About Our Story Meet the Artisans Lookbook

Meet the Artisans

Manolitas provides meaningful, full time employment to its amazing team, talented artisans from rural and at-risk communities in El Salvador that reign from generations of craftsman workers.  Artisans that are proud to keep their traditions alive by mastering their skills via the creation of hand tailored collection dolls.

Manolitas contributes to preserving one of El Salvador’s main ancestral artisanal techniques, handmade embroidery, empowers artisans with fixed income and applies fair trade principles. Opportunity for artisans is provided to apply their expert craftwork to play under a safe and friendly working environment for their art to be expressed and appreciated beyond borders.

Maritza de Valencia, from Ilopango is a mother of two and has vast past experience in handmade craftsmanship for over 25 years.  Her ample ability and expertise with handmade techniques enabled Maritza to become a primary piece into the development of Manolitas as it was through her that Manolitas designs were interpreted, tested and finally born.  Today, Maritza is Head of Production and oversees artisans works as well as provides training.

Osmin Vásquez from Panchimalco is the third generation of embroidery artisans within his family tree.  His grandmother is the first generation, over 90 years of tradition.  Osmin started to embroider since the early age of thirteen.  His entire family of 7 is fully dedicated to mastering hand embroidery.  Osmin’s role within Manolitas is to hand embroider dolls facial features and hand stitch each strand of doll’s hair into perfect place.

Bessy Valencia, from Ilopango is Maritza’s daughter and plays a significant role within the production line as she masters in various hand making processes that require much attention to detail and dedication such as hand stuffing the doll’s bodies and hand tailoring head and dress ornaments. Since a very early age, Bessy felt she inherited her mother’s natural gift and love for handmade crafts. She now continues to absorb her mother’s artistry and follows her footsteps.



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