"Our fates joined us in our work and life. We’ve been together for 25 years and have had two children who also work with us in creating leather jewelry."
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Vera Mariano specializes in leather apparel and accessories.
"I took a modeling class and soon realized that leather lent itself best to expressing my design ideas," she says.
"I sell my work in craft fairs around the city. This is where I met Ricardo, a colleague who crafted leather jewelry.
"Although I liked my work, it is difficult to sell my leather apparel here where the weather is so hot. I depended on winter sales and tourists who lived in colder climates. With Ricardo's support, I branched into jewelry and he taught me everything I needed to develop leather bracelet designs.
"Fate joined us in our work and in life. We've been together since 1992 and have two children who also work with us. All of us have developed our skills and create our own jewelry designs in leather.
"I personally find inspiration in nature — in foliage, butterflies and flowers — to create bracelets with cutout motifs."