Plant Dye Experiments

It was so great to spend quality time with our partner weavers at Lake Atitlán.  It’s not always that we can afford to have some natural-dye experiment fun…. so this was a nice treat ❤️

I’m still going through the dyeing process pictures, so more on that coming soon.  For now… I’d love to share the results with you!

3 colors Mari

We dyed three Summer Cardigans, handwoven by weavers near Cobán.

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Cardigan 1: Dyed with Pericón and Sacatinta

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Cardigan 2: Dyed with Pericón and Sacatinta, taken out of bath before Cardigan #1

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Cardigan 3: Dyed with Chilca and Sacatinta

There are only 3 of these in the whole wide world, and they are looking for loving homes!  Email me at mari@kakawdesigns.com if interested.  $150 each, free shipping to US.

All 3 colros

XOXO,

Mari

 

Photos by the lovely Kelly from Cardamom Collective.

I’m going back to school

I have some exciting news to share:  I’ve decided to get my master’s in Sustainable Development.

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I’m excited and nervous for this next step.  Berry’s mostly just excited for the snow.

These are the two reactions I’ve been getting about the news:

  1. “That’s wonderful!”
  2. “What’s that?”

To all the encouraging people in my life, thank you.  I’ve been nervous about taking this step, but it will give me more tools to be able to work with artisan communities effectively.  After all, Kakaw Designs has always been a development-inspired social business.

And to those of you who have no idea what this Sustainable Development thing is, let me tell you.  It’s the study of development for countries, and how to merge economic, environmental, and social aspects.  How to find a common happy ground, for all three aspects of growth.  Needless to say, I’m interested in focusing on developing countries, as well as artisan communities, indigenous areas, and foreign aid / non-profit models (or rather, how to make these models more efficient).

I’m excited to get back into the academic world and delve into some of these questions that have been circling in my head.

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Sustainable Development for small villages

What does that mean for Kakaw Designs?

Don’t worry, I’m in the process of training people to take over production and logistics in Guatemala.  Some of the artisans will take on additional responsibilities, others will be continued by me online, and I have a great person lined up as the Production Manager.  <<More on that soon!>>  And we’ll continue fulfilling online orders from the US as we have been doing.  We’ll also continue to take custom-orders, which have been really fun.  So really, there’s nothing to worry about.

I’ll be gone for two years, mostly in Europe.  But I will be back in Guatemala for visits, and am working on a smooth transition to keep the business going as usual.  I really contemplated what the best thing to do was – to take a pause and refresh in two years, or try to keep the business steady during my absence.  And in the end, it just seemed like a waste to lose the momentum we’ve gained, and the idea is always to keep production going so that the artisans have work – that’s our mission, after all: supporting talented artisans and their traditions in Guatemala.

Exciting times are ahead!  Thank you for all your support.

XOXO,

Mari


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New: The Duffle Bag!

I’ve been wanting to make a larger bag for a while, mainly because I didn’t have a good one to take on short adventures.  That’s how many of our products have been developed, did you know?  I got a scooter and needed a good backpack, so tada! The Quetzal Backpack.  I bought a new laptop and needed a good sleeve, so tada! The Laptop Sleeve.  And now, our newest baby: the Duffel Bag.

The Duffel Hanging web

The Duffel Bag is made with naturally-dyed and handwoven sturdy footloom textile with two shades of indigo in stripes.  The genuine leather adds even more durability, so you can really take it with you on all your adventures.  It comes with two outer and two inner pockets.  Made from start to finish by hand in Guatemala.

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Some of my travel essentials this summer including our Duffel Bag, Laptop Sleeve, and Quetzal Shoes.

The Duffel S Ana web

We’re ready to start making our first batch!  We also have a sale event coming up for newsletter subscribers only… Let me know if you want in at mari@kakawdesigns.com, and I’ll add you to the list 😉

 

XOXO,

Mari

Duffel web

My Duffel Bag ❤️ Traveling the world together.

June Photo Contest

Did you know that we loooove to see where our handmade creations have gone?  It’s so much fun to share how everyone wears each item, and on what kinds of adventures the pieces get to go on.  I also have a great time sharing these pictures with our partner artisans – they get a kick out of it, too!

This month we’re hosting a photo contest via Instagram ❤️

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Enter by June 30th for your chance to win a handwoven, naturally-dyed ikat scarf. Prize will go to my favorite image, as simple as that 😉

This photo is from last year’s winner, Holley!

 

XOXO,

 

Mari

Summer Picnic Bundle

We’ve got a fun-filled ethical bundle for you, straight from Guatemala!

Toj Kakaw

We’ve teamed up with Toj  to bring you this ethical bundle just in time for summer sunshine.  Get a hand-embroidered Kakaw Designs Picnic Blanket and a pair of Toj sandals of your choice for $140, including shipping to the US!  That’s almost $50 off, which we are able to do by combining orders together and shipping to you directly from Guatemala.

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I loved having these sandals with me in Mexico, with their interchangeable laces.  I’ve tried quite a few different ways to wear them, but I know there are so many more – it’s fun to play around with!

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Our Picnic Blanket is also great for the beach 🌴

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I love the handwoven straps, so many colors to choose from!  I’m a sucker for this lovely green.

Interested?  Just Email me (mari@kakawdesigns.com) and we’ll arrange orders through PayPal.  Offer valid until May 21st, and we’ll be shipping the last week of May, just in time for summer.

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Picnic Blanket Earth Lodge