I had been eyeing wayuu bags for about a year, I saw them online and was immediately drawn to their colors, the patterns, but mostly for their craftsmanship. The work is incredible and made completely by hand. I knew that they needed to be a part of Chaquiras. I did my research and discovered that the bags were made by an indigenous tribe called Wayuu that live in the most poorest and driest regions in Northern Colombia. I knew in my heart that there was no way that I would ever buy these masterpieces from a middleman...I would somehow need to buy them directly from them without haggling prices or exploiting their hard work. I want to give back a percentage of all proceeds to aid their community . At the time it was merely a dream. Fast forward a little over a month ago and my dad was traveling to Colombia...Sadly I was unable to go (expired passport). Instead I took a leap of faith and pulled money out of my retirement 🙈. I sent my husband off to Colombia to buy me bags, and just like that he became my personal merchandiser 😍. It was a big afford to bring them back and it was by no means easy. Sometimes in life its about taking risks and chances, it's really the only way to know!....so here we are!
I am a first generation Colombian-American and have always had a deep appreciation and love for my Latin-American heritage. Naturally, I'm attracted to arts and crafts. Creating Chaquiras Gallery is all I needed to find "The Career " that would fulfill me completely. Having worked corporate for many years, was draining and hurting my soul. I wanted to combine my love for the arts and my love for my culture. I also needed to feel in charge of my own future instead of fulfilling someone else's dreams. I needed to feel liberated and to feel good about my accomplishments. As a woman, I understand the importance of feeling self-worth, to have confidence and to be our own leaders. Therefore, I want to help artisan women in underdeveloped countries feel accomplished and successful.