Meet designer, owner, and Guatemalan girl-boss behind Kolt Handmade, Stefanie Richmond. Born and raised in Guatemala Stefanie was always surrounded by beautiful art. While living in Pastores, Guatemala known for its incredible leather work, she began to learn about the process of creating leather products and as she grew up she found herself super fascinated in the beautiful textiles handwoven in her country as well. She saw people in need of work in her area and decided to collaborate with them in order to create beautiful, unique, and one of a kind leather and textile products. She is the sole designer of Kolt Handmade and strives to make innovative designs while still shinning light on the traditional textiles of Guatemala.
What most inspires you?
It's mainly the textiles that inspire me. After learning how much work goes into it, I have since had nothing but admiration and love for them. I will fall in love with one and immediately start imagining what its going to look like in a final product.
Where is your favorite huipil from?
Oh this is hard! If I had to choose I would go for the ones from Chichicasteango. They usually have two different patterns in them. One, big flowers of different colors or geometrics shapes. I use a lot of them in my designs!
Have you always had a love for fashion?
I’ve always had a love for art, which has guided me into creating fashion items. I really am fortunate to have been born in Guatemala. It's such a beautiful country with lovely people. It has such a rich culture and history which has definitely inspired my designs.
What are you currently working on?
My next project is an ring bag like I have made before, but this time the rings are made with leather and the body of the bag is huipil from Santiago, Lago de Atitlan. This huipil is full of birds from the area that have been hand-sewed into it, it will take up to three months to make.
I can't wait to show you guys this bag!
What is your most favorite piece?
I’m still obsessed with our arrow bags. It took us about a month to figure how we could sew textile to a circle and make it look cute. But I must say, the jewelry line is turning out to look sooo amazing it might be the thing I am most proud of. I love the combination of the huipil neck and the belt we have put together.
Where is your dream vacation spot?
My dream vacation spot would be Greece! I have heard from a friend its like heaven on earth!
Where is your favorite place in Guatemala?
Oh for sure Antigua! I lived in Quetzaltenango for 10 years and when we moved back to Antigua, I fell in love with Antigua all over again. It’s a town where you can make friends so easily and meet people from all over the world.
Who is your fashion icon?
Julia Mateian. She is my favorite blogger! Her style is so inspirational. It’s the perfect combination of chic and elegance.
Who are the role models in your life?
My parents 100%. I look up to my mom simply by how kind she is to everyone she meets. My dad, who has passed, taught me to be hardworking and fight for my dreams!