1. How do I place an order?
- We sell our items based using a “release style" approach. What that means is that all of our items that are ready to ship will be loaded to the website and made available for purchase on a given date & time. Usually, our releases are set for every other Friday night at 7:30 pm CST, however, we update our Facebook page often with more info on upcoming releases and any schedule changes we may have.
2. Once I make my purchase how long will the shipping from Oaxaca take?
- If you are purchasing an RTS (ready to ship) item, we usually say to allow 2 weeks for it to be received by you! If it is a pre-order item, you can check our Facebook page for the expected turn around dates prior to each release.
3. Which artist created my beautiful piece?
- In the side seam of each dress, you will find a little tag featuring the name of the amazing artist responsible for creating your beautiful piece! This is a great way for you to get to know the artist better, and a way that they can take even more pride in their beautiful work! Most of our artist are featured on the Facebook page, allowing you to put a face with a name and to know a little bit about their lives here.
4. Can I visit The Fancy Feather and meet the wonderful artists?
- Absolutely! The artists of The Fancy Feather are a tight-knit family located in the lovely community of Pluma Hidalgo, Oaxaca. Our little shop is located directly in the city center and the women love to show off & talk about their work to admiring visitors. We place great value on transparency between the artists and customers! Pluma Hidalgo is located about an hour from the tourist city of Bahias de Huatulco serviced by the international airport - HUX.
5. Are the artisans of The Fancy Feather paid a fair wage?
- The Fancy Feather exist to serve as a channel to connect the local artists to international markets. This allows them to earn a fair, livable wage for their art in an ethical, transparent manner. The day-to-day operations of the shop are overseen by local, indigenous leaders who have full access to the financial records of the business. The price of the items is carefully determined in coordination with the artists to ensure that the women receive a fair, livable wage and that all production costs are covered. The purpose of the business is neither to exploit the work of the indigenous artists nor to give them a subsidy. When the business does have extra funds the artists joyfully give back to their community through a variety of projects benefiting local schools & people affected by natural disasters. You can see these projects from time to time on our facebook page.
6. Where is your raw material sourced?
- The Fancy Feather takes great pride in using only the highest quality materials to showcase the beautiful work of the local artists! Most of our pieces are produced using 100% cotton fabric imported from the United States. Occasionally, we will feature locally woven fabrics or materials that are sourced directly from local producers who are paid a fair price for their amazing products. All of our embroidery floss is produced by DMC because of its quality & color fastness.
7. What inspires the embroidery styles & designs used by The Fancy Feather?
- Mexico, especially Oaxaca, is an incredibly complex place representing hundreds of unique cultures. Many cultures have their own rich traditions of embroidery patterns, designs & stitches. Every summer you can see the various cultures of Oaxaca showcasing their traditions in Oaxaca City through a wonderful festival know as Guelaguetza. They proudly show off their cultures dances, foods, embroidery and other handicrafts. The pieces produced by The Fancy Feather are created by the artists using their own personal cultural expressions and unique designs created for the international market by Mary.
8. How can I tell the difference between authentic, artisan embroidery & cheaply produced knock-offs?
- All hand embroidery is not created equal. Authentic, artisan hand embroidery is a rich tapestry of several unique, quality stitch types that takes many hours to create. The final product is both visually stunning & durable. A fun game we like to play with The Fancy Feather pieces is to try and count the number of unique stitches that can be identified in a single dress! A great way to determine the quality of the stitchwork is to flip the artwork over and examine the back of the piece. In an artisan quality piece, the back will look nearly as clean and beautiful as the front. If there is a jumble of loose threads and knots the piece will struggle to hold up to the test of time & the rigors of daily wear. Check out the following photos to see what we mean!