MesaChic Tells Us How to Throw a Proper Mexican Fiesta
“All our products are 100% handmade in Mexico,” the 37-year-old said.
The family business, which she owns with her parents, “started on a whim” when she was planning her husband’s 40th dinner party.
“I was having a hard time finding a tablecloth I liked — that did not break my entire budget,” she said.
That was when she decided to check out Etsy (an online global marketplace), but she could only find wedding decor and formal linens.
“So as always, my mom came to the rescue and made a custom-sized tablecloth from a super cute fabric we had found,” she said.
Since the party turned out “wonderfully,” Luisa thought she should start her own Etsy store with her mom. In the beginning, they sold products made of all types of fabric, but eventually they realized that customers were more interested in traditional-Mexican linens.
“Living on the border we had an edge that few people have,” she said.
As their business grew, customers started asking for fiesta supplies so MesaChic created a separate webpage that included party decor purchased during family trips to Mexico.
Being an interior designer and growing up in Tijuana, alongside the U.S.-Mexico border, played a huge role in inspiring Luisa to start her trade.
“The best memories of my childhood were at family gatherings and holidays,” she said. “I want to pass those traditions to my kids and keep our Mexican roots very much alive in their hearts.”
How to Throw a Proper Mexican Fiesta
What is the first thing you decide on before setting a table? First of all, I decide on a theme. From there, I narrow down the colors I’ll be using. I always consider what plates and stemware I have so I can find the right linens to match. I regularly look to Pinterest for inspiration. If you do not want to spend a lot of money, small details can add a very nice touch to any table, like placards, napkin rings or some cool napkins. And I always add a nice floral arrangement that I make with supermarket flowers. You can make a great centerpiece with $20.
What products should someone make sure to have in order to throw a proper Mexican fiesta? The key to a great fiesta is using vibrant colors! The use of papel picado banners is a very inexpensive way to add an authentic Mexican vibe to any space. A great Otomi or Mexican woven table runner with assorted colored napkins is my favorite look. Fresh flowers always add a lovely touch to any table. You can then accessorize with all sorts of goodies, like mini sombreros or maracas for napkins holders and serapes as chair covers. Just add the tequila and you have a proper Mexican fiesta!
What are three important tips when setting a table? First, consider the occasion and set the table accordingly. If it’s an informal setting or the budget is tight, you might be better off setting a buffet style table. Secondly, the linens are very important, take the opportunity to add color here and have it represent the theme. Third, the flowers. Look for a good tutorial online to help you make a great arrangement.
What if you don’t necessarily have a ton of Mexican talavera, etc. What would you recommend doing to still give the Mexican vibe? As I said before, the key is the use of vibrant colors! I have set many tables with white square plates from Walmart and just added a serape as a table runner and colorful plain napkins. You can add flowers that give a bohemian touch to the table and you are all set.
Setting a Table Using Otomi and Mexican Talavera
You have so many Otomi products! Do you have an artisan in Mexico who produces these products for you? Yes, we have them made by artisans in Mexico.
Tell us a bit about Otomi. How is it manufactured? Also known as Tenangos, they are hand embroidered by Mexican-artisan women. Some pieces can take up to 2-3 months to make. Each runner has an original design hand drawn by the artisan’s view of the world. They are a very ancient tradition.
What is the significance behind Otomi? The images depicted include mythical creatures found in prehistoric wall paintings, including animals and florals in vibrant colors.
Why is Otomi important to you? I find them to be a beautiful work of art! I love that each design is different and tells you a lot about the artisan, the colors and patterns they use.
When working with talavera and Otomi, how do you make sure that all the beautiful colors don’t clash? You do have to be very careful with all these patterns. It’s all about balance and finding contrasting colors to work with.
MesaChic Owner Shares Favorite Traditions and More
What is your favorite Mexican tradition? I think the tradition that encapsulates Mexican people the best is “Día de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead). On this day, we remember and honor those who have passed away — especially family members — in a very lively way. It is very inspiring to see the amount of work and love that goes into making these vibrant altars and the tradition behind them.
What are some of your favorite tableware and table setting combinations? I am very lucky to have several of my grandmother’s tableware settings, which are my favorite to work with. I love using a mix of vintage and new. As a family, we love to travel and I always try to buy tableware representative of each country. My most recent purchase was a set of colored crystal goblets from Prague.
What is your favorite part about your job? Working with both my parents is a dream job. My mom keeps us on our feet with her work ethic and my dad is the dreamer, always reminding us to think bigger.
Is there anything else you’d like to add? Well I have to say, I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to own my own business, work at my own pace, and take as much time off (I need to enjoy my 3 kids) and to have the support of my husband. But most importantly, I want to teach my daughter, you CAN do it all!