Cristina Lynch can still remember her early fascination with the embroidered blouses and flowing, vibrantly colored skirts that she’d see throughout the streets of Mexico during childhood trips. Born and raised in Dallas, Lynch often traveled to her mother’s hometown of Torreón, in the Mexican state of Coahuila, about two hours away from where her grandfather ran a ranch. She also explored towns with strong artisan cultures, like Oaxaca, which Lynch returns to every few months to work on Mi Golondrina, the line of women’s and children’s clothing and home accessories she partners with a local embroiderer to produce. “Having grown up surrounded by Mexican-made pieces, I started thinking about how to elevate Mexico’s platform in the fashion world,” she says.
Though she spent years working in the fashion industry in New York, Lynch prefers to call herself a curator rather than a designer, and her eye for style is evident in the modern twists she gives to the otherwise traditional garments, like more-fitted silhouettes and unexpected color combinations. Before launching the company, in 2013, Lynch spent a lot of time meeting with makers throughout Mexico and learning about the cultural significance behind the various pieces she intended to showcase. “I wanted to understand the right way to produce each piece so it can be worn for a lifetime,” she says. “Golondrina means ‘swallow’ or ‘songbird’ in Spanish, and I love to think about Mi Golondrina, or ‘My Songbird,’ flying all over the world delivering beautiful dresses from different parts of Mexico.”
How does the production process work?
I select all the fabrics and threads and send them to my artisan partner in Mexico. She distributes the material to about two hundred women who live in and around Oaxaca and work in their homes. Each piece goes through several phases: one group of women does the floral embroidery, a second group does the hand-crocheting, and a third does the hand-pleating. Then all the pieces are thoroughly checked before they’re sent to Dallas, where we add all the finishing details, like the ribbon inserts on the sleeves.
Did you start out making clothing?
No, our first pieces were a collection of decorative pillows in partnership with Peacock Alley Design Studio. At the launch party, I decided to feature a few dresses, and they completely sold out that night. It was an aha moment. I always knew I would bring my love of Mexican dresses to the collection, but it became a reality quicker than I had anticipated. Moments like that are so important because they force your business to adapt to the ever-changing market.
You have such a global perspective, but you grew up in Dallas. Did you travel a lot growing up?
We always went to Mexico, and then I studied abroad in Switzerland in high school, and in Argentina in college. I lived in New York for six years, where I worked on the sales team for Oscar de la Renta and then as a marketing manager at Jetsetter for hotels in Latin America. I’ve always spoken Spanish with my family and friends, but this particular opportunity helped me perfect my business Spanish. I believe one should embrace each experience, because, taken together, they all contribute to making your dreams a reality.
You are also doing a lot of custom orders. What have been some of your favorite commissions so far?
We love making the “get-ready dress” for bridal parties. Working with brides to incorporate specific colors and styles brings me so much joy. Last summer, we custom-made 32 beautiful dresses for bridesmaids. We have also embroidered dining room chairs, handmade crib bedding, and custom-designed curtains.
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