Founder and Curator: Karen Torres is a Chicago native and Colombian with a lifelong passion for both. Ever learning about her roots, she continuously studies the rich ethnic history and art of Colombia’s various indigenous groups and has channeled her passion to bring this wealth of art to Chicago.
Karen has an amazing, personal story for almost every item. She can not only share with you the technique used to create these works of art, the materials needed and where they are made, she can also relate a personal, heartfelt story of each artisan. Her connection to this work is deeply rooted, and is beautiful to see.
Ana Tulia or MamaTu, as she was affectionately called, was the matriarch of our family. Her life was an example of unconditional love, wholehearted generosity and unyielding service to both family and community. Instilled with these same values, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, now scattered across 4 continents are ever committed to family, community, and service.
With these values in mind, TULIA'S ARTISAN GALLERY seeks the finest examples of ancient techniques mixed with a modern flair. We source directly from indigenous tribes or traditional artisans working to preserve ancestral lands, culture, and traditions. We provides a platform for these artists to introduce their treasures to new markets, contribute to their local economy and empower their community. Our mission is to continue to live the values Mama Tu taught us while ethically sourcing one-of-a-kind quality products.
Tulia's Artisan Gallery is a proud member of Chicago Fair Trade (CFT). CFT is the largest fair trade coalition in the USA, comprised of a dedicated base of member businesses, educational institutions, congregations, non-profit organizations, and individual activists. CFT increases support for economic and environmental justice through consumer education, advocacy, and promotion of local fair trade businesses. CFT is proud to be a local and national leader in raising awareness about and building support for fair trade and its principles of environmental sustainability, ethical production methods, fair wages, and safe working conditions.