Wed-Sun, noon-7pm; Mon-Tue, by appointment only
G, L at Metropolitan Ave.-Lorimer St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
The name of this Williamsburg shop is pronounced “wheet-zeely,” and it means “hummingbird” in the Mexican dialect, Nahuatl. Owner Emily Cantrell spent over four years living in Mexico and making connections with the artisans who now supply her closet-size boutique with its plethora of handmade goods. Everything in Huitzilli, from the rough-hewn leather sandals to the linen guayaberas, is fair-trade and comes from Mexico (with the exception of some textiles from nearby Guatemala). Cantrell travels right to the source to ensure that each product meets her standards for labor practices and authenticity. Her research is reflected on a card accompanying each item that details the artisan who created it, the materials used, and the region in which it was made. A quick glance at a card and a chat with Cantrell, for instance, reveals that the straw, fedora-style sombrero Americano, made from the Jipi-Japa palm tree, is handwoven by an artist named Rita Maria in the damp caves of Campeche, where the palms become especially pliable. Customers can learn similar stories for everything from hand-hammered jewelry to hammocks to Mexican wrestling masks.