Hello all! How were your holidays? Mine were fantastic and I'll have many photos coming soon. But before I get into all that, I am so excited to share something with you.
While I was home in dear St. Augustine, FL I got to see my best friend Emily Pinto. It had been a year since I'd seen her, which felt crazy because we used to live together in college and see each other nearly every day. Since college she's been living in Guatemala, volunteering, and traveling around Central America. While in Guatemala she pursued her goal to design and produce a line of accessories. The result was ESP Handmade, a collection of beautiful scarves, bags, and jewelry made by the indigenous back strap loom weavers in Guatemala. While at college and visiting in Guatemala last year, Emily developed and interest in and volunteered with Trama Textiles, an organization of women who weave textiles with traditional back strap looms. Emily chose this special organization to make many of her products. A purchase from ESP Handmade is not only a beautiful handmade piece, but it also supports a group of talented women in Guatemala who work hard to support their families.
That is why I couldn't resist purchasing this gorgeous bag from ESP Handmade while I was home. I think the description on the website is best:
Our Antiqua weekender bags are crafted with genuine leather and cotton fabric from traditional Mayan 'huipiles' - a blouse that is worn by indigenous women in Guatemala and heavily decorated with embroidered designs. Each bag features short handles as well as a strap that can be worn across the body for greater convenience. Fully lined with perfect proportions (21"x16") as well as exterior and interior pockets to keep important items like your passport handy!
My Antigua weekender has quickly become my go-to bag for carry-on luggage to FL and weekend trips to Newport. I couldn't be more proud of my friend for starting such an amazing company! Everyone should visit her website to see all the other products. Also, check out the ESP Facebook page...I know you'll like it :)
Emily and I, 2010