A Commitment to Delivering Delight.
At Zenwaro, we have many mission statements, goals, mantras / call them what you will. In the sphere of "customer experience", the simplest way to convey our ambition to enhance these customer experiences begins with that feeling you have on Christmas morning / insert favorite holiday. Couple that with the feeling you have when you've found a product or products that are so unique, it is hard to believe they even exist. A sense of pride is felt, born out of the search for a unique product and the subsequent experience when it is received, then thoughtfully incorporated into your life and treasured forever. Knowing that your creative awareness guided you toward a delightful product and authentic brand, is an experience not too different from endlessly searching for what your heart desires then finally finding a diamond in the rough.
We have invested years of work into developing our artisan-made products and studying the many facets of the customer experience, a job that you could say is never-ending. It may look simple to you, and of course, that's how we want our customers to feel. In reality, there is so much more going on behind the scene from the moment we receive your order.
01. Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato MX. Sergio and Clayton reviewing various Talavera patterns and new design ideas. | 02. Tonola, Guadalajara MX. Within the glass blowing studio an apprentice glass blower takes the blowpipe to create. Several of the glass studios that we work with community colleges to resource young apprentices to educate and develop their skills. | 03. Agreeing to disagree on the specific mold design of our beloved Talavera Pet Bowls.
Communication is the key because only one out of the group of artists we work with in Mexico speaks English. In our group of two managing partners at Zenwaro only one, Clayton, is fluent in Spanish. I continue to learn, but Google Translate is often inadequate. I have found that communicating is so much easier face to face, even when neither party speaks or understands the other's language. Facial expressions and body language can help a great deal to convey the meaning.
Our economy is filled with large corporate brands who release impressive and elaborate press statements and marketing campaigns touting their dedication towards equality in the workplace, sustainable treatment of the environment, the ethical treatment of their partnering suppliers. These ideals are challenging to uphold in our current business world and often get tossed aside when it comes to the "bottom line." From our very first trip to Mexico, we knew there would be many challenges. We saw and felt that all of the artisans we met and worked with were passionate about their creations. We want you to know that the brand, Zenwaro, that presented these unique creations to you is a company that believes in supporting real artisans, executes ethical treatment in the communities sources sustainable materials and ingredients whenever possible.
Most artisans we collaborate with incorporate recycled materials into their work, whether using clay from the surrounding countryside or recycling glass and metal to create beautiful lighting. It never fails to amaze me what can be made from piles of broken glass.
When the artwork is completed in the artist's studios in Mexico, then the critical work begins. If all items are not packed by caring hands, they stand a slim chance of arriving intact when they reach our warehouse in Las Vegas. In Mexico, the package and freight carriers do not offer insurance for the goods they are transporting. Consequently, the only insurance available is to practice "excellent packing procedures" and use a lot of "Fragile" and "Handle Carefully" stickers. After that, commercial transporters selected from our years of experience make the 1,500 mile trip across Mexico to the infamous southern U.S. border.
Upon arrival in Tijuana, Armando Mendez gathers our products from the various freight warehouses and prepares the essential and formal paperwork for the border crossing. The tedious process of preparing proper documentation and cargo for importation into the United States from Mexico can be a dangerous dance with very specific steps. If you don't provide the appropriate tip to the right person on the Mexico side, then "hasta la vista" for your cargo. Considering the U.S. side of the border, if the proper forms do not match your cargo's manifest for agencies like the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and CBP (Customs and Border Protection) well then you are placed in what we like to call "Border Jail" and bail is not cheap!
Fun Facts about commercial crossings at the US / Mexico border...
In 2019 there were 79,828,599 vehicle crossings of which:
73,085,262 (92%) were Personal Vehicles;
6,591,796 (7.8%) were Commercial Trucks; and
151,541 (0.2%) were Buses.
When our calculated border crossings are complete, everything is taken to another warehouse on the U.S. side. All boxes are consolidated onto pallets and shrink-wrapped for stability in preparation for the trip's final leg when picked up by another freight carrier delivering to our warehouse in Las Vegas.
01.Guadalajara Jalisco, MX. The the warehouse dock of a trusted Transporter is not the prettiest of sites, but once per week this facility becomes the largest hub for all transported commercially caught fish in Mexico arriving from the Pacific coast. | 02. Otay Mesa, California US. Cargo awaiting inspection before approved to enter into the US from Mexico. | 03. Tijuana Baja California, MX. A dog at work, checking vehicles that received a Red Light or ¡no pase! which means basically you can not enter and you are going to be here for a while.
The "Christmas morning" feeling then begins for us as we start the unpacking and inventory process. Unbelievably, most orders arrive with very little damage. Another project is well done by caring hands in Mexico.
Every item is placed with care in their pre-designated areas in our warehouse. Then the packing process begins to send your orders. Up to 80% of our packing materials are obtained from warehouses that receive and unwrap products and allow us to retrieve and recycle their materials.
Each item is cleaned and inspected, from the tiniest to the largest, before wrapping them with the utmost care in preparation to send to you. We hope you will consider recycling the packing materials that we used for your package and make an effort to reuse or recycle in the best sustainable manner.
We hope you experience that "Christmas morning" excitement with the package you have received from us.