Shelley comes to MZ with a history of social service, business, teaching, and adventure. She owned and operated a whitewater rafting business catering to women, taught outdoor and adventure education in the mountains of California, taught English at a university in Tijuana, and most recently brought a business education program to the indigenous women near Oaxaca who are participating in the En Via non profit micro-finance program. Her Spanish has allowed her to develop lasting friendships with the incredible Mexican people. MZ is her way of giving something back to them.
The MZ Team
Shelley Tennyson- CEO + Founder
Liz Moffett- Chief Operations Officer
Liz became a part of MZ through her love of fiber. An avid spinner, collector and dyer of yarn she finds the Zapotec people and their way of life a dream come true. Her experience in e-commerce and management were skills she readily offered in order to become involved in keeping the artistry and heritage of the Zapotec weavers alive and thriving. She was ecstatic to find that her belief in the fair trade movement and the beauty and satisfaction of items handmade were the very mission of MZ. She finds her role as Chief of Operations at MZ the perfect fit for her skills and ideals.
Paco Santiago Bautista- Operations Manager
Paco was born in Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico. He belongs to the Zapotec culture that still exists in the Oaxaca Valley. The great majority of the members of the community are weavers, and Paco says that it is a good way to stay connected to their cultural heritage by preserving their craft. Paco and his 3 brothers are the fourth generation of weavers in his family; he learned the art of weaving from his father, master weaver Porfirio Santiago Mendez. He started his first rug at the age of 11. His mother, Gloria Bautista taught Paco how to dye the wool. Nowadays Paco is about to pass his knowledge to his two sons and two daughters. In the last four years Paco has traveled to the US, giving weaving demonstrations and rug exhibitions. He has joined MZ as the partner in Teotitlan who coordinates and ships all the orders.
Hannah Aronowitz- Creative + Marketing Director
Hannah first encountered the beautiful Zapotec woven art when she was living in Oaxaca, volunteering with a microfinance NGO, Fundación En Vía. Her close connection with the weavers, love of textiles, and belief that commerce can and should have a positive social impact, made joining the team at MZ a perfect fit. She brings to the table her experience in journalism, marketing and sales to take on the role as Creative + Marketing Manager. She is a dedicated traveler, food enthusiast, and creative spirit who is passionate about social justice, sustainability, and ethical fashion. Hannah lives in Portland, Oregon and Oaxaca, Mexico.
Gisela Sejpal- Director of Sales + eCommerce
Gisela is thrilled to join the MZ team and support its mission. Growing up in the beautiful country of Colombia, she developed a love for indigenous culture and art at an early age. She is especially interested in helping artisans empower themselves, their communities, and their children. Gisela’s extensive experience in sales, paired with her passion and belief in “transformative commerce” - the idea that business can act as an agent of positive change- makes her feel right at home at MZ.
Ana Cris Medina- Design + Production Manager
Ana Cris is an industrial designer from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico. After completing her degree, she wanted to explore the more intimate process of designing for handmade techniques. She first came to Oaxaca to take a certification course in Industrial Design at Oaxaca’s renowned Centro de las Artes San Augustín, and afterwards she decided to stay, drawn by the rich artisanal tradition. Since then, she has explored every aspect of crafting objects from local materials, making her a great asset to the MZ team in her role as the Design + Production Manager. She feels that working with MZ is a great opportunity to get to know Oaxaca better through its artisans, the traditions of their communities, and the materials they work with. Above all, she is motivated by the principles of fair trade, which support the makers and respect the traditional designs.