Things That Matter

A Photo Of This Sad, Sweet Old Lady Went Viral Because She Hadn’t Sold Any Of Her Handmade Napkins, Now They’re All Sold

The internet is a dark place —dark and full of terrors. But on a few rare occasions, it serves for good purposes. Last week, the pictures of a sweet indigenous woman, captured crying after she wasn’t able to sell her handmade napkins went viral. And in a deliciously gratifying turn of events, the next day her sales soared —and what’s more, people even asked to take pictures with her.

This sweet old lady was looking a little blue, so a stranger decided to ask what was wrong.

Doña Adela Vidales, a Purépecha woman from the town of Turícuaro, Michoacán, was sitting on the floor in downtown Uruapan looking sad, when Leopoldo Álvarez noticed her dispirited demeanor. Being a Purépecha himself, the man felt moved so he took a few sneaky pictures of her without being noticed, and approached the woman to ask what was wrong. “She looked sad. I took two photos of her back and I asked her why she was sad, and she told me that she hadn’t sold anything,” Álvarez told Mexican newspaper Milenio.

Leopoldo Álvarez took to Facebook to share the woman’s story.

Álvarez, who runs a catering business in Michoacán, posted the photos on Facebook, with the caption:  “Doña Adela was sad because she hadn’t sold her artisanal napkins, and I told her that I was going to promote her products on social media… I invite you all to buy from her, she works in downtown Uruapan…,” he wrote in Spanish.

The next day, Doña Adela’s napkins sold out.

Just a week after the photos went up on Facebook, Leopoldo’s post had garnered over 2,500 likes and 619 comments —the post had been shared more than 8,000 times! “I didn’t think it would have such reach,” he said.

After many followers asked him how they could reach Doña Adela, he went to Turícuaro to find her.

“I went back to see her and we spoke. She told me that the next day, on Sunday, she went to work and sold everything and even finished early… and it was curious,” he added, “because she doesn’t usually sell out so early. But she sold everything and there were even people who wanted to take pictures with her,” Álvarez said.

“I felt useful,” said Álvares, “I don’t care about becoming famous.”

Leopoldo explained that he feels happy about having helped Doña Adela, and when he saw her again, days later, she expressed how immensely grateful she was.  “I felt useful, and I think I did my part. People congratulate me, but I think anyone would do the same.”

Álvarez reiterated that when he posted the photos of her, that he only cared about helping Doña Adela sell the napkins she had  made by hand.

Despite the huge engagement his post had; now he sees that ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ aren’t enough —he wants this to become something that provides real support to Michoacán artisans. “A ‘like’ doesn’t symbolize a purchase, a ‘share’ doesn’t symbolize an order. People haven’t kept buying, and the intention is to help.” said Leopoldo. “I don’t care about becoming famous, I wanted to help her.”

Leopoldo shared Doña Adela’s grandson, Melitón’s phone number in his social media profiles, so that people who are interested in buying can reach them. The caterer says he wants to help artisans from his own hometown, Pamatácuaro, who make wooden spoons, molinillos, and woven baskets. “I’d like to benefit my community, the artisans, that was my intention with Doña Adela, because there are many more artisans like her who live off their sales.”

Don’t take away valuable business from indigenous artisans by buying imitations from big corporations.

Many stores like Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie, are taking valuable business away from actual indigenous artists and small businesses by making cheap knockoffs of their hand-made work. Support indigenous creativity, history, and legacy, and help create a much-needed economic boost in rural areas by shopping from small, authentic indigenous businesses, everywhere.

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Nike’s N7 Fund Supports Native American Youths And For It’s 10th Anniversary They Designed A Navajo-Inspired Commemorative Collection

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Nike’s N7 Fund Supports Native American Youths And For It’s 10th Anniversary They Designed A Navajo-Inspired Commemorative Collection

Nike

Nike’s N7 collection is celebrating 10 years of supporting Native American and aboriginal communities. The iconic sportswear brand teamed up with Pendleton Prints, the American textile company from Portland, Oregon, to create an anniversary collection that features Native American prints and patterns to honor Navajo heritage through design. 

Nike’s N7 Fund is inspired by Native American wisdom of the Seven Generations: in every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the seventh generation.

instagram @mvskokeyouth

The Nike N7 Fund supports organizations that provide sport and physical activity programming to youth in Native American communities. The fund helps them reach their greatest potential through play and sport and creates more equal playing fields for all. Since 2009, the N7 Fund has awarded more than $7.5 million in grants to 259 communities and organizations —and this year, it’s turning 10. 

Tracie Jackson, a graphic designer at Nike, is passing along her grandmother’s legacy in the 10th anniversary of the Nike N7 collection. 

www.nike.com

Upon going blind in old age, Phoebe Nez continued to weave rugs in the Navajo tradition, teaching her young great-granddaughter Tracie Jackson how to take up the craft. The member of the Black Streaked Wood People clan of the Navajo Nation (“Tsi’naajinii”) taught Jackson that every color and shape has a purpose that can be altered by many influences, such as creation stories, the environment and individual experiences. Nez committed her designs to memory, continuing to teach Jackson as her eyesight slowly faded.

Without my great-grandmother, I wouldn’t have learned about my culture, and without my culture, I wouldn’t have been a designer. My family ties are what influence my native identity.” says Jackson.

The collection includes blankets, sneakers, sweatshirts, and t-shirts all containing the storm pattern. 

