Diane Pearl – My Story
Years before coming here, while still comfortably living in New York City, I got a request from a now deceased friend to go find his brother. “He is a writer in Mexico.” I had no idea in those days, I would actually be able to pass on that message, in Ajijic….
I came through on a medical mission with an acquaintance, and the magic of the banyan trees and the lake was enough of a hook. Carmen, the insurance lady invited me in to sell my jewelry in her new location. I am still here! I added 70 different artists offering an incredible variety of Mexican arts and crafts and a collection of things from our strong ex-pat community over the last bunch of years.
How did this all come about? As most things, out of need.
Here I was, an artist, in my 50’s and starting over. This time with a few added obstacles beside age. I was in a foreign country, did not speak the language, had no grasp of the culture, and…no money. But got a break! A very dear friend saw the potential and provided the initial financial boost I needed to start. Now can you imagine his chagrin when he just made the investment and I broke my foot. I had to scoot around the store first in an office chair, later on crutches, through an obstacle course of 5 easels… I still opened every day because I knew the importance of what I had been gifted…
Well, I did not have the ability to travel around Mexico, but there is a fortunate thing that happens here in Ajijic. There are many craftsmen and their family members that travel from all over Mexico to sell their wares here. I picked up new lines, like the Puebla Talavera from the Talavera guy and then there was candle guy and lacquer guy and wooden carvings guy and the ladies with the corn flowers and the Catrina girls and the Taxco silver lady…
I learned, when you see it, buy it, because the chances of ever finding it again are slim and it might be at least a year until they come back… In the beginning all I really knew was to point and ask “cuanto cuesta”. Now, with 7 years of classes, I am able to converse a bit more and understand more of the tales that my artists tell me… And it is a pleasure sharing those tales.
The gallery has been a slow but steady progression. We have just celebrated our 10th Anniversary and itt has grown because of you, my community, and with each purchase I have been able to get more astonishing pieces and attract better artisans.
The other special part of the formula is… I have a great team! In most all my writing when I refer to we, I include my team.. Kate, a featured designer has been with me almost from the start. I will have more of an introduction to our other artist soon. It is always a pleasure to show off and share the gallery. And we gift wrap!