12 May 2014

ALI FEATURE {Nena & Co giveaway}

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I’ve been obsessing over Nena + Co. bags for months now. I think of any excuse to have one of Ali’s gorgeous pieces on my body at all times. I am so excited to feature Ali, the genius owner behind Nena + Co, + also be giving away one of her beautiful camera straps this week. I will announce the winner on Saturday, MAY 17.
editsinstructions to enter the giveaway: 1. LIKE Nena + Co on Facebook or LIKE Nena + Co on Instagram. and 2. comment on this post, telling me if you prefer to interact/keep up with me on Mama Hussy or Instagram. 3. LIKE my photography Facebook page.
ENJOY ALI’S INTERVIEW BELOW:
G. How old were you when you dreamed up this business?
A. Like a lot of people out there, I’ve always wanted to do my own thing but I wasn’t sure what I could do. I had grown up around Guatemalan textiles but when I was in my mid 20’s I started to see them and art work from Guatemala in a different way. I started to realize a lot of people would love them if they were exposed to them. At first I wanted to import antique furniture from Guatemala because they have such amazing finds there, church doors, benches, and dinning tables that are all hand carved and stunning. But the logistics of that were just too overwhelming so I put that on the back burner.  Artisan’s in Guatemala have been turning “huipils” and “Corte” (or traditional Maya clothing) into usable every day items like bags or table runners for a long time but they always looked too “hippy” for me. For example, they seemed amazing when you’re in a exotic setting in the market and so you buy it, but then you take it home and think “its not as cool as i remember it being.” The problem was that they didn’t have the right designs for Westerners to see the beauty in the materials being used and also be able to incorporate it into their everyday life without feeling like a sucker that came home from vacation with their hair braided in corn rows.NENA AND CO bags
G. How long did it take to make it happen?
A. The idea of making bags and other products from traditional Maya clothing probably was an idea I had 7 years in the making. It didn’t come into fruition until January of 2013 and I was up and running by June of 2013. Luckily my family is from Guatemala and my Mom was already working with women in Guatemala for her own business. And my Aunt has dedicated her entire life to working with under priviallged Maya’s in Guatemala so naturally I went to her since she was my inspiration to work with Maya people.  The combination of my Aunt and my Mom  made it a lot easier to set up a company with the infrastructure that I have.
G. What’s your favorite thing you’ve gotten to do for these ladies in Guatemala through your bags?
A. We work with non-profits a lot and of course that has been fantastic but giving women and men steady work is what I am most proud of because it’s something they can be proud of as well.NENA AND CONENA + CO
G. What’s your favorite bag?
A.My favorite bag always changes! Its usually whatever the newest design is. So right now its the Fringe Tote. But my new favorite product is the Kimono!
G. Where do you see this business in 3 years? Has your vision changed at all?
A. I am expanding to boots, accessories, Baby & Child and a small collection of Home Goods. The homes goods will start with pillows, throws and other small item but I would LOVE to be able to import furniture like I had originally hoped to do. My greater vision has stayed put and will continue on the same path of giving more work to more people that need it. And to pay fair wages since that is so important to me. The more I create the more possibilities I can see and so my design vision keeps expanding and evolving almost daily!NENA AND CO daybag
G. Even if you’re very passionate about the vision of your business, owning a business can be stressful. What are your go-to stress relievers?
A. Knowing that you can’t do everything on your own is an important thing to realize. I love what I’m doing but I had one too many nights that I would break down and cry because I couldn’t keep up with the everyday work and the “looking ahead” work such as product development, quality control, and marketing. One of the biggest stress relievers was hiring people to help me. Knowing when to ask for help is a big deal. I also stopped working out completely when I first started and working out it a BIG stress reliever for me. I make myself do some sort of work out at least 2-3 times a week whether I have time for it or not. I make time. I love Crossfit and I just started Barre classes!
G. Your parents work with/for you. What is your favorite + the hardest thing about working with family.
A. I’m super lucky to have a great relationship with my parents. If they weren’t working with me, I would be annoying them like crazy asking them for help and with a million questions. My parents have been entrepreneurs ever since I can remember and they both run and own their own business’s at the moment as well so there is nothing they haven’t gone through that I’m going through right now! So the best part is they are incredibly supportive and have been the behind the scene force that has kept me organized in a way that we can continue to grow. I’m not sure if there is down side at the moment but if I had to say something I think the hardest part is I feel really annoying sometimes when I have no idea how to do something and need a lot of their input. But I’m learning from them and they make me feel like everything is a learning process and its OK.

Comments

  • By B Waldo on May 12, 2014 5:23 PM

    I follow on ig/ Facebook !
    & as far as communicating with you – I love iG!
    Love to you & Nena + Co !
    Thanks !

    • By Mama Hussy on May 25, 2014 5:36 PM

      CONGRATULATIONS, B!!! A huge smiled slammed across my face when you’re name came up on my screen.
      I can’t wait to see which one arrives at your doorstep. Show pics asap.
      xxx

  • I read your blog every now and then, but I always see your Instagram. Love ya!

