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Meet the Women Artisans Behind Catrinka’s Ethical Products

women weavers from Chiapas

Do you vote with your wallet, and believe that every dollar you spend (or don't spend) is a vote for the world you want? Do you want to know who makes the products you bring into your life and your home, and where your hard-earned money goes?

Meet the Women Artisans Behind Catrinka’s Ethical Products 

Working with skilled female artisans who handcraft the bags and accessories we sell online is how we at Catrinka give back. Our local artisans from India and Mexico are able to create the most unique and authentic handcrafted bags, clutches, wallets, and other incredible accessories. And when you purchase one of the products we offer, you are giving back as well. We are able to provide these women with financial empowerment and independence.

Our commitment to you is radical transparency: all the products you purchase hold the namesake of the woman who made it, and on the website you can find her story. We work directly with indigenous textile artisans in rural areas of Mexico and India, and then send the textiles to two family-owned handbag workshops - both of which predominantly employ women and one of which is 50% woman-owned - to be transformed into our artisanal luxury handbags. This model means that the women we work with do what they do best, and we are able to touch lives in both rural and urban areas. It also inspires some beautiful collaboration (see Lidia's story below).


You can read more about the woman who made your bag and how through your purchase you are enabling these women financial empowerment and independence on many of our product pages, but here are a few stories that we love:


Updated 2014/2015

Ceci in Chiapas at her mother's notions storeCeci is 16, the oldest child of Josefa, who wove the textile for the Ceci Tote. They are from Nachig, Chiapas (Mexico). Ceci started warping at 6 years old, and weaving at 12. She graduated from primary school but didn't continue because she needed to earn money. Ceci and her sister Rosi (14) help her mom with weaving and with running their notions store. Their little sister, Claudia, is 5 and goes to kindergarten. Our goal is to give Josefa enough work to make it possible for Claudia to go to secondary school.


Lidia handbag worker Mexico CityLidia is 50 and has been working with leather for 35 years. Lidia loves that Catrinka products are made from textiles made by her countrywomen, and respect for them inspires her to do her best. Lidia has two children and two grandchildren. She started working in this field for the income, but after some years she fell in love with the techniques, the materials, and all the artisanal processes involved in making handmade bags. She finishes all our Mexican bags including the Paulina Tote

Past product stories:  

Maria Elena weaver in chiapasMarta (left) and María Elena (right) from Aldama, Chiapas (Mexico), who weave the textile for the María Elena clutch. started weaving when she was 12. She is married and has four children, two boys and two girls (one is just a month old). All of her children go to school. Marta is 36 years old, is single and lives with her mother. She started weaving when she was 6, and made her first huipil at 12. With three others they formed a weavers collective called Grupo Café, which was formed in the coffee collecting season.


Kanta embroiderer and her son in Jodhpur RajasthanKanta is 33, and was born and raised in Jodhpur, known as the blue city for its tradition of washing homes in light blue. She has two boys, aged 10 and 1, and learned how to embroider from her mother when she was 10 years old. Her mother, Bhagwati, is 52, and learned the embroidery craft from her mother. In addition to Kanta, she has another daughter and a son. Kanta and Bhagwati were both born and raised in Jodhpur, and have always worked out of their homes. Their hand embroidery is featured in the Kanta Weekender. 

Get to know Maricela and Agustina, who made the textile for the Agustina Crossbody, and also the Chiapas Pom and Agustina Tassel: