We had the good fortune of connecting with CAROLINA ROCHA and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi CAROLINA, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When I moved to Milan to complete my master’s degree in management of luxury goods, I was struck by the pride that the words “made in Italy” inspired those around me. This experience got me thinking about the label “handmade in Colombia,” and how I wanted to create the same value and pride for the people in my country. When I returned to Colombia, I decided to create Carola, a 100% Colombian sustainable handbag brand inspired by my own country and dedicated to empowering women and single mothers. When I returned to Colombia, I began to put the puzzle pieces together to create Carola. I knew I wanted to create a brand focused on sustainability, good quality products and unique designs. My mother, Maria Rocha, a civil engineer with amazing artistic talent, was and still is my support system, she pointed out a fact that would become a cornerstone of the brand: in Colombia, 41% of mothers are abandoned by their partners and have to support their children alone. From this reality, the idea of creating a brand to empower and create opportunities for women, and especially single mothers, was born.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We are proud of being a 100% Colombian brand. Our design, materials and work are fully inspired by the beautiful nature of our motherland. Wearing a Carola bag is about making the dreams of many people come true, this is why all our bags are unique. Our bags are knitted by artisan single mothers and indigenous tribes of the Colombian Amazonia. We want to give back to our communities their dignity and give them a voice to make our world a better place. Carola prioritizes respect for the environment and the use of natural, organic and recycled materials, like 100% organic silk, cumare palm trees, and natural dyes. “The whole process, from the planting of mulberry, cultivation of warms and the elaboration of the threads is realized by 200 families, victims of the armed conflict whom in this initiative have found a harmonious stability and peace, allowing them to leave their difficult past behind.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mom Maria Rocha, is the person that I admire the most in the whole wide world. Without her love and support this would have never been possible.
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.