I founded Catrinka with two friends in Brooklyn in 2013, after more than a decade of working in international development and finding extraordinary woman-made textiles on five continents. I have spent a lifetime looking for an affordable, high quality handbag featuring traditional textiles in a design and silhouette that works for the urban streets I call home - and I finally decided it was time to design it myself.
I made a commitment that every part of the business would be focused on financially empowering women & girls - opening doors and creating choices for them, so that they can have control over their own lives. I believe in women, in our capacity to hustle harder than anyone else, in the extraordinary skills we learn from our mothers and grandmothers, in our dedication to making a better life for our families and children.
Our designs marry indigenous textiles from Mexico and India with locally sourced fine leather and materials. I work directly with women artisans to create our textiles, and with women in two small production workshops to handcraft our bags. We celebrate women's work - because like you we know that the future is female, and investing in women and girls is what will change the world. We design and make durable, hand crafted products with a soul, and a story, for women like you who get empowered by empowering other women and girls. The company is named after my daughter, who was 5 when we launched. We hope our mission speaks to anyone who knows a girl or woman of any age and wants to make her dreams come true.
This is how our model works:
This video was made by the Leeway Collective in collaboration with Katie Nave Freeman. It features video and photos shot by Lita Quiroz, Leyzer Chiquin Cho, and Chris Cayten and featuring a range of Catrinka's artisan partners and their children, and young women and girls who are part of the Catrinka Girls Project.
Our team of advisers includes:
Alexis Maybank (formerly of Gilt Groupe);
Alisa Ng (L-Atitude);
Christine Driscoll Goulay (Kering and formerly with INSEAD and EDUN LIVE);
Heather Kun (HK Impact Advisors);
Racheal Meirs (Business for Social Responsibility);
Judith Bruce (Population Council);
Abrima Erwiah (Studio One Eighty Nine); and
Kathy Hall (Summit Foundation).
Partners in Sales and Change
Catrinka is a proud inaugural (now alumni) fellow at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator.
Catrinka bags are available at these retailers:
Learn more about our Impact. And we would love to hear your story. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.