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Colombian Immigrants Start High End Watch Company in DFW

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A company that makes wooden wrist watches is gaining fans from around the world. Mistura started when its Colombian founders decided North Texas was the perfect place to launch their dream. (Published Monday, Sep 23, 2013)

    Wooden watches made by Daniel Schemel are a fusion of art, fashion, culture and nature, and are a product whose origins are tied to North Texas. 

    Schemel's watches are sturdy, strikingly beautiful and reflect the designer's Colombian heritage -- from the leather straps to the real flowers embedded inside some of the pieces.

    "We use ebony, South American ebony [wood] - that is called Pui," said Daniel Schemel. "Also we use teak. Teak is the wood that's pretty much used in making boats and is extremely resistant."

    The flowers are harvested from a region of Colombia called Santa Elena.

    "It's very unique," Schemel said. "It is a technique that the flower is immortalized."

    These timepieces, which are made and sold internationally, began in North Texas.

    "We actually started here in Carrollton, Texas," said Schemel.  "I was living with my two best friends and we always were a little bit creative and thinking about what to do with our life besides college."

    They were all from Colombia and all loved watches. Schemel studied architecture. They decided their niche would be watches that are also tiny works of art.  They named their company Mistura.

    "We didn't go to school for watch making," Schemel said. "We just started making watches out of our trial and error process. And learning everything, getting feedback from watchmaker's friends."

    Their workshop eventually moved from Carrollton to Las Colinas and eventually to South America. 

    "Ninety or 95 percent of the elements of the watch are coming from natural materials," Schemel said. "First, our main material is wood. We used sustainable and eco-friendly woods."

    It takes about six hours to assemble each watch. The clasps are also made of wood. Some models use recycled paper, plastic and aluminum.

    "It's very, very detailed. And the beauty of it is that every single piece is different from each other," Schemel said.  "The wood has the beauty of having like a fingerprint, where every single wood has a different grain from each other. And that makes it unique and beautiful."

    Mistura's first store opened at Galleria Dallas in 2011. Customers can try on anything they like or get one customized by choosing their favorites color, strap, shape and dials.

    Schemel believes his story holds a lesson for other immigrants and for anyone with a dream.

    "I mean, if you have a dream... you really can make it happen," said Schemel.