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NOVICA Artisan Margarita Ruiz

Margarita Ruiz

I'm Margarita Ruiz Contreras. I was born on December 4, 1989 in a Oaxaca town known for its weaving. I'd describe myself as a hard worker, responsible and kind, which has led me to surround myself with people who appreciate and respect me.

I first became interested in textiles when I'd watch my godmother Rosario weaving. I loved seeing the way she'd create each piece, so I asked her if she would teach me. She was happy and told me it would be a pleasure. I had to practice a lot and put a lot of effort into learning to make things better day by day. That was in 1996 — I was just a little girl! I married quite young and, as time went by, my godmother taught my husband and my sisters to weave. In this way, we were able to help her fill orders.

"In 2012, I decided to set up my own weaving workshop together with my husband, Alfredo Ruiz, after my godmother passed away. It wasn't easy because the economy wasn't good enough for me to buy my own loom. We had to wait a while to be able to request a bank loan to be able to purchase a loom and materials to weave table runners. At first, it was hard to find shoppers interested in my crafts but, thank God, we've done so well that we now take our weavings to other towns to sell.

"I work with cotton and silk, which I purchase in bulk. My husband helps me dye the fibers, then I carefully warp the loom to keep the sizes as uniform as possible. I like to create sets in different sizes and combine colors in my designs, and this is what I like best about this work. I can freely express my ideas and feelings through the loom.

"Once, my daughter became ill with a heart problem and it was a terribly difficult situation at home. I stopped working, as the most important thing was her health and without my emotional stability, I just wasn't able to create textiles in the same way. My daughter is fine now, growing bigger every day. She's mischievous but very loving and, thank God, we are moving ahead again with the help of the whole family.

"Sadly, my godmother died in 2013, so my greatest motivation is for my workshop to grow, to offer more and different designs. This is my way of showing my gratitude to the woman who taught me with such love. I want to honor her name by being able to offer jobs to more people. The intention of creation is the love with which you are taught to create things."