Empowering Local Artisans in Santiago de Chile
Minka In-House is a team of local artisans with a global mindset. Based in Santiago de Chile, they create handmade products for the Home. We sit down with their founder, Fran, who left her job traveling the world to focus on the talents of her local community.
What was your first job after studying graphic design?
I worked for different retail companies where I had the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong, China and Europe. Even though I was exploring the world, I knew this career wasn’t for me. I wanted to be more involved in the production process. I realized that many of the items these companies produced overseas could be manufactured locally. I was also really keen to know the stories behind the craftsmen.
How was Minka Inhouse-Handmade born?
I started researching local suppliers and techniques that could be redeveloped in a contemporary way. Through this new philosophy on sourcing and production, I launched my company, Minka Inhouse-Handmade. We’re a small group of independent designers and artisans who create wool and ceramic home products. Wool and ceramic are connected to Home products, both are part of home rituals associated to warm atmospheres and enjoying the good things in life.
Now I can happily say that I am learning something new every day and at the same time, meeting inspiring people.
Do you continue to discover new techniques?
Of course! I’m always looking for new techniques and materials. I’m self-taught in ceramics and textile production, so I’m constantly reading and watching videos to learn more. I also attend a lot of workshops.
What do you do when you lack inspiration?
Luckily I feel inspired almost all of the time. On the other hand, this can be a problem because I’m always coming up with new ideas. When my mind is over-stimulated I take a break and rest. My break usually consists of me lying in bed 🙂
Is there a place you call your safe haven?
Yes. I practice Bikram Yoga. When I get to the yoga studio I’m able to disconnect from everything– especially social media.
What’s your opinion on the “back to handmade” trend? Do you think there’s a movement here?
Totally. Handmade is here to stay. It’s more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle. I think it’s important to convey the inherent value of handcrafted products to consumers. As consumers, we need to be more aware of how our purchase decisions impact and affect other people’s livelihoods and, of course, the environment.
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Written by Sophie N.