SCARFSEASON celebrate with 20% off!

It’s getting chilly these days… are you feeling the beautiful autumn breeze, too?

This is one of my favorite seasons, one that I’ve missed in Guatemala since it’s always spring there (really, that’s not a complaint – I love spring, too!).  This year, I’m in Austria working on my master’s in Sustainable Development, and I’m so glad I brought along a few scarves.  I’m a little worried for winter, I’m sure it will be the coldest in my life yet.  I will definitely be carrying around my handwoven + naturally-dyed scarves with me, all the time 🙂

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Are you feeling chilly, too? Take 20% off all scarves with code SCARFSEASON until Sunday, October 22nd.  Order two and we’ll include a handmade Luggage Tag as a gift 😉

Some of my favorites this season:

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Rebozo del Lago, a wide and cozy shawl dyed with plants.  Handwoven + intricate ikat designs. (Retail $200)

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Naturally-dyed footloom scarves in Indigo and Plum. (Retail $75)

<<See more of our ethical scarves>>

 

I hope you’re enjoying the beautiful change of seasons, the trees changing colors, losing leaves, the fresh breeze but still some warm sunshine peeking through, too.

XOXO,

Mari

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What good friends are for…

After a lovely brunch the other day with this beauty Jessie, she let me take a few quick snaps featuring some of our handwoven scarves, naturally-dyed always.  Jess and I have known each other since we were in middle school… oh, how we have changed since those awkward teen years. 😆 She was always a beautiful ballerina, but has really blossomed into this confident woman, and a professional model, too.

Take a look at some of the shots, just taken on my iPhone.

 

Palo de la vida giraffee webQuetzal Wrap palo jess webQuetzal Wrap curcuma jess webQuetzal Wrap palo jess web 2**Doesn’t she make our scarves look gorgeous? You know you want to —-> Shop Scarves**

Thanks, Jess!  You’re the best!

 

Mari

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.

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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.

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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

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My Duffel Bag ❤️ Traveling the world together.

Conversation with Mari on Shatter the Looking Glass

Did you see?  Mari was featured on a series put together by Shatter the Looking Glass!   Take a look at the conversation with questions organized by Kelly from Cardamom Collective.

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One thing I really love about Kakaw is how thoughtful and developed the products are, and how they take the work and situations of the artisans into consideration. What drew you to working in a way that was ethical and sustainable? 

This is such an interesting concept, because to me it’s the most natural thing in the world.  Of course the women prefer to weave and embroider from home – I would, too!  I thought briefly about setting up a workshop for the leathersmiths, to facilitate quality control and supervision… but then realized that it would be so much work to just get the workers to come into one place, and to set hours… artisans in Guatemala don’t work that way.  And as long as they get the work done, why should it matter?  I like to work from home, and just the same, the artisans we work with do, too.

Make sure to check out the full post ⭐️

We’re on Sustainably Chic!

We can’t get over this gorgeous OOTD post by Sustainably Chic, one of the top sustainable and ethical fashion blogs out there.  What an honor to be included in the mix!

 

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Our Macaw Tote is looking so beautiful in this Summer Casual Outfit ❤

 

Make sure to check out the entire original post... there’s a special discount code in there 🙂

 

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Natalie Kay from Sustainably Chic looking beautiful in the sun 🌻

 

Loving the clutch?  Check it out at kakawdesigns.com! Just $75.Macaw Clutch

Great Fundraiser for Animal-Assisted Therapy!

Last month, we had a wonderful fundraiser pop-up for Bocalán Guatemala and Fundación Way-bi here in Antigua.  We had our products for sale with 20-40% of the proceeds going to the two organizations for their animal-assisted therapy programs.  Suburbia Lounge also donated 10% of all food and drink sales, so together we were able to raise a good chunk of money 🙂

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THANK YOU to everyone who stopped by!  Just with Kakaw sales we were able to raise over 1000Q.

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Quentin and Berry, best friends 🐶

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Great mimosas, the best brunch in town!

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It’s fun to be able to sell one-of-a-kind products not found on kakawdesigns.com 🙂

MUCHAS GRACIAS!  It’s always amazing to see all the supporters of Kakaw come out in person.  We really appreciate it!

 

XOXO,

Mari