  • I liked on Facebook. I have been eyeing the day bag for so long now :) I know how you feel about the interaction. I love blogging but hardly ever comment. Yet on IG I comment often. So if you are looking for interactions I would say IG is the way to go. But I do love this space and love to visit here.

    PS: off to reconnect with you on IG. I actually opened up a new account.
    xo

    • By Mama Hussy on May 25, 2014 5:47 PM

      Yeah, I wondered what happened. For some reason, I had to “refollow” you on IG. xxx

  • You know I love insta, it’s a great way to communicate + share your rad life. But you also share wonderful info and stories here on mama huss. If you’re going to get rid of anything throw out twitter with me ;) I’m making the cut on that soon!

    PS – I haven’t stopped swooning over Nena + Co since you shared last week. love it xo

  • I prefer Instagram! Great Q&A! Thanks!

  • ok i never enter giveaways but those are beautiful camera staps and bags!

    but mostly i wanted to add that i just stumbled across your blog recentjy and love it. i’m admittedly a shitty commenter but i totally love this space of yours.

    i just followed you on ig because that’s the place i feel like i actually connect most but it feels more ephemeral — it’s so easy to miss a post. so i still like blogs.

    i’m clearly of no help! so take this as a hello instead! xx sara
    http://www.bonzochoochmushyandme.com

  • I found your blog through IG and mostly follow there :) Love these beautiful camera straps!!

  • I love following you on IG!!!!! I come to the blog as well, but in stage am is easier for me!

  • I look at the blog from time to time. I like your descriptive and narrative writing. That being said, I am on Instagram more often :)

    Would luuuuurv to win one of these camera straps.

  • By Melissa on May 14, 2014 10:33 PM

    I just started following you on Instagram and came here to your blog from that! I love it and will continue to read it and follow!! Thanks!!!

  • i JUST found you on insta and this blog. i love your instagrams! your boys are so precious. xo.

  • By Melanie on May 15, 2014 4:07 PM

    Oh I so understand the thinking of going blogless….. BUT I just found you & am crazy about your blog! New fan all the way. I love me some instagram, but feel like a blog is just a bit more complete… if that makes any sense? Lol) I will follow ya no matter what you decide!

    P/S OMG, I have had a Nena & CO strap pinned to my wish list for like EVER! Am in swoon love with her talent & pieces. xx

  • I follow ya on instagram, but find my way to the blog every now and then. Instagram though mainly! :)

  • Oh you know I love me some Nena & Co!! I follow along on IG.

    As far as the blog thing goes, I 100% relate. I used to be into it way too much. I soon realized I was devoured by this life of blogging. (not that that is your situation, I think you have a great balance!) I stopped blogging and told myself if I ever started again it would be with Brandon and also for a good reason. We have done just that, our new blog is going to document our travels to France and Germany. I think you know what you WANT to do. Be true. =) xoxo!!

  • instagram following. i do not do well with blogs..

  • By Amanda Stice on May 16, 2014 7:41 PM

    I prefer your Instagram. Always great pics and knowledge!

  • By Katie Moore on May 16, 2014 7:45 PM

    I liked on FB!

    I love reading the blog but I keep up with you better on Instagram.
    I think you are so talented at writing and I love your style!
    Hope this helps!

  • Hey lady! I liked Nena + Co on IG! Had no idea this company existed, so thank you for spreading the word. I love your work on IG, so I’d have to say I favor it over a blog. Blogs are a lot if work so I relate to you on this!! Anyway, regardless, you are talented & I’m a fan!

  • I follow you on Instagram but I also love your blog. I usually do not comment but take in all that I read. I am inspired by all that you do and enjoying reading your blog… you are a talented writer and photographer. Through your IG and blog I have linked to many others, including Sopie at Philosphie and Nena & Co. I love the superfoods and I love the artistry of Nena & Co products!

  • By Paige Gammell on May 17, 2014 1:24 AM

    Love you rad ladies. So awesome that you featured Nena and Co on your mamahussy! I do not have a Facebook but would still love to enter the giveaway. I do read your blog every once in a while when I am on the computer but definitely am an avid Instagram user and enjoy seeing the pictures you both post. Anyway, I follow and like you both on insta. Best of luck to everyone

  • By Erica Fresh on May 17, 2014 1:26 AM

    I liked them on both, I found you on ig and i love it there, your pictures are so vibrant and beautiful. Hopefully one day i become as talented as you. Thank you for this opportunity!

  • Hello! I follow you and nena + co on IG and FB . I like Instagram because people can quickly exchange a conversation but I love your blog because it’s more in depth. It really depends on what you want to get out of it. Instagram is more instant and probably quicker for a convo. I’m torn.

  • I would love to keep up with your bags and photography on Instagram! But I’ll follow ya on Facebook as well! I love all your bags and straps as a fellow photographer!!

  • By Tarah Patz on May 17, 2014 1:52 AM

    I LOVE instagram! Just found your page, and I look forward to checking your page out more!

  • I like Nena & Co on IG and FB; following your IG & FB. I prefer IG for all things social media. Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  • I follow on fb and IG but I find IG so much easier to follow others since there are no ads.
    Thanks! Hope I win!