Persistence Pays Off
I wanted traditional rattan furniture on our terraza. This is a natural woven material which has been used for centuries, in tropical and semi tropical climates.
In recent years, it has been replaced with woven plastic made to look like ratan. It may be stronger, but our tropical sun is hard on plastic, and I’ve seen pieces not five years old that have disintegrated. Natural rattan requires maintenance, but it should last for twenty years. I was not willing to compromise but we had difficulty locating this furniture, anywhere.
My husband is a terrific internet surfer and he discovered that Tequisquiapan had several furniture factories that made this style of furniture and traditional wood furniture.
Located in the state of Queretaro, it is about an hour’s bus ride from Queretaro City but there were no flights from Merida to Queretaro. We booked a flight from Merida to Mexico City. There are buses, but a friend in Mexico City found someone to drive us directly from the new airport. This saved us a few hours of travel and transfer time, well worth the extra expense.
Tequisquiapan was designated as one of Mexico’s “Pueblas Magicos” and this one did not disappoint. We discovered a perfectly charming town center off the main tourist route. Apparently, it does get inundated with Mexican tourists on weekends, but arriving on Monday, we had it practically to ourselves. We enjoyed wandering the cobblestone streets and sampling some good food but we were not here for a holiday.
Rick had made note of several stores and factories, so upon arrival, we headed off to the one with the best website. Since the factory sold mainly through trade shows, there was no fancy showroom but walking into the factory, I saw exactly what I wanted. Pointing to a row of chairs I asked “How much are those”?
I thought I’d heard wrong when he said “$41,000. pesos” …Each. ($2,200.00) USD or $2835.00CDN). They were nice, but nowhere near our budget.
In the town center the following day we found an elegant store full of beautiful ratan furniture… with equally elegant prices. These were much lower what we’d seen the previous day, but still extravagant. Over breakfast, we tried to talk ourselves into splurging. but decided to keep looking. We still had a few days and had not exhausted our list of businesses.
After visiting half a dozen business, we found a small family-run business factory in a suburb of the town. The owner was out and while we waited, we watched a man weaving a chair with seagrass rattan. The quality was as good as anything we’d seen earlier but the owner quoted us prices that were about half of the elegant store. In fact, we were so pleased with these prices that we placed an order for terraza chairs dining room chairs, two loveseats, and a few simple hardwood tables.
We are expecting to receive the order sometime in March, which is perfect. By then we should have a place to put everything.