Introducing Run by Rural: Handcrafted by Master Artisans

June 20, 2014

Run by Rural partners with rural artisan associations to produce superior handcrafted goods for modern consumers. We provide artisans with the tools and resources they need to become successful entrepreneurs. We currently work in Peru with Virgen del Pilar Artisan Association, based in La Campiña, Catacaos. They sustain the art of handweaving in toquilla straw, a practice that began in Catacaos in the 18th century. Together, we design unique handwoven sombreros and accessories, aligning heritage with the global marketplace. 

Globally, the artisan sector is decentralized. Run by Rural applies design thinking to create quality products for consumers, reveal the root causes of artisan sector problems, and determine innovative industry solutions. To sustainably address major issues, our team works with an effective group of local, regional and international institutions. 

Run by Rural’s upcoming collection features luxury sombreros and accessories that unite tradition with minimalist, contemporary design. Artisans weave all items from toquilla or palma straw and color them using natural dyes. From obtaining unprocessed straw to packaging the final product, the production process for a single accessory takes at least 15 days.

August 16-19, Run by Rural will exhibit our upcoming collection at NY NOW Artisan Resource as part of the Market Incubator program. 

The same weekend, we are co-hosting a workshop with the Textile Arts Center featuring Juana Solano Chavez, the president of Virgen del Pilar Artisan Association. At our workshop, participants will discover both the history and ethnographic technique of weaving a toquilla straw sombrero from this master artisan!


"In honor of my 30th birthday: Mancora, the beach, surfing lessons, and a Mojito! It can't get any better than that."
- Brooke

"Of Piura’s many charms, the thing I’ve enjoyed the most has been the food, especially the ceviche! It's prepared with fresh, raw fish and is different than any other I’ve had before!"
- Andrea

"Transportation is very innovative in Piura. There are motorcycles that are used as taxis, which I enjoy riding every morning!"
- Fiorella

"Piura's landscape is fascinating - dry ground, humid air, desert plants, and the Pacific ocean! It's completely unique, and holds the stories and traditions of Virgen de Pilar and their beautiful handwoven hats."
- Gina







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