That is how I feel when I go to Oaxaca. Even though it's been 31 (gulp) years since I visited with my parents, I still remember that feeling from the first time I was there. Whatever it is, and whatever the root, it's something that's difficult to describe with words. Something in the air, the smells, the light...the faces of the people. 

 Leaving the central Benito Juarez market, I happened to catch the sun set perfectly aligned with the street.

I know I'm not the only one who may feel this way about Oaxaca city, because in many ways going there feels like stepping back in time. This is especially true in the historic center of town where all the old buildings and streets are maintained and preserved with diligent care. In the central heart of the city, there are no buildings taller than a few stories, no modern structures of any kind, and although there may be a few chain stores here and there, there's no neon signage, basically nothing that is not hand painted. 

A Saturday wedding party headed down Alcalá Street.

Additionally, the people of Oaxaca seem to take such pride in their culture, most of them wearing at least one piece of traditional embroidered clothing. In the evenings, everyone seems to funnel onto the main walking street (also one of the oldest, built in the 1600's), Alcalá, falling into an unhurried stroll that resembles a very laid back parade. Every Sunday the central Zocalo swells with people coming to hear the free orchestra play in the mid morning. Otherwise, the city is quiet in the mornings, most of shops and restaurants are rarely open before 10 or 11, which causes me to imagine that they collectively value leisurely mornings. So do I:)

Evening in the Zocalo.

Sunday afternoon coffee in the Zocalo, listening to the orchestra.

Last but not least, one of my most favorite things about Oaxaca is that the entire state is well known for its artists and artisans. Much of the iconic art that is associated with Mexico in general, comes from Oaxaca such as woven wool textiles, black pottery, basketry, woodcarving, and intricately painted figurines, ceramics and gourds.  


It's basket heaven at the Benito Juarez market!

This same woman has been making and selling these gorgeous palm baskets at the Benito Juarez market for many years. I used to go crazy buying these and bring them home, but for some mysterious reason no one ever wanted any! My personal collection is already huge, so sadly I didn't get any more!


So it's no surprise that I would gravitate towards Oaxaca over and over again to try and capture some of my personal connection to the place, and to bring some of that back to share with all of you. I'm eternally grateful to my 18 year old self for moving to Mexico to learn Spanish instead of going to collage right away! That skill has allowed me to make connections with several of the local artisans in Oaxaca over the years. I love the co-creation of choosing and mixing colors, patterns and styles of the various art forms. Scroll down to see a selection of some of the items I'll be bring back with me. Many of these will eventually be available on my website or this summer at my Roche Harbor booth. 


This is me, discussing colors and styles for hand dyed cotton dresses, kimonos and tops with maker, Yessica.
I'll be updating colors and styles soon, but you can check out the basic selection here: 

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The Oaxaca Diamond Dress
This is such a great beach cover up! All cotton, hand dyed, so comfy!

Hand Painted Gourds...yummy!
The Oaxaca Basket
I have several styles of these fantastic basket bags in stock, but if you love this one, stay tuned for the update
happening very soon!

My friend and shopping companion, Tracey and I affectionately call these "woolly mats":)
They are actually hand woven wool coasters, but I find that they are good for all kinds of things!

Every time I go to Oaxaca, I bring back some of these little hand woven baskets, because, well... I love baskets, but also because they are great for all kinds of things! This year I brought back extra, so expect to see these online soon.
I just LOVE these colorful cotton tea towels! These will be online soon too:)
I always have such a great chat with the woman who makes these cotton weave pillows in Ocotlan.
I'll be updating these new colors soon. Still one amazing mauve one left!
I can't get enough of these swirly little shot glasses from some of my favorite ceramics artists at Cuarto Suspiro.
More baskets:) These will be online soon as well!
These are actually Tortilleros for keeping your tortillas warm, but I use them for stashing all kinds of things!
Coming soon:)

mmmm....I just love these colors! Very happy to have these stunning all wool pillow covers back in stock!
Oaxacan Wool Pillow Cover in Sunrise

May 01, 2024 — Erin Heydenreich

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