We wanted to share a little more about the talented Y’abal seamstresses responsible for transforming the handwoven cloth from the women weavers into bags, accessories, and… Pillow PETS! Today, we introduce you to Silvia:
Born and raised in Quetzaltenango, Silvia was only 10 years old when she started sewing- learning from her father, a tailor as well. Although she studied language arts in high school, she preferred sewing and decided to become professionally trained as a seamstress at the Technical Training Institute in Quetzaltenango.
Silvia began working with Y’abal 5 years ago. At first she made a little bit of everything for Y’abal- but soon after she began working with Y’abal to create a new product design- Pillow Pet stuffed animals. She helped make the first prototypes and fell in love with making the little creatures. Since then, she works exclusively on t
he Pillow Pet collection.
“My favorite part of making the stuffed animals is being able to combine all the beautiful woven fabrics that the women in the cooperatives make” – Silvia
For Silvia, the opportunity to support herself and her family economically has been incredibly gratifying. With the money she earns from the Pillow Pets, Silvia has been able to pay for the education of her three children. She also has had the opportunity to participate in two different advanced tailoring courses through Y’abal’s professional development fund.
This last year, her sister was diagnosed with cancer and didn’t have enough money to pay for her treatments. Silvia, along with their other family members, decided to donate all her earnings from Y’abal to her sister to pay for her chemo-therapy and surgery. For over four month, all her family members donated their time to help Silvia cut molds, stuff, and sew buttons onto the Pillow Pets to earn money for their sister’s cancer treatments. We are happy to report that as of early 2016, her sister has completed her treatments and is in good recovery!