The Nicavana Project was founded on the belief that a small project can have a profound impact on the lives of many – for artisans and their pets. Our mission is to work with dedicated artisans skilled in looming, sewing and leather working to create unique, high quality pet accessories for more than just a cause.
We believe that each and every one of our artisans deserves fair pay, an environment they are comfortable in, and a job they are proud of. Our mission is to trade directly with skilled artisans and their families where regular work is either inaccessible or unavailable.
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We work with dedicated artisans we have personal relationships with. Our products and accessories are collaborations between their individual styles and our vision.
Construction of Leather Products.
We work with a father-son team (Juan and Juan Jr.) in Nicaragua whom we hae worked with since 2016, our very first artisan family from Day 1. From start to finish, our collars are made by hand with the aid of a foot controlled, 70+ year old sewing machine. No two collars will look exactly alike – Even if they’re the same style and same color. Each piece will slightly vary as they do not use any modern machinery and our collars are made without the use of electricity.
We also believe in re-purposing and creating as little waste as possible. Since all of our collars and accessories are produced on a small-batch basis, our artisans are given notice to purchase only the material needed to make the exact amount of collars we order. We also encourage our artisans to use repurposed hardware that is made locally as leftover pieces from the equestrian industry. This isn’t always the case, but we do encourage this practice. This is solely based on availability and this is what we prefer.
All of our leather is a product of the country of origin and are byproducts of the local beef industry. We want to support local industry in our countries of origin, and that includes our artisans shopping at local tanneries that buy locally sourced hides.
We work with a family of powerhouse women, mother-daughter team, Veta and Gregoria, in rural Guatemala. They practice traditional backstrap looming, but they also have home sewing machines to make most (but not all!) of our popular florals. As budgets allow, we always request both styles so that we can share their beautiful, and very time consuming, hand loomed work, but also sewing machine made florals so that we can we can purchase in volume, and guarantee a sustainable income.
Occasionally we do offer textiles from our personal travels as we meet artisans along the way. Should we offer any textiles that aren't made by Veta and Gregoria, we will indicate textile origin and under what conditions they were purchased.
What YOUR PURCHASE means.
With your purchase, you’re supporting local industries in the country of origin. Your product is handcrafted by an artisan in need of stable work they are proud of. Your purchase provides opportunity for entire communities, from our artisans, to metalsmiths that make our rivets and hardware, to local tanneries where our artisans purchase all hides.
We also take a portion of our profits and donate them to World Vets, and various rescues and other miscellaneous causes in the United States and around the globe.
We thank you for your support.