MARIAS by Alida Boer

Animazul is proud to present this month ́s founder: Alida Boer

Alida Boer @alidaboer
MARIAS Bag is a project created by Alida Boer, a young entrepreneur who has developed a sustainable business model that empowers women and promotes the culture of her home country, Guatemala. 
 
Alida and her team design and sell handcrafted high-end bags and accessories made by women, often mothers, in rural areas that use their talents to design beautiful products with the goal of preserving their indigenous roots and culture.  
MARIAS Bag was born in 2011 with three specific goals. The first goal was to give Guatemalan women the opportunity to have a decent job that developed their creativity and at the same time, preserve the textile legacy that is almost extinct. Second, make Guatemala known through these bags that not only show part of the culture but also compete with high-quality products from other countries. And third, the dream of working on what Alida loves most about fashion and leave a legacy to her country Guatemala.
A portion of the income from Marias Bag goes to a school located in Pastores, Sacatepéquez in Guatemala that gives children free meals, education through the Montessori system, check-ups and continuous medical attention. 

Alida and her company, are not just a breath of socially and stylistically conscious fresh air, she is a veritable hurricane blowing away notions that profit and high style cannot be archived.

Before she began thinking about her own company and social project. Alida traveled to many countries around the world as a young model. In 2007, she was named Miss Guatemala and went on to compete in the Miss Universe competition held in Mexico City. She traveled throughout her native country as Miss Guatemala which made her realize the incredible craftsmanship of Mayan cultures.

She has been featured in press outlets highlighting the company´s fair trade business practices and eye-catching designs. Her unique approach to business has awarded her with numerous acknowledgments. To name a few, Alida was named in the Women of the Year 2013 by Look Magazine, has been selected entrepreneur by the Francisco Marroquin University and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor in 2013. Alida Boer was also nominated as General Manager of the Year for the Managers Association of Guatemala in 2014. And in 2017, Alida was granted an Aspen Institute CALI Fellowship. Through this program, she will continue to address issues plaguing her country and work on developing initiatives that will benefit the underprivileged. 

While being a successful entrepreneur and designer, Alida is also a new mother. MARIAS bags have been an amazing journey for Alida but now, she considers her son, Aga, her life's greatest accomplishment.

Marias Bag has flagship stores in Guatemala & New York and is stocked in many retailers around the world. Animazul is proud to be the first distributor in Switzerland and Germany. 

Photo sources & credit: Mariasbag.com & @alidaboer

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