Sandra Rojas-Chinni, who was born in Bucaramanga, Columbia, originally began importing artisanal ceramics to Toronto from her native country when she opened her own store. There, she met Vanessa Yusuf, a frequent customer who soon became a close friend. A trip to Expoartesanias, a design show in Bogota, inspired their new venture: Fique + Clay, an online store of beautiful home goods designed in Toronto and handcrafted in Columbia. When the duo discovered fique, Sandra says, “it was love at first sight.”

Fique is a natural, sustainable and biodegradable fiber hailing from Colombia’s fique plant, which was long used to make coffee bags and potato sacks. “It’s a forgotten product!” says Vanessa. “We turned it into something modern and useful,” adds Sandra. Fique placemats, baskets and rugs are all handmade by artisans in the Andean town of Curiti. Makers in Medellin, meanwhile, craft local clay into big-tummied pitchers, mugs and tableware. Then, everything is shipped to Toronto and sold through the store or retail partners.

Scroll down to learn more about this local shop and discover some of our favorite pieces!