Meet Nicole, Part 2: Travels and Textiles

Posted by Monica Nicole Saavedra on

I have always had the desire to work with textiles, which is why I decided to study apparel merchandising at Auburn University.  Combine this with the nomadic nature of my family, and you can see why I am drawn to the kind of artisan textiles that come from indigenous communities.

Travel has always been a significant part of my life. I've been to France, Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, United States, Canada, Mexico, and Argentina. Out of these, my favorites are Buenos Aires, Argentina and Brisbane, Australia. While that list is already rather extensive, there are still placed that I'd like to explore, especially for their cuisine.

As I've experienced new cultures, I've also come to the realization that mine was not a common childhood. As a child, my favorite things to eat were grilled cow and chicken heart... I could eat those all day. My eyes were opened to oysters when I was 9 years old visiting my great grandma in Brazil, and I've never looked back. I also don't like pepperoni, roast beef, or Arby's, which has always seemed strange to my friends, but I didn't grow up with those things. Now, I always bring back items for them to try. Their reactions have inspired me to open a shop to be able to expand people's cultural experiences, using cuisine as a way to do so.

While trying new foods has always been one of my favorite parts of traveling, I also noticed another pattern; I often end up purchasing artwork, textiles, and baskets. I love the textile work so much that I always frame it, and I'm out of room on my walls! I'm sure that one day, I hope that one day I will frame my wedding dress and my children's baptism dresses to add to my collection. I've learned a lot from my travels and my experiences with other cultures, through their cuisine and their crafts. The desire to share these experiences with others has significantly driven my ambition to open Tantakuna. I hope you'll choose to share them with me.

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