In 2003, best friends Catalina Álvarez and Mariana Hinestroza merged their passions for fashion and design. They started working day and night to bring to life a dream they had, creating Agua Bendita, the company’s first brand. It started by making bathing suits for their friends and family using Catalina’s grandmother’s sewing machine and discarded fabrics they obtained during a visit to a local clothing factory. Here, Agua Bendita’s journey began.
In 2007, they became one of the first Colombian companies to export local fashion, paving the way for the hundreds that would follow in their footsteps. Thanks to the unique handmade designs, Agua Bendita quickly developed into a leading brand in Colombia, with thirty stores nationwide. Today, the label is also present in over fifty countries worldwide.
WHAT IS YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY?
Agua Bendita’s design philosophy is teamwork. We believe in the power of teamwork in co-creating: our people, the soul of this company. We have been growing with our team over the years. This experience has been beautiful and challenging. What we admire the most is our team’s transformation at Agua Bendita. We are all working for the same dream: the Agua Bendita dream!
WHAT MAKES AB UNIQUE?
What makes Agua Bendita unique are our ABhearts. You can see our uniqueness all over our handmade in-house illustrated prints and in our handcrafted details in every embroidered piece made by Colombian artisan women. We love that our ABhearts work in their homes as stay-home moms raising their children. They are definitely empowered women. All this makes our product even more special and unique.
WHAT CHARACTERISTICS SET YOUR BRAND APART?
Colors! We mix all the Pantone colors perfectly. Combinations that make every single piece authentic… Our prints are handmade in-house, our artisans take more than a day doing a single drawing. Then, all of these drawings are digitalized and printed into fabrics with placed prints. Finally, our designs get into unique hands, the hands of our AB hearts. Then, they handcraft our pieces.
HOW DO YOU WORK WITH/ENGAGE WITH LOCAL ARTISANS?
ABhearts were born with Agua Bendita. Colombian local artisan women that have been with us since day one. This is our favorite story, the one we are incredibly proud of. We used to do all of our designs from scratch. One day we realized we needed more hands. In Colombia, we found artisans with the ability to make handmade embroideries, a learned task from past generations. We have helped all of these women create their own companies, working from home, raising their children, and at the same time, supporting their families!