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.

Travel Essentials web

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

Summer Happenings

Take a look, everyone!  I’m excited to be taking Kakaw Designs to the Bay Area and even to Europe (for the first time!) 🙌

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Here’s the happening for June, and there’s more coming for July… Will let you know ASAP!

Saturday, June 3rd: Pop-up at Wallflower in San Francisco.  We had a great time last year so we’re doing another mimosa-drinking fun day in The Mission!

Sunday, June 4th: Story-telling and Trunk Show at The Moon in Oakland.  Come join us for tea and chocolates (reserve your spot through the link), and see one-of-a-kind treasures in the beautiful plant-based dye studio!

June 9th – 11th: Fesch Market in Vienna, Austria.  Our first time in Europe!  Who’s around to say “hallo”?

 

I hope to see you this summer!

Leander Khil

Photo: Leander Khil

 

XOXO,

Mari

Backpacking in Guatemala

I finished college at UC Davis, and took off as fast as I could.  I backpacked for a year, and then landed a job on the Galapagos Islands teaching little humans, and during my time off got to explore much of the islands and the mainland.  I squeezed in a trip to Japan and then to Australia before relocating to Guatemala, which has become my home since.  I counted once, I think I’ve lived in 10 countries throughout my life.  Something like that.

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Somewhere in the middle of the Pacific… Galápagos ❤️

But since I’ve grown roots in this beautiful Antigua, I hadn’t really done much “backpacking.”  Don’t get me wrong, I travel often, especially to meet with artisans, but this leisurely “traveling for the sake of traveling,” not so much.  And so I took a little vacation at the end of 2016, and had such an amazing time I visiting places that I hadn’t been to in a while:

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Laguna Chicabal, one of my favorite places.

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Hiking from Xela to Lake Atitlán with Quetzaltrekkers.  Photo: Abby Price (our awesome guide)

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It got pretty cold at night during the hike!

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The beautiful trail at Semuc Champey.  Photo: Leander Khil

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The water was lovely!  Photo: Leander Khil

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I missed the tropical rainforest.  Photo: Leander Khil

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The Ceiba Tree ❤️

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And, of course, Tikal.

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I had fun being a Wild Thing.

It was a good reminder: I love to travel.  (There’s even this ExOfficio video about how much I love to travel.)  I grew roots, and that’s great, but that doesn’t mean I can’t get out more just to “travel for the sake of traveling.”  Right?

2017 – I’m looking forward to the adventures that lay ahead.  Because I still get Wanderlust, and I think that’s just part of me forever.

 

XOXO,

Mari

majestic disorder Q&A

Hey, guys – we’re so honored to be featured on majestic disorder!!  Make sure to check out the whole Q&A with Mari here.

 

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Challenging the often paternalistic approach popular amongst designers inspired by Latin America, Mari Gray of Kakaw Designs has established a unique blend of cutting edge craftsmanship with fair-trade enterprise…

 

…Diversity, heritage and origin are the foundation of Kakaw Designs and remain intrinsically woven together. How do you blend tradition and innovation?

We’re honestly still trying to figure out the right balance. Each of the handmade processes are traditional in their practice — weaving, embroidery, leatherwork, and silverwork. But the mixing of the different traditions is part of the innovation — combining textile and silver, for example, to make our pendants. We want to make sure to remain respectful to the traditional arts, especially whenever cutting a textile piece is involved …. I need to be absolutely sure that the end product will still transmit the respect and integrity of the original textile piece. I hope that this is felt in our product designs.

Don’t miss the entire article!  Some of our luckiest products will also be making an appearance in their next issue….. we can’t wait!!!!😆