Paloma Romero founded Zaavia to experiment with her own passion for product design and handmade crafts and has been working tirelessly with her artisans to train them on new techniques and grow the brand with them.
Zaavia takes its name from the Spanish word savia, meaning sap. Like sap is the vital blood that keeps a plant alive, so does Zaavia aim to keep Mexican artisanal crafts alive by mixing ancestral techniques with modern product design, to make contemporary accessories with sustainable materials such as palm leaf, vegan leather made from cactus and ocoxal fiber, handcrafted by artisans from Paloma’s native state of Guerrero.
Paloma began by developing her own designs using a fairly conventional palm leaf weaving technique, before starting to experiment with her artisans on more innovative processes and different materials, which she worked on in collaboration with artisans in Tlapehuala, eventually using a more refined, subtle weaving technique normally employed for hats on her purses.
She followed that with the addition of vegan leather from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, which is made from cactus and is smooth to the touch. Her home products made from ocoxal fiber in Tepoztlan, Morelo state, are the latest addition to an ever-growing collection of timeless creations that highlight the beauty of natural materials and the craftsmanship of Mexican artisans.