Job after job I wasn't able to fulfill my heart with what I was doing. When I worked for fashion studios or with designers I constantly asked myself am I making my dreams come true or hers/his?
Am I really giving back to the world?
How can I make something bigger than just working from 9-5 in my life? etc...
After quitting my last full time job that had a lot to do with textiles and the home decor industry I went back to my hometown Bolivia with a dream of working with artisans, textiles, but after some months of living back home nothing really came up...
Until I realized macrame was a new home decor trend evolving, becoming bigger, and it was also part of our every day, living culture in La Paz. Cholitas (indigenous women living in the Altiplano) wear shawls with fringes intricately woven with macrame in almost every color.
My eyes started to find this beautiful patterns and designs everywhere in this city and I also found a way to support talented women and men creating something that they are familiar with...
I started attending macrame classes in El Alto about an hour away from where I lived and by asking on the streets and friends I found other artisans who knew the technique. It wasn't any easy task but I enjoyed all of it.
From the beginning I became friends with women attending at my class. They used to say I was a "gringuita" (American) even though I was born in the same city as them... I started learning and creating my own art pieces with this technique. They would get impressed or say "I never thought of making a purse with macrame..."
And with patience and trusting my manifestations I found the right women who started developing our first collection of home decor designs. Yep... we only had a miniature wall hanging collection. 💫
I came back to the US, truly as an artist and started showing my pieces locally in Miami and got an overwhelmingly good response from clientele. They never saw something like our designs before and in 6 months we sold out. I went back home on October 2019 and we started to develop new accessories mainly for women.
Today not only the women I met on 2018 but their whole families work producing our pieces and we're able to provide them with fair compensations for every piece they create. I can proudly say that today we are a team of 12 artisans working for Munai.
On the other side I am learning from women and how they feel with our products, mainly with our new apparel collection and jewelry. As a fashion designer my ultimate goal is to help women feel confident and sophisticated with our products.
Aside from the artisans we are a team of three. Armando takes care of operations and strategy, Ignacio does product development, quality control and logistics from Bolivia and me, Melissa the creative director, marketing manager, sales representative and many other hats as we grow.
OUR GUIDING STATEMENTS