One of my goals in going to Mexico this past summer was to visit a Distroller store, if not actually contact the founder of Distroller. Now, while many people are not aware of this fashion phenomenon, I did run into some that were. My conversation teachr, Paloma, had actually been interested in opening a store in Morelia. Unfortunately, she had the same experience that many people have: She contacted the company through their website, and no one got back to her.
While I am pretty sure I don’t want to open a shop, I have been reading as much about Amparin Serrano as the Internet will allow. I finally got to visit a store in Zapopan, a tony suburb of Guadalajara. I bought a variety of items, including bumper stickers, pulseras (bracelets made of custom loomed ribbon), scapulars (without any medals inside), bookmarks, folders, wrapping paper, a notebook, and an agenda. I considered myself pretty restrained – I got out with spending under $100 USD.
Now, I spoke to the manager of the store, who happened to be a man. I asked him for ideas on how to contact the company for franchise information. When he suggested that I go to the website, I explained that I (and many others) never got a response to our inquiries. He said that he would look up the main store (the first store opened in Mexico City), but I would have to call him back for the number, as he couldn’t contact them on a Saturday. I did try to call back once, but he was not available. Still, I have the number should I need it. Anyone else interested might try going to the Distroller website and finding the number of a store to call for information.
I don’t know why they are not answering – I have no inside scoop on the Distroller company. Maybe they are just overwhelmed with interest and are trying to keep quality control tight. I didi read that they were planning on designing a line for WalMart, and that it was possible that they would be opening the first U.S. store in Los Angeles.
I have come across many other variations on the pulsera trend. Many have nothing to do with Distroller and its mock/serious religious symbolism. Many are made to represent soccer (football) teams. Others are made to promote political candidates and humanitarian causes. I came across some at San Miguelito, a restaurant in Morelia, that were souvenirs of the place and of the Rincon de las Solteronas (the Spinster’s corner).
In the flea markets of Guanajuato, I came across scads of Distroller copies. Some had no trademarked brand name. Others were made by a company called Blessed Bands. I have looked up Blessed Bands, and have still not found an actual website for a company. There is, however, someone from Jalisco selling them on the Mexican version of E-Bay at 15 pesos each (minimum order of 100).
There is another company called Chic-Wave.com that actually has a website. I bought a couple of their pulseras in Guanajuato. They are good quality, and yes, they can be ordered through their website. The minimum order was about $250 USD for 1000 bracelets, but they were not very clear on whether they could be a variety or if they had to be the same.
Finally, I got in touch with the maker of Coolceras – a man who is also from Jalisco. I bought a small amount from him and have them currently on E-Bay. If they sell, I may buy more! Check them out!