We recently just added a new brand to our store in Antigua, BASED ON A TRUE STORY. Here is a little more on Friedi, her brand and the story behind each piece.
Based on a true story: Friedi Hentschel
Our garments travel the world along the textile supply chain from fibers to fabrics to final products from factories to retailers to customers.
Based on a true story aims to stop washing resources by up cycling existing garments and materials hand picked at local Guatemalan markets then piece dyed, hand printed and reconstructed. Each of our unique pieces comes with a story.
When did you start designing?
Before I studied fashion design in Berlin I was more into graphic design – that are in total more than 15 years that I´m designing and thinking about new shapes, colours and designs. After my studies I worked as a fashion production manager for a fashion agency. There, as everything came together, it really started making sense to me. Working that close with customers and manufacturers, furthermore with an amazing team of product developers, pattern makers and fabric sourcers taught me a lot and is helping me with creating and developing my designs and pieces.
Designing is just one part out of a row of steps that are necessary to get your final product and everything is related – customers, fabrics, shapes, styles, finishing, production and sales.
Why not new pieces?
The fashion industry in one of the less sustainable industries in the world. Along the whole textile supply chain of a conventional garment you can expect the use of heavy and toxic chemicals, thousand litres of water and wages way below the local level of income. That’s why BASED ON A TRUE STORY aims to stop wasting resources by upcycling existing garments and materials. The idea is to create nice and sustainable products, individual and unique pieces that last longer than only one season, without leaving a damage on nature and people.
What was the reason of creating the brand?
As I moved to Guatemala I had to sell the two industrial sewing machines I had back home to finance my flight. For the first time after more than 10 years I was without a sewing machine. I was surprised how much I missed them. And I missed to work with my hands and creating things. Besides that I had to find a solution for a living in Guatemala – having long periods back home in Germany to make some money for living here don’t seems to be a sustainable lifestyle to me.
So I bought a machine and started a brand that can travel with me around the world.
BASED ON A TRUE STORY is very influenced by the actual surrounding. And that’s the fascinating thing – it can go in any direction. Even the 2 collections I´m selling are very different. The collection for Antigua con KOLT Handmade has more silk pieces, has brighter colours and is a bit more sophisticated. The collection I´m selling in San Pedro la Laguna has different customers. Here I sell more tiny party pieces and darker colours.
Besides my own interests – having an interesting job, being creative and having an income – I would love to give educational trainings and having an apprentice.
What was it about Guatemala that made you wanna stay?
I came here the first time in 2016 for the rich textile culture and volunteering for a weaving cooperative. After 6 years working in the fashion industry I was looking for a twist and a less industrial textile marked. Guatemala caught me straight away. Since beginning of 2017 I spend most of the time here and started developing the brand.
What does the future hold for Friedi?
Travelling the world and getting inspired by different cultures, traditions and handicrafts.
Learning, learning, learning & sharing my knowledge!