Wandering down Calle Corazon just off 5th Avenue one night after dinner in Playa del Carmen, my sister and I walked to the end of the little street, and crossed over calle 14 to Maya Notes. I think it may have been the beautiful handmade journals that first grabbed my attention, and I knew that one would make the perfect gift to take home to my daughter.
What i loved about this cute little store was that everything inside had been lovingly handmade by members of one family. The woman who greeted us, ARI, pointed out the various gifts her family had made, such as the bottle cap necklaces crafted by her 14 year old son.
Everything heart-shaped was made by her grandfather (I thought there must be a story there), including the glass-blown heart mobiles.
I'm not usually a fan of things heart shaped, but perhaps because I was feeling a little sad with a broken heart myself, there was something about being surrounded by all those happy hearts that felt good. I purchased a beautiful heart bracelet with upcoming Valentines day in mind, and I have worn it many times (pictured below, next to the journal I also purchased).
Maya Notes made me think of my family and how all of us are creative in our own way - my mother is a talented watercolour artist, my brother paints in oils, I make soap, my daughter is experimenting with painting, sketching and sewing and her Nana is an amazing cook and seamstress. I dreamed a little bit about how cool it would be to have a store filled with each family member's creations. ARI has turned her dreams into reality.
I chose a journal for my daughter, handmade by ARI herself using mostly recycled papers. The cover was embellished with a wooden Mayan symbol that she told me represented love and family. So fitting.
After looking around some more and chit-chatting with ARI, she pulled out a bottle from behind the counter and offered us some tequila, a big smile on her face (when's the last time you've been offered a shot of tequila while shopping?). My sister hesitated, but thank god she had me there to say "yes please!" And together the three of us shared some cheer.
You can see more of ARI and Maya Notes here.