In Oaxaca, Mexico, declared a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, Nest is working with an indigenous group of predominantly female artisans to keep the centuries-old ceramic tradition alive. Following rigorous needs-assessment, Nest will implement customized, on-the-ground business development initiatives, put into motion by an onsite Nest Program Manager. Intensive programming will include production and supply chain workshops; staffing and growth strategy sessions; and design mentorships that will ensure high-end marketability of product lines.

In partnership with Nest artisan leaders in Oaxaca, Nest will help to construct a multifunctional facility to serve the trifold role of workshop, community center and museum. The structure will provide a much-needed space for idea-exchange across villages, as well as from outside experts. Here, artisans will be able to sample production orders and, through hands-on design mentorships from Nest professionals, they will learn how to meld ancient techniques with contemporary design, remaining marketable to prior clients like MOMA Design Store. As a museum, the space will feature a housed catalog of pottery-work and historical techniques – creating a global focal point for the traditional pottery craft of the indigenous Oaxaca.

Nest’s work in Oaxaca will champion environmental responsibility via a complete transition to a new type of kiln, countering the pollution and product quality imprecisions caused by traditional wood-burning kilns. Nest’s artisan partner in Oaxaca has developed the first-ever kiln to operate with the use of local restaurant waste oil, which will drastically reduce deforestation and pollution, while enhancing product quality through a more precise and safer firing technique that removes the threat of carbon monoxide inhalation. Simultaneously, as the waste is free of charge, production costs will be greatly reduced.