Made in S.A.: Local company turns old Mexican dresses into Fiesta swag

A local woman's love for the traditional Mexican dress is getting people all over town geared up for Fiesta.

SAN ANTONIO -- A local woman’s love for the traditional Mexican dress is getting people all over town geared up for Fiesta.

They come in every color.

Their designs are unique to each individual dress.

"You know in San Antonio that we are all crazy for Mexican dresses and I would go out to estate sales and garage sales and find them in a heap on a table. And all of the embroidery on a Mexican dress is still done by hand. So I scooped them up and I took them home and I thought alright I am going to make something out of this," Bird and Pear owner Liz Leatherbury said.

Leatherbury used her sewing skills to make a decorative pillow out of her first repurposed dress.

"I put them up on Etsy and see what kind of reaction we get. Feedback from people and they loved them. It took off," Leatherbury said.

For her, it was about saving every little scrap.

"The pennants, the cozies and all sorts of fun other things. We've upholstered chairs with them we have thought of every way we can to use up ever scrap, because I can't stand to put that traditional work in the trash can," she said.

In her small studio in La Villita you can find Leatherbury and her small team disassembling the dresses.

"What you wouldn't know until you rip one apart is that every stitcher signs their dresses, so this is like an artist signature in here. So you would never know that because it's hidden. Arelia Pena, that's who stitched this beautiful dress. I just love it. Every single one of them has a personality," Leatherbury said.

Bird and Pear is now in its second year, but  she has run out of used dresses.

"Because we have has so much demand for this and we get so many orders for it… The demand has exceeded the supply and the time that it takes to go to all those sales. So we started working with an importer and we buy dresses from the very large bail and we recycle them," Leatherbury said. 

The shop now offering nearly 30 different products and even branching out to repurposed serape material. 

"People walk in and what they say is its so San Antonio, and I think that's a great compliment. Because San Antonio has a great vibe. We really have a special culture. We need to reference all that. Keep it alive. 

So if you're looking to get geared up for Fiesta, Bird and Pear has something for everyone -- from on the go to in your home, and even for your favorite party. 

Find their products on their Etsy or at their location at La Villita. 

© 2017 KENS-TV


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