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Diana Ugarte has brought to Miami the most unique and beautiful straw bags from Peru
I met Diana Ugarte literally on the street! I was with my friend Almudena waiting for a “momentarily closed” boutique to open in the Miami Design District, and suddenly there she was! A beautiful woman heading to the same shop and carrying a bunch of colorful straw bags embellished with multicolored pom-poms.
We started to chat with Diana, while we waited for the boutique owner to show up. Obviously, we wanted to know everything about the straw bags. Where were they from? Did she sell them directly or only to stores? She explained to us that the bags were hand woven by female artisans from different rural areas of Peru, with whom she has been working with for some time now. Since the boutique owner wasn’t able to make it to the shop that day, and the heat was killing us, I decided to meet with Diana and learn everything about her project.
“Our craft people are a group of women doing a fine job with their hands, using natural dyes derived from plants, invertebrates or minerals”, Diana Ugarte proudly says
I went to Diana’s apartment in Miami Beach the following week. I was thrilled when I entered her apartment and saw all the different kind of baskets, straw bags, pom poms, and other accessories made by Peruvian female artisans. As a Peruvian, Diana has always been very proud of her country’s arts and crafts heritage and wanted to promote it beyond its borders.
Thus, she decided to start a business that would enable her to introduce these beautiful handwoven straw bags and accessories abroad. Furthermore, she started a business with a cause: contribute to the empowerment of Peruvian female artisans from underserved communities.
In more over a year, she proudly states that these women whom she’s been working with, no longer live in wicker-made houses, but in cement-made ones. Impressive, isn’t it? She’s certainly making a difference with her new start-up business while bringing us beautiful and stylish accessories for our most trendiest looks!
“It is the ancient craft that takes advantage of nature transformed by human hands and wisdom”, Diana says
The bags are handmade using different kinds of natural fibers, such as wicker, reed, straw, and totora, a plant that grows in Lake Titicaca on the Pacific coast of Peru. Diana works very closely with these women to ensure that everything meets her quality standards and trendy design. Natural vegetable pigments are used to color the baskets. She sells the straw bags and pompoms to different boutiques in the Miami area, trying to keep exclusivity according to their location.
You can buy Diana’s Peruvian straw bags at these select Miami boutiques
- Coconut Grove-Polished Coconut: www.polishedcoconut.com. – By the way, it is one of my favorite shops in Miami, and Alicia Kossick’s story is quite an inspiring one which I’ll be posting next week. 3440 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, Fl 33133
- Miami Design District- Earthy Chic, Miami Design District, 4300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137. www.earthychic.com
- South Miami: V Fashion, 4782 SW, 72nd Av
- Gypsy: 6405, Biscayne Blvd, #104, Miami, Fl 33138
- Coral Gables- Tina B, 90 Edgewater Dr
- Miami Beach- Beach Boutique, 1701 Sunset Harbour Dr, Miami Beach, Fl 33139
And once you bought your Peruvian straw bag, you’ll be happy to know you too are contributing to empowering Peruvian female artisans!