I always envisioned PIA’s pieces to arrive inside packaging that clients would treasure and want to keep, and that they would even use to put other jewelry in! How lovely to be able to help care for your most precious possessions!
During the first few years of PIA, we packed our pieces in cotton drawstring muslin bags inside of cardboard boxes, which, even though they were recyclable and designed in a cute way, they were not special enough for customers to want to keep them and continue using them, specially if you already had other little boxes like them around your house, which was possible.
However, for a while I didn't feel there was a much better alternative, as the luxury packaging alternatives available for jewelry products, such as big pleathery cushy velvet treasure chests, were not really my vibe, and they seemed tremendously expensive and wasteful.
So it wasn´t until many years after, during a trip to Oaxaca, Mexico, that I was introduced to palm woven objects handmade with beautiful simplicity and precision, and it was then and there that I realized how perfect and precious they were for my objective.
Weaving is one of the oldest crafts in Mesoamerica, being used way before ceramics and the invention of fire to recollect, drink, eat, store and carry items. Weaving techniques and materials are very varied from region to region as they depend on the availability of palm vegetation, of which there are more than 80 different species in Mexico alone.
The small palm boxes created by Marilu, our Oaxacan palm wizard, are made one by one by hand using palm leaf strips and following a very traditional shape and weave used to make containers of many shapes and sizes. They have two pieces that fit inside one another and are tightly woven to create a supple but strong shell to perfectly protect a jewelry piece.
I was so happy to speak Spanish so I could have a chance to talk to the lady who was patiently making these beautiful objects at the market and start a great long lasting relationship that still goes on today! Not only did I buy way too many palm objects that got a little squished on my luggage back to NY.
After some weeks I got in contact with her and after some testing we arrived at the perfect little sleeve for PIA pieces: A strong but supple protective shell made with natural materials, following ancestral techniques.