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La Casa is Guatemala’s largest exporter of handmade goods, employing up to 1,000 people during the year — working as part of a family collective, as independent artisans or as a member of a cooperative. The abilities of these highly skilled workers are as varied as La Casa’s catalogue, including weavers, silversmiths, sewers, potters, wood carvers, and more. Bloomist’s first pieces from La Casa are wooden flowers, made from “tree ears,” harvested from four types of trees native to the country’s Pacific coastline: jacarandas, gravileas, guachipilíns, and avocado trees. “The harvested tree ears need to be scrubbed free of moss and lichens, and remnants of bark must be removed from the arms or posts that attached them to the branches,” says Ian Gonzalez, La Casa’s creative director. “Then they are left to dry in the sun for several weeks.” At that point, carvers shape their unlikely material into stylish final products.