Rocio + Omar

Rocío and Omar have a vibrant youthful energy, although they have shared over 25 years together. They met in middle school, in their town of Teotitlan del Valle, and became friends, although they did not start dating until they were university students.

Rocío learned the art of textile dyeing and weaving from her mother. At age six she was tasked with preparing the wool for the loom and eventually took on more advanced techniques. At 13 she began weaving in earnest and dedicated herself to the family business whenever she wasn’t in school. To this day, she credits her mother for motivating her to continue growing and improving in her work.

Rocío studied tourism at the University of Oaxaca, which has helped immensely in her personal weaving business and her work with MZ. Omar studied architecture, and still works as an architect, although he has to balance that with the family weaving business, as well as his community service role. Omar is secretary of the board in charge of the efficient operation of the local middle school.

Because Teotitlan in an indigenous town, the Zapotecs govern local issues themselves and community members are called on to serve different unpaid positions for a year at a time. Different roles hold different levels of status and responsibility, and Omar holds his with commitment and pride.

Because Omar is so busy at this time, Rocío is primarily in charge of the work with MZ. She is the one in the family business who focuses on designs, dyes, organized the weavers and more. Omar steps in to help when he can in his free time, most recently to help her weave the SS18 samples.

Rocío and Omar have two children. Their eldest daughter Ximena just turned 15 years old and Elí is 12. Jimena has began to learn the family business, just starting to do more advanced work on the loom. However, both the children help their mother, tying the knots on the ends of the weavings, helping to write names on tags, cleaning the bags before turning the order in. The parents say that their long-term goals are to make sure their children continue their studies and have more opportunities than they had. Ximena longs to travel to Japan, and Rocío shakes her head in disbelief, but with a smile - acknowledging that when she was her daughter's age, an idea like that was very much out of reach.

“Weaving is a beautiful and noble work that allows me to care for my kids but still fulfills my dream of being creative. It’s what I love to do,” she said.

Rocio is a true artist who loves the creativity of creating unique patterns and combining colors in new ways. She says that designing is her favorite part of the process and loves getting to see her idea become the final product.

“When I see a bag I designed I say, ‘Oh yes, that’s how I imagined it!’” she said with a bright smile, “It’s very cool.”

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