Ten years ago New Yorker Christina Hattler traveled to Mexico for the very first time. While there she fell in love with the country and her future husband Tom?s Macedo. Currently, this design savvy couple resides in the sleepy town of Malinalco, Mexico where they are the force behind MexChic - an artisanal design company that fuses contemporary style with ancient craft. This socially responsible company uses local artisans to create all of their urban chic accessories for the home. We caught up with Christina and asked her to share her thoughts on travel and style.
How does travel inspire your collection?
Travel is synonymous with Mexchic. I came up with the idea for the company on my first trip to Mexico, about 10 years ago, while visiting from NYC where I was living at the time. I fell completely head-over-heals in love with Mexico (and a Mexican ) and decided then that I needed to know more about this beautiful place. So with that, I began my travels within Mexico with Tomas, my husband and business partner, getting to know the indigenous customs, food, music and crafts. Each region is very distinct from one another and we still have much to explore!
How do Malinalco and New York inspire your collection in different ways?
Malinalco is a small, beautiful pueblo nestled on the outskirts of the State of Mexico. It's got a fantastic subtropical climate along with ancient ruins and strong indigenous traditions and identity. It's a place of tranquility and relaxation. People come here to escape the hustle and bustle of Mexico City, there is not even one traffic light! It is a truly wonderful place to make things, and be creative. New York, on the other hand is always moving and changing, it's such an incredible city! I lived there for 7 years and miss it dearly.
Mexchic merges the two cities in that we have the beautiful Mexican traditions woven into every textile, but when we're designing, we are thinking of New York.
Describe Mexchic in 3 words. And then tell us why you chose those words.
Perspective, Fun, Slow.
Seeing Mexico's crafts from an outsider's perspective is wonderful because I don't feel that I need to abide by the rules of tradition -- which gives us more license to have fun! We play a lot at Mexchic, it's a very important part of the company. We love to turn things upside down and inside out.
Anyone who knows Mexico, can tell you that the pace is slow. Add in living in Malinalco, working with artisans to create hand made goods, and you'd got pretty much the slowest business model on the planet. The pace can be so very infuriating at times, but somehow it always works out and everything ends up as it should, with hammocks and mezcal, siestas and sombreros.
Your collection of products keeps growing, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?
We just opened up a store in Malinalco Mexico last month, which is so exciting because we really now have a place to call home! We're currently working launching a line of clothing and jewelry, along with hand carved wooden furniture and more amazing home textiles inspired by the fabulous art of Frank Stella. Also, more manly man stuff!
Tell us about your favorite piece (or one of them) and where you were inspired to create it.
The embroidered pillows we created with an indigenous group of women from the Huichol (Wixrarika) community in Nayarit are definitely a favorite. We gave them a lot of freedom in what to embroider and the end result was really cool, colorful, and playful. We'll be working with this group again soon, to embroider a line of children's clothing.
Souk or Department Store?
DIY or Concierge Service?
Buy Everything or Buy Nothing?
Camping or 5-Star Hotel?
Drive or be Driven?
Room service or Street Food?
Lots of Luggage or Carry-on Bag?
Lots of Luggage (though I wish I was only carry-on!)