How Simple Thread and Hands Have Opened New Worlds

Remember macramé? Perhaps you or your friends did some macrame at some point in your life – maybe a plant hanger, or a bracelet, or a key fob? Would it surprise you to learn that this ancient art of weaving thread is a part of the Wakami story?

This came to mind because this past week we were doing a workshop at the studio, working with that very technique – macramé. Lis, our creative director, and I were developing new products, along with a group of women from Magdalena Milpas Altas, who are part of our design team, always helping us in the creation process. While working, Lis started telling us the story of why we use this technique – and I’d like to share that with you.

Remember that, when Wakami started, the main goal was to bring opportunities to different communities in Guatemala, and by doing that transforming cycles of poverty into cycles of prosperity.

Lis, at that time, would go to the different communities to learn what techniques and skills each group had, and then she would bring those skills into each of our products. It was all about bringing traditional techniques into contemporary products. And, while many communities had already learned many of the traditional techniques, passed down through generations, there were many groups with dreams who did not have this heritage. Honestly, those communities – the ones without that heritage – were the ones that had more poverty and fewer opportunities.

That’s when Lis started using the macrame.

For her, macramé was a technique that was easy to teach, easy to learn, and didn’t require any special tools, just the hands. This was a technique that could be taught to different groups of women to create new products that could transform into opportunities and a source of income.

Now most of our bracelets use the macramé technique and are made by multiple groups of women in different regions of Guatemala.

The group from Magdalena Milpas Altas was one of those groups that didn’t have a strong traditional heritage They started with macramé and now know almost any technique in all of our products, including traditional ones. They work hand in hand with us to develop every product of our collection.

Just as I mentioned in my last post, each day I realize the value and responsibility with each of our decisions we make in the process of designing a product. Each product represents an opportunity.

And each opportunity can cause a dream to come true.