I don’t think I’m alone when I say that sometimes I daydream about starting my own business. It’s the ‘what to do’ that holds me back. I just don’t think I have an eye for niche spotting. That doesn’t stop me being interested in others that do and most probably, I look to them for inspiration in the hope that one day my daydreaming will pay off and I’ll have a Eureka moment.
So when I discovered that Karen from All About the Boys was holding a new linky I had to get involved. Independents Day is a once a month shout out to support hard-working independent businesses. So rather than feeling like a small fish in a big pond, Independents Day is aiming to make a splash and help get these businesses the recognition we think they deserve.
I know a lovely lady who had a Eureka moment. She’s smart, she’s gutsy, she’s determined. She also happens to be one of my closest friends.
So without further ado, let me introduce Carrieles de Colombia, the brainchild of Becky, born and bred right here in Blighty, and her Colombian husband Mauricio. Having been to Colombia three times myself, it is with heartfelt joy that I write this post, not only to alert the world about these amazing bags but also about from where they come. Colombia is a total surprise and long gone are its woes of the past. Colombia stands for totally fabulous people, food, dancing and style. It’s on the up but it is such a shame that more people don’t venture there. Forget Milan, forget Rome, Colombia has a style that the world is yet to witness and that is why Becky and Mauricio have done a fantastic job of bringing a little bit of Colombia to the UK!!
Every woman likes handbags, right? Well, let me tell you, every woman will LOVE these!! I remember clearly the day I saw Becky’s bag. A few years ago, a bunch of friends met at Embankment to watch the Marathon and there, on Becky’s left hand, sparkling in the sun was a beautiful Colombian emerald and diamond ring. Mauricio had proposed the night before. Hanging off her hip was an unusually trendy, cool bag that I had not seen before, “Congrats on the bling but WHERE did you get that bag??!”…
And so it seems I wasn’t the first and I definitely wont be the last to ask. It is because of this that in 2011, Carrieles de Colombia was born.
The bags find their inspiration from the Colombian Carriel. Dating back to over 400 years the Carriel is believed to be a version of a European bag that the Spanish colonisers would have taken with them to Colombia. Best of all (and I love this bit!), in keeping with Colombian folkloric tradition, all of the Carriel bags contain a secret pocket which is used to keep a love letter from a sweetheart.
Becky discovered the bags on a visit to Cartagena and loved them so much that Mauricio bought one for her directly from the producer. Since stepping off the plane back in the UK, she has continuously received comments about the bag. It was this that led the couple to contact the producer in Medellin to discuss importing the bags to the UK. As well as their range of handbags, Carrieles have also honed in on the need for a unnique and original iPhone cover – I for one will be getting myself one of these little darlings!
After a few design tweaks they received the first batch of samples. The producer of the Carriel had never provided such an order as all bags are handmade and extremely intricate in design, some consisting of colourful stitching, animal hide and all are made of the highest quality leather.
The latest fashion statement in Medellín, Cali and Bogota, Becky used her background in PR to drum up some awareness of the bags and the result has been amazing!
To date, Carrieles have had press coverage in magazines such as In Style, Grazia and Elle with more due in Marie Claire. Lest not forget that no other than Fearne Cotton is the proud owner of a Dona Becky Carriel! This is an outstanding accomplishment given that both Becky and Mauricio still have full-time jobs. They are working hard to push the brand forward and are planning a few pop-up events across London later this year.
They remain undefeated against their challenges (dealing with Colombians who don’t know British markets, shipping, taxes, generating publicity and generally finding the time) and are absolutely committed and dedicated to the belief in their company. I’m sure it wont be long until they literally, have it in the bag!!
For more information on Carrieles de Colombia you can visit them at:
Twitter – @Carrielseuk