From Dream to Hustle: The Birth of Erica Maree Designs

You don’t really need to meet Erica Black in person to catch wind of the unique, down-to-earth and passionately creative human that is behind Erica Maree bohemian handbags and fashion accessories. You can take a simple glance at one of her feature handmade handbags and recognize the complex array of individual personality traits and unique life experiences that together, make up the vibe behind the Erica Maree brand.

Since the conception of the brand in 2008, Erica Maree is now featured in showrooms in more than 9 countries around the world including Thailand, France, Australia and Japan.

Explore the vision behind the stunning designs that come out of the Erica Maree studio on a daily basis, and the dreams that led the hustle queen to where she is today:

What is the story behind Erica Maree?

“Since childhood, I’d been adding things like ribbons, lace and buttons to my mother’s old clothes to transform them into something new and different. The ideas and inspirations evolved as soon as I relocated to Mexico in 2008. I was drawn to the vibrant colors and textures of our new surroundings.  My original design came to life when my daughter grew out of a traditional hand embroidered Mexican dress and I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away, so it became my very first handbag: the Merida Hobo Bag.”

What inspires you?

“Colors, textures, and places that I travel to. Inspirations tend to sneak up on me when I’m least expecting it. That’s’ the moment I love. That “ah, ha” moment in time, when creations and ideas form in my mind. I love using genuine Mexican hand embroidered items, because the embroidery techniques have been around for centuries and handed down through generations. There is a magic in the artisanal work and love that it put into these materials, so to be able to up-cycle these items into unique fashion forward bohemian handbags and fashion accessories.”

If you could describe Erica Maree in 3 words, what would they be?

“Romantic, adventurous, and fun!”

What is one of your favorite things about being founded in Mexico?

One of the most astounding things about Mexico is how color permeates everywhere and everything. It is difficult not to feel joy; not to feel in awe of the beauty of the country and not to feel supremely grateful for the end product and designs stemming from a collective and beautiful collaboration between a traditional artisan and myself.”

Erica works closely with traditional artisans all over remote regions of Mexico and ensures mutually beneficial personal relationships by collaborating with them to develop new embroidery designs and materials. Each Erica Maree piece is completely unique and one-of-a-kind due to the nature of collaboration between her and Mexican artisans.

Here at the Erica Maree studio, which doubles as a bohemian fashion and accessory shop in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, we believe in the value of supporting artisans whose handicrafts have been passed down for generations. Each one of our pieces is created by hand with heart and soul, and provides fair labor wages for artisans in order to keep the magic of traditional Mexican hand embroidery alive.

As always, thanks for shopping handmade!