Founder Patricia Govea with artisan Andrea Gonzalez de la Rocha

 

 

The story of Patricia Govea Collection started more than 5 years ago.

Patricia Govea began her career in the fashion industry, after graduating from fashion design school. At 19 years old, she started a boutique in Mexico and traveled between Milan, Paris, and New York as a buyer for her store.

During her travels, she saw a long line of people waiting to appreciate a piece of art at a museum in Paris. She was surprised to discover that this enigmatic and mystical artwork, full of hidden phrases, secret passages and a story to tell, was from her home state of Nayarit in Mexico, and was made by indigenous Wirrarika people.

This led to a revelation that Patricia didn't have any idea about who her people were, what her culture was and, most importantly, the circumstances of how this ethnic group lived. This experience awoke a curiosity to know more about this ancestral and mysterious culture.

Patricia began thinking about what she could do for this forgotten and invisible community. What came to mind was a clothing line, with beautiful, handmade embroidery that promoted their heritage as well. This became her dream.

Patricia began educating herself about the culture in Mexico and learned that 22% of the population is indigenous, with the majority of them living in the mountains in remote locations. With little access to transportation, these communities lack opportunities for education, jobs, health services and participation in Mexico’s economy. Frequently, they suffer discrimination and segregation. Reading about the culture fascinated her, but realizing their terrible circumstances devastated her.

Patricia began thinking about what she could do for this forgotten and invisible community. What came to mind was a clothing line, with beautiful, handmade embroidery that promoted their heritage as well. This became her dream.

Following this purpose, Patricia began searching for skilled female indigenous artisans. She soon met Lourdes, a national indigenous leader who is a single mother and a strong woman with remarkable values who is a fighter for justice in her community. Lourdes was the person who opened the door for Patricia to introduce her to the indigenous Wirrarika community.

Together, Lourdes and Patricia made a precarious journey up to the mountains. It was the first time in Patricia’s life that she visited indigenous communities. This experience changed her, bringing her profound respect towards their ethnicity and traditions, while at the same time making her conscious of their community. She became motivated in helping solve one of their major problems, which was the lack of job opportunities.

When Patricia and Lourdes arrived at the village and met the group of indigenous women, Patricia felt an immense amount of empathy and connection to them. At that moment, Patricia felt that she could do more for the community and knew that this was her calling.

Back home, Patricia created a business plan and met with government officials in Mexico to integrate education programs and health services into the project and support the people who would be working with her.

Her experience at the mountains was an unforgettable life lesson. Patricia felt an extreme sense of vulnerability and empathy for the women, respect for their culture and values, and an appreciation for these artists who make handicrafts from the soul.

For Patricia, it has been a journey of personal growth. She says, “I have learned more from them than they have learned from me. This project has been a vehicle for me to appreciate everything that I have taken for granted.”

Starting out by training a group of 25 women in 2015, there are now 300 artisans united under one dream: to have a better life.

We invite you to take a moment to appreciate the collection. Every stitch represents a history, every stitch represents the essence of sacred culture, and every stitch represents a family who is seeking hope for a better world.