industry insider | May 29, 2018 |
El Popop spotlights Latin American artisans

Centuries of Latin American craftsmanship will be on display (and for sale) at the handmade home decor pop-up store El Popop, which opens today in New York City and will run until June 3. A collaboration between Maud Lerayer of Behind the Hill and Maria Romero of the eponymous creative studio, the shop brings Mexico- and Guatemala-sourced materials and natural dyes to the Lower East Side in the form of handcrafted textiles and accessories.

El Popop
Hand-beaded wall art made by Huichol Indians in Mexico will be on sale at the collaborative pop-up, which runs until June 3; photo courtesy El Popop.

More than a storefront, the pop-up is meant to share the stories, people and process behind the handcrafted products that make up Behind the Hill and Maria Romero Studio. A walk through the shop is a tour of Latin American artisan communities, as native cotton and natural dyes become blankets and bed throws, the traditional beading methods of Huichol Indians create intricately patterned wall art, and Mexican seagrass is handwoven into cushions and tote bags.

Both Lerayer and Romero will be on-site to narrate the origins of each piece. Romero will also be presenting the Tintoreria project, a service using extracted dyes from food and plant waste donations from local restaurants and community gardens. Because dyes are extracted from natural sources (i.e., plants, flowers, bark and insects), the products “bear the scent of flowers and sheep rather than factory chemicals.” In return, the colorways align with the seasons, as seen in the collections from Maria Romero Studio.

El Popop
All items in the pop-up are made using natural dyes and materials sourced from Mexico and Guatemala; photo courtesy El Popop.

Insider's tip: Behind the Hill has a travel program where Lerayer takes guests into the artisan communities of Mexico and Guatemala, allowing attendees to meet the makers behind the brand and learn about their ancestral processes.

El Popop is located at 2 Rivington Street. It will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day until June 3.

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