Make Good is proud to bring San Diego the incredible handcrafted baskets, jewelry and accessories of the Kumiai tribe of northern Baja, the original inhabitants of this land. They are, more than any others, the truest expression of “local,” and we’re honored to be the only location in the U.S. selling their remarkable work. Some 8,000+ years ago, the Kumeyaay (in Spanish, Kumiai) settled in this land. They numbered some 150,000 strong at the time the first non-natives began showing up in large numbers in the 18th and 19th centuries. In just a few years their numbers plummeted. Today, the Kumiai are limited to small bands on both sides of the border.
Our dear friend and popular Make Good artist, Juanita Banuelos, introduced us to the Kumiai of Baja, who live on an ever-shrinking piece of land just south of Tijuana. They are among the poorest and most persecuted people in North America, yet they are humble, loving and at one with the earth in ways few others are. Make Good has only a limited number of pieces of their work, so you better hurry to see these incredible examples of practical beauty made from available materials from their land.
The path of making, creating and handcrafting can be a tough one. Most of our artisans at Make Good hold down other jobs, making, creating and designing in their spare time. Others do this for a living. Both tend to be anything but easy paths. So we were inspired when coming across the story of Turquoise Mountain Arts. A collective of artisans working to revive the age-old, cultural practice of arts, crafts and making in Afghanistan, these Afghan artisans face hardship that's difficult for us to fully grasp.
This video tells the story of two of Afghanistan's most promising young jewelers, Storai and Saeeda, students of the Turquoise Mountain Institute in Kabul.
Founded by Turquoise Mountain, a charity focused on regenerating the Old City of Kabul and reviving the Afghan crafts industry, the Turquoise Mountain Institute provides students with an intensive three year training in jewelry making, woodworking, ceramics, miniature painting & calligraphy. Successful students graduate with an internationally recognized City & Guilds accreditation, and are given support to set up craft businesses of their own.
A friend of ours who works for surfwear brand Volcom gave us a heads-up on this very cool maker based in Orange County, RESQ/CO. The company, who handcrafts some of the coolest leashes and collars we've yet seen, was started by former Volcom Art Director Genny Davilia.
Having left the fast-paced life of the action sports industry after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, Genny, with her trusty dog Moose by her side, got involved with animal rescue organizations. And in one of the more inspirational making-lemonade-when-life-gives-you-lemons stories we've heard, turned to her dog and good design—along with a desire for continued independence—to begin handcrafting these cool collars and leashes for dogs.
As our travels and connections take us out into the world further, we at Make Good continue to be inspired by stories of making that, well, remind us what it means to be more fully human. We've been gathering some good stories, and look forward to bringing more your way.
In the mean time, if you've got a dog or know someone who does, point your internet self to RESQ/CO and support the good work Genny is doing. We'll all be better for it.
News about Make Good
A blog about what's happening in and around Make Good, the art/handmade scene in San Diego and Tijuana, local artisans, and occasionally other things we care about.