Handwoven buriti palm handbags and accessories in Brazil
"Unlike commercially-produced purses, my family's handbags are crafted by hand... Each one has a story, about both the artisan and the shopper."From Ceara in Northeastern Brazil, Samuel Costa weaves buriti palm leaf fibers to create handbags and wallets.
"Crafts came into my life very naturally. I became interested after watching my parents, who are also artisans. When I was a teenager, I began crafting buriti palm handbags," he says.
"At first, I had many difficulties, especially because I lacked experience, but I just needed time, dedication and my mother's help to improve my designs.
"She continues to lend me a hand. This craft has become my livelihood, so we've had be very dedicated. Innovation is necessary to be unique. It's also necessary to forge relationships with buyers.
"I purchase palm fibers and weave them by hand. Then I make a pattern, cut out the pieces and sew them together.
"Unlike commercially-produced purses, my family's handbags are crafted by hand, which makes them unique. Each one has a story, about both the artisan and the shopper.
"I thank God first, and am grateful to my parents for their support and for teaching me their techniques. Today, my wife, my daughter and I have made this craft our life and are all able to work together in the comfort of our home."