Penelope Diamanti lived and worked on five continents and traveled to dozens of countries before falling deeply in love with the beautiful Maya people of Guatemala, their culture, and the rugged highlands where they live.
She brings experience running a Peruvian handcraft import business in the 1980s, and three decades as the owner of three stores (Beadazzled) in the Washington DC area, to her current venture: importing handcrafts and jewelry from Guatemala to showcase the creative talents and hard work of the Maya.
Museum Stores are our best customers, but we also love to serve Fair Trade boutiques, yoga studios, and other who share our values:
- Respecting the creativity and cultural identity of the Maya artisans
- Creating long term partnerships with, and opportunities for, them
- Helping to preserve the Maya culture and its artistic traditions
- Supporting empowerment and independence of women, who in turn bring better healthcare, education, and other benefits to their communities
- Contributing to local NGOs whose missions align with ours
- Sharing feedback and resources to help Maya artists produce high quality work to compete more successfully in the global marketplace
- Supporting eco-friendly practices wherever possible
Small scale farming has formed the financial foundation for many highland families, but nature is as fierce as it is beautiful in this rugged land and some other source of income is usually needed. Creating and selling textiles and bead-work, using their traditional skills and designs, is one of the best jobs women can have in this area. They particularly appreciate being able to work from home where they can also be present for their children and socialize with friends while working.