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This pattern was a favorite of Jackson’s great grandmother and contains meaningful elements like zig-zags that represent lightning and the step patterns signifying the Mesas of Monument Valley in AZ. The pattern is a narrative tapestry of Jackson’s Navajo history, which specializes in designs personal to the individual weaver. Those living in different geographical regions will experience different environments. As the weaver becomes more skilled, he or she creates original designs based on the influences of classic works, personalizing the pieces with different colors and yarns.

Nike’s and Pendleton’s relationship dates back to 2008. 

twitter @stephaniejung

Nike first collaborated with the brand over 10 years ago. The sportswear label released ACG x Pendleton All-Mountain collection in an original print back in 2008. They joined forces again in 2013 on another collaboration, this time creating a tee, a jacket, a couple of sneakers and a commemorative blanket. 

But it wasn’t until 2017 when the two companies created a commemorative blanket for PK80 College Basketball Tournament. 

twitter @espnevents

The 2017 Phil Knight Invitational was a 16 team college basketball event held in Pendleton’s hometown of Portland, Oregon. The tournament was organized to honor Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight’s 80th birthday. 

N7’s 10-year anniversary collection, the design is Navajo-inspired and the storm pattern appears consistently.

The storm pattern appears throughout this year’s collection consistently, which also includes hoodies, leggings, joggers and more. Participating college basketball teams this year, will wear Nike N7 x Pendleton’s long sleeve crew as shooting shirts over their turquoise uniforms. 

Jackson also put her spin on the classic Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. 

www.nike.com

The Pegasus 36 N7 x Pendleton will commemorate the running womanhood ceremony that is customary among Navajo circles. “I’m very hands-on with my design process. A lot of native runners reached out to me asking for an N7 version of the Pegasus shoe. And I want to bring the voices of our community in,” she explained. “As native people, our feet are actually wider and flat, so the Pegasus shoe is the most ideal shoe for our body when it comes to running.”

We love to see this kind of representation done so sensibly, ethically and responsibly by brands as big as Nike. Ideally, more brands would pursue diversity —simply because it’s the right thing to do— to be more tone-aware and in touch with customers from every point of the spectrum. It doesn’t take a lot to realize that a diverse workforce that thrives in an inclusive culture leads to a higher level of innovation and an all-round stronger brand that everyone can relate to —maybe that’s why Nike remains as everyone’s favorite, after years and years. Here’s to seeing more projects like N7 come to fruition. 

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El Paso Artists Joined Together To Commemorate El Paso Gun Violence Victims With A Mural That Highlights Community Strength

Things That Matter

El Paso Artists Joined Together To Commemorate El Paso Gun Violence Victims With A Mural That Highlights Community Strength

Just seven weeks after the massacre at an El Paso Wal-Mart that took the lives of 22 people and injured 24 others, the border city is still recovering from their tragic losses. Though the victims have been laid to rest and the survivors are working towards healing, the city is still feeling the effects of the life-shattering experience. 

As national news has moved on from the tragedy, the minds and hearts of local El Pasoans are still with the embattled town. 

With that in mind, a new mural created by a pair of talented street artists has been created to celebrate the power of the Texas town. 

Twitter / @AlyssaCBS4

El Paso brothers, John Ramirez and Jamie Hernandez Jr., worked hard to craft this graffiti style mural. Reading “El Poderoso Tejano,” the vast wall painting is located between Ascarate Street and Valencia Place on the United States side of the border city. The mural was sponsored by local tee-shirt company, OG Family. The company will be selling tee-shirts of the mural design and all profits from their sale will go to the victims of the El Paso assault.

“It shows that everybody came as a community,” David Barbosa, co-owner of OG Family said of the mural. “For one purpose. That purpose is to show that we’re united no matter what happens. At the end, El Paso is united.”

The mural will also be featured in a music video for local El Paso record label, 915 Records Familia. The rap video will be filmed on September 28th. During the video shoot, a local car show will also take place at the mural’s site bringing together El Paso’s car community, rap community and street art community all in one spot. 

Though the Ramirez Brothers are now getting the credit they deserve for this mural, they were not named by local El Paso media who first reported the new artwork

Twitter / @cassyjernandez1 

In a video first promoting the mural, the brothers were not named as the artists. Instead, they were called “unlikely artists” and “former gang members.” Thankfully, Cassie Hernandez, a family member of the two artists, took to Twitter and credited them for their amazing work. 

In response, Twitter applauded the Ramirez Brothers’ craftsmanship and celebrated the spirit of El Paso’s survivors. 

 Twitter / @braydenbern

This Twitter user called out the attention to detail the artists put into the piece and also credited their commitment to graffiti-style art. The street art style came into popularity in the 1980s with the emergence of hip-hop culture. Cholo-inspired graffiti script especially became a calling card of Latinx communities and their street artists. While street art was once looked down upon, it is now celebrated for the unique and bold art form that it is.  

Many supporters were offended on the Ramirez Brothers’ behalf for the dis by local news. 

 Twitter / @angelitaaaxo

The original news story definitely did a disservice by leaving out the Ramirez Brothers’ names and by calling out any speculative former gang affiliation they might have had. Instead, their work as amazing artists and dedicated members of their community should be commended. There’s nothing “unlikely” about their talent or their love for El Paso.

This mural joins others that have recently gone up in El Paso to honor the victims of mass shootings.

Tweet / @thedailybeast

A mural honoring Joaquin Oliver, a victim of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, was unveiled the day after the tragedy in El Paso. The mural was planned before the Wal-Mart attack so the timing made the new addition to El Paso even more heartbreaking. Local artist Gabe Vasquez also created a mural reading “El Paso Strong” dedicated to the spirit of the border city.

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