This website is maintained by Henry Garman and Elena Gualsaqui, husband and wife team who are residents of Otavalo, Ecuador. They live in the Barrio Monserrat neighbourhood which is several blocks from the Plaza de Ponchos. Henry is a Canadian who moved to Ecuador at the end of September 2009 and fell in love with both Otavalo and Elena. Elena has lived in Otavalo since her childhood and for eighteen years worked in a local clothing factory.
Henry has extensive experience in working with aboriginals and handicrafts manufacturing, retailing and wholesaling in Canada. In the early 1960s his father, John Garman, began promoting handicrafts for a native cooperative located in La Ronge, in northern Saskatchewan. Several years later he opened the Trading Post Ltd., a retail store specializing in authentic Canadian arts and crafts in Saskatoon. Soon afterwards a moccasin factory was added to the company. That began the family’s history of promoting native crafts on a wholesale basis and manufacturing mukluks and moccasins. The wholesale division of the company, Prairie Crafts, employed mostly Cree workers, producing over 40,000 pair of sheepskin moccasins and mukluks per year, exporting these and other crafts worldwide.
The Garman family continues to operate the The Trading Post retail outlet at 225 2nd. Ave. South in Saskatoon. Henry’s brother Bruce Garman is the general manager of this store which continues to offer original Canadian arts and crafts. When you are visiting Saskatchewan be sure to stop into the Trading Post and see what Canada has to offer.
Our goal with this website is to showcase the incredible crafts of Ecuador and to also introduce you to the artisans who produce these items.
We are a wholesale exporting company registered with the city of Otavalo and the Ecuadorian government with the name “Artesanias Garman”