40 years accompanying young people to enhance their growth and employability

From the dream (or insomnia) to the fact, from the idea to the materialization of the project “Enraizarte”.

“I’m Daniela and this is my entrepreneurial experience… a month ago we opened in the center of Madrid a project that we have been working on for three and a half years. A space that connects us to our Mexican roots and from which we joyfully share a bit of the culture in which we grew up.

One summer night I couldn’t sleep. Maybe the heat was baking my ideas. We had arrived in Madrid just three months ago and insomnia took hold of me resonating with the same question, what would you most like to do here, in this city, in this context, in this country that welcomes me.

As the hours of tossing and turning passed, the more lucid I felt and the clearer I began to have a clearer answer. Suddenly, I realized that it would be wonderful to undertake a project that would connect me directly with what I love and miss so much, which is my country, my roots; and if it could be successful, it would make it easier for me to visit it frequently. Right there I did an exercise to unravel what it is about my culture – its folklore and traditions – that fascinates and motivates me, and I concluded that it is its artistic and artisanal expressions that have always fascinated me. It is worth mentioning that I am an artist and that is why I have a special appreciation for them. What if I set up a craft store…? I got it, yes, I got excited.

The ideas started to sprout in my head, so I opened the computer and right there I took the first steps of the project. First, looking for information on how many stores or spaces promote traditional Mexican art in Madrid and, certainly, I found several references. I remembered that my favorite Mexican handicraft store was in Amsterdam (by the way, we had lived in Holland for seven years), and it was a different place because things were within reach, you could spend hours appreciating and touching them. I thought it would be wonderful to have a similar store, with a fresh, youthful touch. But my idea went further because many of the craft stores I had known before presented a format that I did not like, presenting the pieces in a distant and impersonal way inside showcases. So I imagined a space where each piece could be given a special place and also tell the stories behind it; who makes it, how long it takes, what technique is used, etc. In this way, it could connect the visitor with them and could value them in other ways. So they spent the next few hours enjoying the sweet epiphany and the dizzying stream of ideas. A great enthusiasm invaded me.

The next day, while having coffee with my husband, I told him everything. He thought it was a brilliant and viable idea and was infected by my enthusiasm. Since then, every day we have been working together on our project, putting a lot of effort and time, but above all affection, until after three and a half years, the time came to open a store.

We have gone through a whole series of processes, reviewing, analyzing, weighing, evaluating, studying, choosing, calculating, waiting, moving forward; experiencing the full range of emotions involved in each stage. In August 2019, after eight months of searching for space, we finally found an ideal location where we could develop different activities, such as having the store on the upper level and on the lower level a Mexican art gallery, where we will also teach workshops on artisanal techniques that reinforce the value of handmade things.

For the last year and a half, the Tomillo Foundation has been an enormous support to help us undertake our project and get it off the ground, alongside our technical advisor and the various training courses we have taken there.

We wanted to tell how the idea for the project came about, not just the process. Because many times ideas come up like that, when you least expect it and although they may seem crazy, you look back and you are already working on it, enriching it and moving forward to make it happen. There is still a long way to go to consolidate the project but to see an improbable idea materialize from a sleepless night… what a rush!”.

Enraizarte: Mexican crafts, art and design store with space for workshops.
C/Lope de Vega 3, Barrio de las Letras, 28014 Madrid.
FB and Instagram: EnraizarteStudio

Activity integrated in the project “Entrepreneurship and Integration” financed by the General Directorate for Integration and Humanitarian Assistance and co-financed by the European Social Fund.