Lorenzo next to an orange Huipil Weekender bag, made for Intertwined for Good in his leather workshop in Guatemala.

How We Met Lorenzo, Guatemalan Leather Artisan

Cuero Malec is a leather shop in Samayac founded by Lorenzo Xum Ortiz. Lorenzo began working with leather when he was ten years old, and now he employs around 10 to 15 people in his shop. He and his team are skilled at using leather to transform second-hand clothing, including traditional Guatemalan huipiles, into beautiful purses and bags. 

Lorenzo (left) and Adolfo (right) in Lorenzo's leather workshop in Guatemala

In April 2022, we had the pleasure of meeting Lorenzo, introduced to us by our Guatemalan friend, Adolfo. At that time, our minds were focused on pillows and home decor, not leather bags. Lorenzo took us to his store to see his collection, but we found ourselves underwhelmed by what we saw--his products looked like all the other bags we saw in the marketplace and we wanted something different. During our meeting with Lorenzo, he expressed his wish for someone to help him market his items, and we were a bit apprehensive about what we were getting ourselves into.

Curiosity led us to accept Lorenzo's offer to visit his workshop, and to our delight, it turned out to be an incredible experience. He demonstrated his craftsmanship by creating a stunning weekender bag overnight, using a huipil we had purchased at the market. The sight of the beautiful orange weekender bag amazed us, and we couldn't contain our excitement.

Lorenzo and Tiffany of Intertwined: Handmade for Good in Lorenzo's leather workshop, examining a vintage orange Guatemalan huipil.

Inspired by his talent, we decided to collaborate with Lorenzo on the production of weekender bags for Intertwined. As time went on, he took on more projects and began crafting various types of bags for us. Every scrap of the huipiles was utilized ingeniously, resulting in the birth of mini clutches, adorable itty bitty bags, and charming coin catchers. Our partnership with Lorenzo has been truly rewarding, and his creativity continues to impress us.

(Left to right) Ginger, Lorenzo, and Tiffany of Intertwined: Handmade for Good, standing in Lorenzo's leather workshop in Guatemala.


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