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Caja Marcela

January 12, 2021

Familia… Even though our first round of Caja Marcela disappeared in 9 minutes, I wanted to share with you the newsletter with the story behind my first box! We are now working hard to bring you something just as beautiful for the next round but please let me properly present the project and its intention. 

It is with so much excitement that I am writing to you today. I want to share with you a project that, along with may partners at This is Latin America, I have been working on for the last year. My life mission and goal has always been to bring to you the true beauty and magic that Mexico has to offer, far from the stereotypes often associated with my home country. This new project, Caja (CAH-HA) Marcela, is an attempt to capture some of that beauty, tradition, craftmanship and overall magic that I experience every time I am back home or traveling within Mexico. With all of my heart, I hope you love it as much as I loved creating it.

A few years ago, on one of my travels through Oaxaca I kept seeing clay bowls with beautiful, floating floral arrangements at every turn. It was explained to me that this was how they capture the negative energy of anyone visiting the space. A way of keeping their sacred space pure. I brought that tradition home with me and shared it with you and was taken aback by the massive response to the post and the tradition. A few years later, in discussing how I wanted to bring artisanal Mexico to you, I quickly concluded that we not only needed to find beautifully crafted pieces of the highest quality, but that they also needed to have meaning. And so, the first Caja Marcela was born with the idea of bringing you those pieces so you could create the cleansing bowl experience in your own home.

There are 4 small incense cones in this very first box. Only a few weeks ago I was in the mountains of Oaxaca, in San José del Pacífico, sharing a meal of the most delicious Chiles en Nogada with the woman whose hands worked the copal that was used to make the cones. Her name is Mafer. Her husband tattooed my forearm earlier that day. Either AnaLu, my partner at This is Latin America, or myself have met and shaken hands with each and every one of the artisans whose work lives in this box. Our burnished clay bowl, the central element in the box, was hand-shaped by a woman named Pascuala in Los Reyes Menzontla, Puebla. An exclusive design made for this box, with the intention of replicating the cleansing ritual I learned in my earlier trip to Oaxaca but versatile enough that it can be used in countless other ways. The candleholders were created in the same studio by Cecilia, another master ceramist. The candles were hand crafted by a woman named Lila, a master candlemaker in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca. The candlesticks and floating candle were naturally dyed to match the new colors of my logo. The exquisite wool mat, where all of these elements are to be placed, was hand-woven by Josefa and the women of Ihuatzio, Michoacán. All of the packaging material, from the paper linings to the stickers to the box itself, was made in Mexico. We are extremely proud of this and hope you see the value in this effort.

Once you burn those candles and the incense though, the burnished clay and the hand-woven rug are unique pieces that will last a lifetime if properly cared for. Because they were hand-crafted and created exclusively for us, we make only a limited number of pieces. I’ve had so much fun creating and visualizing so many different vignettes and setups for the pieces, imagining how they could exist on your table and in your life.

So, it is with bated breath that I present to you my very first Caja Marcela. Please follow the link to find more information about this project that I am so passionate about. You’ll be greeted by a new website design. A rebirth of sorts. Thank you for all the support you have shown on this journey. This is only the beginning! There is so much more to come…

 

Muchísimas gracias! Enjoy the photos, 

 

Marcela Valladolid

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