This year, we’ve partnered up with Destination TO to bring their holiday activation to life. We are running our pop-up, Shop the Block, at Stackt Market, in the heart of Toronto. “We’re so excited to be popping up this holiday season in our Toronto! We’ve curated a diverse assortment of brands from different neighbourhoods of Toronto. From home decor to holiday gifts to the newest in fashion, beauty, and jewelry we have something for the locals and tourists alike!” says Editor-in-Chief of STYLE Canada, Elise Gasbarrino.
Shop the Block will feature goods from local Toronto businesses. Our Shop the Block: Behind the Brands series will take a deeper look at the founders of our participating vendors and their stories. This article features Pacha Arts with
The Pacha Arts Family; Founders of Pacha Arts
SC: Tell us a bit about yourselves…
PA: Pacha Indigenous Art Collection is a Family owned indigenous (Kichwa) business based in Toronto. We are a family that has been traveling across Turtle Island since 1990. Patricia Cajas, owner and operator, comes from the Kichwa community of Peguche, located in the Andes region of Northern Ecuador. Husband Marcos Arcentales has been living in Tkaronto since he was 2 years old. From a young age, he knew of the importance of keeping his Andean roots alive through music, and connecting with his indigenous cousins in the North. Samay and Kinoo were both born in Toronto in the early nineties, and along with our parents, have followed the tradition of the Mindalae throughout their lives.
What does Mindalae mean? Our community comes from a longstanding tradition of commerce and trade, active and strong since long before colonization of our traditional territories. This mindalae tradition has informed the movement of Kichwa people who have traveled far and wide, bringing music, arts, and crafts made by their own family and communities to sell around the world.
SC: Tell us the story behind your brand!
PA: We proudly uphold the Mindalae tradition (the ancestral practice of travel and trade), now incorporating the prophecy of the condor and eagle into our work. This story tells of a time when indigenous peoples from Turtle Island (North America) and Abya Yala (South America) would come together again in unity, exchanging, trading, and working in solidarity with each other across colonial borders. We strive to hold a space where everyone is able to learn of the stories behind our precious items, which have been crafted by indigenous artists, families and collectives with you in mind. We see building community as the key to creating a real learning experience and exchange.
We host a curated collection of work that is meaningful not only to the customer, but also serves as a significant exchange between us as a Kichwa family, and the people we work with, thus bringing to life the vision behind the Condor and Eagle story. This story is at the very core of what we do; reigniting those trade networks that have existed for hundreds of years, which have been interrupted by colonial borders.
It provides an authentic avenue for people from all walks of life to support indigenous artistry! Anyone can proudly own and wear the items we offer!
SC: What inspires you?
PA: This is a big question! But we can keep the answer sweet and simple 🙂 Our history and ingenuity as indigenous peoples. Our ancestors and their strength.
SC: What does 2022 hold for you?
PA: So many things are coming our way for 2023! We’re hoping to rebrand a bit and focus on launching new collections of clothing, textiles, jewellery, and more. As well as opening a new studio space and storefront so keep an eye out! follow us at @pacha_arts on all social media platforms 🙂
SC: What is your favourite item to gift this holiday season?
PA: Blankets! Its one of the item’s we’re most proud of. Blankets are significant in different indigenous cultures. And as a community with an expertise in textile, and filled with master weavers, we’ve had hundreds of years of experience in making warm, soft material. The blankets we offer were designed by us as a family, and made in our home Kichwa community.
Find Pacha Arts at our pop-up happening at Stackt Market in Toronto, at 28 Bathurst Street Unit 5-108! We are open Tuesday through Sunday from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm from November 29th to December 11th! For more information, visit style.ca/events
Last modified: December 3, 2022