Last updateFri, 29 Apr 2016 3pm


A Midwesterner Moves to Mexico - Blue Rimmed Glasses

So maybe those glasses at Pier One aren’t overpriced after all. 

I’ve always loved the iconic blue rimmed drinking glasses from Pier One. You know the ones – thick clear glass with a few bubbles and a cobalt blue stripe at the top. Each glass a slightly different size and shape, but each fitting your hand comfortably and feeling solid and unbreakable.

I got my first set when my daughter entered and won a raffle for a US$500 shopping spree at Pier One. Unfortunately, since she was under 18, she had had to put my name down on the entry form and I was the named winner. 

After a little mother-daughter negotiation, and only because 15 year olds don’t have a lot of interest in home goods, we walked out of the store with a green Papasan chair for her room and some kitchen chairs and a set of blue rimmed glasses for me.

It’s been five moves and almost 20 years since that raffle and I couldn’t tell you where those blue glasses finally ended up. What I can tell you is that they remain my favorite glasses and I would have replaced them If I had ever won another raffle.

But at US$5.00 per glass, when I could get a set of eight glasses at T.J. Max for US$12.99, they always seemed a little overpriced and out of reach for a single mom raising two daughters.

Not anymore.

Last weekend I had the opportunity of watching demonstrations in a few of the handcrafting shops in Tonala.  

My favorite was a glass blowing shop where they were making tequila bottles at the demonstration we watched, but where they also make other glass items, including blue rimmed glasses. 

The number of steps, the attention to detail, and the art involved in the process was eye opening and impressive. As was the pride that you could see on the face of each worker in all the shops that we toured.

I didn’t buy any blue rimmed glasses that day, but I’ll definitely be going back and heading home with a set.

Although I won’t have to pay US$5.00 per glass, a part of me will wish that I did.

Particularly if there was a way to ensure that a bigger portion of that price was getting into the hands of the artisans who deserve it.