Did I ever mention how much I love our Mexican workshop? It is a funny little place, tucked in a neighborhood outside the center of town. It is always busy, usually not the bad, frenetic sort of busy, but always humming , steady busy. This is our finishing shop where our artisans bring their goods to be painted, assembled, wired and packed. What I like most about it is that there is always laughter. It makes our working days in the lovely in San Miguel de Allende that much more pleasant.
Juan Ignacio cutting tin for our drum shades.
Every day in the workshop, the group eats their lunch together, which is more often than not prepared in the rustic little kitchen. And once during every trip we make, they treat us to a special workshop lunch. On our last visit, while enjoying Yola's fantabulously delicious home made pozole, we were reminiscing at the table about how much time we have spent together, and so I asked the 6 who were sitting with me how many years they had worked with us. Laura had 5, Alfredo 17, Nacho 7, Felipe 19, Lucia (in and out over a 19 year span) a total of 6, and Martita 17 (though she has left us this year to become a nun). In fact, when we added up the whole shop, the average was 10 years per person. Pretty good retention rate, I would say. And as you might imagine, these guys know each other: they know each other well. They are a family, a great team, and they work very hard to get the job done.
Lunch at the workshop.
It’s hard to believe sometimes that Jane and I have been in this business twenty years and how intertwined our lives have become with the people we have worked with over those years. Our business partner and workshop manager, Mariano Perez and his wife Lala, are two of our closest friends, and have been since we met them sixteen years ago. We are their daughters’ godparents and vice versa. We didn’t just take in a couple of stray dogs twenty years ago, we embraced a world, and that world is filled with very, very wonderful people. Here are some of the great folks that bring you Stray Dog Designs.
Mariano, our workshop manager and partner, with his wife Lala and Franny, Lala's goddaughter and our youngest.
Yola. Queen of the Pazole and unparralled in the free hand painting of stripes.
Little Lucia says “safety first”. Love the Virgin of Guadalupe on her headdress. Lucia is a sparkplug of fun.
Alfredo has worked with us the longest. He has ruled the spray gun with a steady hand since he arrived 19 years ago.
Stray Dog Designs. Handmade in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Artisans. Living wages. Inspired by Life.