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How are you operating during the Covid-19 pandemic?
We are trying hard to stay afloat. Online orders for free shipping in the USA (NOT for ceramics) and curbside pickup in Minneapolis are just some of the ways we are staying open. Please see our adaptations to Covid-19 page for more information.
Do you sell wholesale?
We do offer some discounts for a purchase of some of our items in quantity. Please let us know exactly how many of the item you are looking for and we will let you know if it is available in quantity, what the minimum purchase number is and how soon the item can be made available. The products you see on the website are in our Minneapolis shop and have already been imported to the United States. We do not ship to customers from Mexico or within Mexico, only from our shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Every item on our website is personally selected by me on my trips to Mexico and has been shipped to the US. We do not order from our artisans, but purchase directly from what they have available on our frequent trips to Mexico. They often do not have very much stock. And frequently we purchase one of a kind items. Often we run out of stock and it is not replenished until our next trip, if ever.
How long have you been in business?
Zinnia Folk Arts was established in 2008.
Why do you have so few of each object?
I examine and decide on every purchase of folk art on my trips to Mexico, 3-4 times per year. Our quantities are limited because 1) artisans don't make many multiples of items 2) sometimes the quality is uneven among pieces they have to offer and I like to select the best 3) I have to carry every piece I buy back to my hotel and sometimes I run out of gas. We do take special orders, so if something is sold out, contact us to see if we can get it on an upcoming trip.
How much do you charge for shipping in the United States?
Shipping charges have been changed during the pandemic. We are now doing the following:
1. Free shipping for everything except ceramics and other heavy or fragile items.
2. Ceramics and other heavy items may be picked up curbside at no cost.
3. Ceramics and other heavy items may be held at the store until we are able to ship AND they will have additional actual costs shipping charges to be paid by Paypal, after the item is packed, insured and weighed to your destination from Minneapolis.
Do you ship to countries outside of the United States?
No, we are no longer shipping to other countries. We only ship within the United States of America.
Are the artisans paid fairly?
Yes. Retail price includes not just the piece, but all of the expenses related to obtaining and selling the item--all of the travel, the packing and shipping from Mexico, customs, employees, rent, website, taxes, marketing, snow removal(!), insurance, and many other things that are not so obvious. My business model is this: I go to Mexico 3-4 times/year, I travel to different regions, I visit artisans in their homes and studios, I personally select every piece and then I purchase directly from them, in cash, at the prices they set. I do not order ahead of time nor tell them what to make. I do not buy in large quantities because most artisans make a very limited number of pieces, as you can see by the limited number of each piece on the website. Many times there is only one piece. I select from the items they have available when I visit. I also visit markets, shops, expoventas, workshops, studios, folk art fairs and other places that attract interesting folk artists and buy from vendors there. Then I do a lot of work myself (packing, carrying, schlepping on buses, taxis and collectivos) to move the merchandise around Mexico to eventually get it back to the United States, through customs, to sell the pieces in my Minneapolis shop and online. I try to make enough money to pay for all of the expenses, and then with the remainder, I return to Mexico and buy more from many of the same artisans and additional new artisans, every time I go. I do not bargain on price, because although Mexico is a bargaining culture, I think that generally, the prices asked by artisans who have spent hours and sometimes days and weeks making a gorgeous one of a kind piece, reflect that time and work.
Do you take special orders?
Yes. If you see something on the website and would like more than are currently available online, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss whether the item can be purchased in a larger quantity or different colors or sizes. We take a minimum of 25% non-refundable deposit to cover our costs of hunting for the item. If we find it, it is yours and you will be billed for the remaining cost. If it cannot be found, we refund the deposit, less a $35 search fee. Special orders are not eligible for free shipping--shipping costs will be billed to you at the time you are billed for your special order item.
Can I pick up an online order in the Minneapolis shop?
Sure! You can order online and then choose "Curbside Pickup" in the shipping choices. We will have it ready for you to pick up on either Tuesday or Friday from 11-2.
How do you get things home from Mexico?
I purchase large quantities of goods, from several different regions on each of my trips, so my strategies of getting things home are not feasible for the average tourist.
Do you sell Corporate Gifts at the holidays?
Purchasing small gifts, especially Christmas ornaments, in quantity for the holidays is possible with enough lead time. Because we purchase every item on our trips to Mexico and not from catalogues, planning ahead is crucial. If you can notify us of your needs before our July and/or October trips, we may be able to purchase the quantity of items you need. The destination of the trip also makes a difference and some things can only be purchased in July and other things only in October. A non-refundable 50% deposit is required. If I am not able to find the item, the deposit will be refunded less a $35 charge for searching. Pricing and discounts on corporate gifts vary by the item and depend on whether additional shipping costs from Mexico are incurred.
Do you accept solicitations or cold calls? Do you purchase from trade shows, wholesale vendors or businesses in Mexico through email?
I am frequently sent emails by individuals or businesses that make Mexican handicrafts wondering if I am interested in buying their crafts. Though many of them are beautiful or interesting, I only purchase items from artisans, workshops, families, puestos and businesses when I am in Mexico and able to see what people make, how they make it and the quality of the item. I do that so I am assured to receive exactly what I want and I know that every item is handmade by the people from whom I purchase it or their family member.
Do you have a question we haven't answered? Contact Us!