Co-Founder, Emily Pinto.

Co-Founder, Emily Pinto.

Co-Founder, Julie Savoie.

Co-Founder, Julie Savoie.

In 2012, we founded Estrella de Mar. Each of us had previously visited Guatemala and fallen in love with the extraordinary, traditional textiles and the richness of the Mayan culture. Emily volunteered with a worker-owned textile cooperative and Julie volunteered with a health clinic. We saw firsthand the stark contrast between the beauty of Guatemala and the struggle of its people. The extreme poverty, marginalization of the indigenous population, and lack of opportunity for women and girls was apparent. When we met, we shared a passion for creating a social enterprise that would utilize the traditional skills of artisans in Guatemala and harness the power of the fashion industry to be a force for good.

Our Impact

Artisan activity is the second largest employer in the developing world. We believe the immense potential of this sector to create positive change has gone largely untapped, and we want to change that. Our business provides financial empowerment through dignified employment. We chose worker-owned women's weaving cooperatives and small family businesses to be our producers because they share our commitment to ethical, sustainable production practices and high-quality results. We know that empowered women are the key to transforming their communities and ending the generational cycle of poverty. Additionally, we have partnered with local Guatemalan non-profits to increase access to healthcare in rural communities and support education and mentorship for Mayan girls. 

Our Ethos: Love is the message, Fashion is the Medium

The handmade production process is labor intensive, however it is truly a labor of love. When something is constructed by hand using time-honored methods a little bit of soul goes into it, giving it greater meaning. Our modern designs always incorporate and celebrate traditional textile and craft techniques. In the face of mass production and disposable fashion, we are committed to authentic handmade quality and preserving the artistic traditions that are intrinsic to the Mayan culture. Estrella de Mar handmade goods are a safeguard for this unique and ancient cultural heritage. 

Our products are handcrafted in the heart of Guatemala