"Working in this field implies immersing oneself into the culture and tradition of our homeland. Very few have this privilege, which makes us feel proud to be able to do what we do."
Luis Carlos and Gloria met at university and together they fused the art of modern design with Guatemala's rich textile tradition. They realized they also shared similar backgrounds, even though Luis Carlos was born and raised in Retalhuleu whereas Gloria comes from Guatemala City. "I believe I inherited my dad's artistic vein, though he is an impassioned musician," Gloria confides.
Luis Carlos always had a passion for art and creativity, and when he was half way through his studies in Industrial Design he went to Colombia on a student exchange program. "That's when I realized the value of each region's arts and crafts, as well as their cultural traditions," he recalls. "I decided to focus on the design of handcrafted items that promote my country's cultural heritage and the first thing I designed was a line of kitchen linens that were hand-loomed with threads that dyed with natural pigments and adorned with maguey details."
Gloria's interest in traditional arts grew during her Industrial Design studies, when she also got the opportunity to work as a junior consultant on design projects and quality control. "My first real project came during my third year at university, when I designed personal accessories for women and I combined painted leather with ceramics," she remembers.
"Our interest in designing handcrafts comes from Guatemala's great diversity and potential. We love to see our designs come to life through artisans' hands. We love meeting up with them and keeping in touch. It is also satisfying for us to know that our designs offer an opportunity of increased remuneration for many artisan families. Working in this field implies immersing oneself into the culture and tradition of our homeland. Very few have this privilege, which makes us feel proud to be able to do what we do."
Luis Carlos and Gloria have learned from international designers working on handcrafting projects, and they also work very closely with talented artisans in order to learn from them. "Through our daily work experience and with our natural curiosity we have gained knowledge that we're happy to share through different workshops with artisans across Guatemala. At these workshops we look for initiative, creativity, quality, artistry and above all, that they love what they're doing! Now people are starting to read about us through their local newspapers.
"It has been a great challenge and a most satisfactory adventure. It is satisfying and rewarding to see people in the street with our designs.
"We are always on the lookout for ways to avoid hurting the environment, so we are very careful of the materials we use. Our planet is our place in the universe therefore each one of us should start by taking care of at least their own piece of it that way little by little we'll heal all the hurt we’ve impinged on Earth."