Behind the Label: Ketzali

Ketzali is an eco-friendly accessories company that produces handmade shawls and tunics using traditional Guatemalan skills. Of course we were impressed by Ketzali’s mission to work with artisans to increase their incomes and living standards, but we were really knocked out by the shawls themselves. These shawls are the real deal, completely authentic with a contemporary spin, they will become you go-to item for day, night, travel or home. Read on to learn the story behind this label and then shop these great shawls and tunics before they sell out!

How would you describe your brand?

Ketzali is an ethical brand based in Guatemala. We work with local artisans to produce handmade beautifully crafted accessories. Our main mission is to consistently provide employment in Guatemala to support local communities.

How, when, and where did you start your brand?

While growing up, I used to travel with my dad while he was overseeing developing programs throughout Guatemala. While he was walking through mountains evaluating agricultural farms, I used to stay with local families of the program directors. They taught me how to backstrap weave and they gifted me my very first loom when I was about 9 years old.  Since then I have been in love with textiles and color. After my college years and working in New York, I decided to move back to Guatemala to be close to my family. I had previously designed some products while I was in New York and had sold them to my friends and colleagues, so I knew Ketzali had potential. Then my parents motivated me to start a business where I could bring more employment to Guatemala. In 2011, I decided to give Ketzali a try.

Speak about your previous work experience and how it helped you create your own brand:

All my work experience has been in the fashion industry and it definitely helped me a lot when I decided to start Ketzali. I had previous knowledge of trend & color forecasting, designing and market weeks so it was an advantage when I started planning new collections and the timing for them.

What (or who) are some of your endless inspirations?

My mom. She is a true caring and supportive Guatemalan woman and she has been inspiring me to always work hard and find solutions to any problem that arises so it does not stop us from fulfilling our dreams. I also get inspired by one of our artisans, Graci. I lived at her house for the first year after I moved back to Guatemala, and it was such a blessing to get to know her and her family. She has been through a lot in life and still she has found the way to be joyful and grateful everyday for the blessings she has received.

How does travel inspire your collection?

Traveling throughout my home country, Guatemala truly inspires me everyday. Meeting the artisans and families to walking and getting lost in the many markets. There’s color and textiles everywhere you look and this is what constantly inspires each collection.

As your collection continues to grow, what creative endeavors are on the horizon?

We are continuously looking for new artisans to work with to expand our collections. In the future we want to expand our collection of leather goods, bracelets, handbags & shoes.


by: The Shop Latitude Team