My fascination for fashion is new. As a girl that grew up as a tomboy, and then became a biologist, I never thought about fashion. I grew up wanting to be in jeans and boots in the middle of the jungle. I thought fashion was something foreign to me. As a biologist, I wanted to work in the rural villages of Guatemala… Planting trees, cleaning rivers… But the people in those villages said: “Maria, what we need is sources of income. If you sell what we produce, we can do the rest.”
It was this request that changed everything. The question was: what can women in villages of Guatemala produce that people in the world will want to buy?
And there is where fashion became our hero. We realized that if we could create beautiful products that the people of the world would love, and that could be made by people living in rural villages of Guatemala… Fashion could become a powerful tool of change… One village at a time.
For this, we needed someone that could link these two worlds: fashion and rural villages. Lis Girón, Wakami’s top designer, became the perfect person. Lis is passionate about creating beautiful handmade products. She is also passionate about creating opportunities for rural villages in Guatemala. Right where people have big dreams but no opportunities. With Lis’s help, we were able to make fashion our hero.
Lis and her team design beautiful products that the women in rural villages make. It then gets exported to the world and is bought by people that love handmade bracelets. Bracelets rich in color and texture. Thus, making Wakami a sustainable business and creating income for rural women in Guatemala. Women that can then improve the health and education of their children. Therefore, they also become empowered in this process!