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More than a dream in Yucatan: learn about the beginnings of Paloma van den Akker and the chicest henequen bags in Merida.

More than a dream in Yucatan: learn about the beginnings of Paloma van den Akker and the chicest henequen bags in Merida.

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Born in the Netherlands and raised in Carcassonne, in the south of France, Paloma van den Akker grows up in a cultural and art-filled environment. Since her childhood, crafts, painting and drawing have been an important part of her life. Colors have attracted her since she can remember, because they fascinate her. These are the incents with which she begins her art studies in Nîmes and Toulouse, where she obtains a BTS degree (Brevet de Technicen Superior) in Applied Arts. Later, working in a decoration store in France and together with a craftsman who made furniture and murals, her youth was surrounded by attention to detail, technique and aesthetics. However, in search of a more active lifestyle, Paloma separates herself from the artistic environment for a while. After working eight years with the Air France airline and meeting her husband, love brought her to Mexico.

It is here where, fascinated by these lands, the flora and fauna of Yucatán,that a dream and an adventure begins. It was one morning in 2015 when PALOMA VAN DEN AKKER, a project full of henequén and a lot of love, emerged from Paloma's thoughts. Walking among craft stores with some friends from New York, she came up with the idea of ​​creating more elegant, versatile and feminine accessories, using traditional Yucatan techniques, appropriate to the ever-changing world of the modern woman. Later, encouraged by her husband and in a spontaneous and fast movement (characteristic of her), she decides to venture into the interior of the state of Yucatán, together with Olivia (one of the first members of the team), to discover that whole world of crafts, techniques and magic.

Choosing natural and local fibers has always been one of the team's objectives, which is why henequen is the first material they decide to work with and explore, thus finding the first group of henequen weavers, experts with the backstrap loom. It is how, in 2016 the first line of bags was produced.

Subsequently, cross-stitch embroidery (which greatly characterizes Yucatán) begins to be an important touch in accessories. One of the challenges at this stage was finding women capable of working the henequen looms, since they were all used to working with it. After an exhaustive search for artisans, today we have managed to team up with 5 rural communities in the interior of the state of Yucatán, all with different experience in techniques and materials (cross-stitch embroidery, jipi japa, henequen weaving, among others). others), from whom we never stop learning.

It was in 2017 when the first point of sale opened at the Rosas y Xocolate boutique hotel (located on Paseo de Montejo), where one of the first designs and best-sellers came to light: The Iguana.

Finally, at the end of November 2019, the boutique located at Paseo de Montejo number 498-A opens its doors to the public, at the same time as the online store. Highlighting the name of Mérida Yucatán on the products is of utmost importance to everyone in the team, because without this wonderful city, all of this would not exist. The ideas, the materials and the people who have made them are found here or in the surrounding area. Everyone is proud to say that this city is their home. Regardless of where you are from, you can't resist being adopted by Mérida.

Over the years, the team has taken on the task of perfecting the logistics behind their product line, and they have developed different processes for each piece. For example, a henequen bag embroidered with cross stitch would be made in the following way: First, the ideas arise in the workshop located in Chablekal, a small rural section in Mérida. Afterwards, the looms are sent to be made in a pueblo where once ready they are brought to the workshop to define the embroidery that will be applied to them. Subsequently, these are taken to the town where the cross-stitch machines are, and once the looms are ready, they are taken again to the first town, where the artisans will assemble the bag, to finally bring them to the workshop and give them the finishing touches. This entire process means that the pieces we offer are of the highest quality and 100% Yucatecan, thanks to the magical hands through which they have passed.

Paloma hopes that when people purchase one of her products, they acquire a unique, sustainable and chic piece. For her and the team, it is a pride to continue working with traditional techniques from the region such as the backstrap loom and cross-stitch embroidery, preserving them over time through the people and the style.

Among the brand's ambitions is to continue developing tropical wear garments (a line that started in 2020) and new products for a fresh and modern woman. Don't hesitate to explore our catalog to find the perfect match for your favorite bag.

For each member of PVDA, telling you their story through their work is essential, so, if you are ever in Mérida, Yucatán, and want to know a little more, visit them at the boutique located at Paseo de Montejonumber 498-A, or take a look look here.

Chic awaits you!