Pura Utz means Pure Quality — Pure Good, Amazing.
Our name carries many meanings and we are proud to live up to this standard of quality, good and a feeling of amazing. All our products are produced to honor and to create a sustainable income for the incredible women.
We call our business 'an empowerment project', because our values reach beyond the wish to create income — We want to acknowledge the existence and worth of the women we work with.
One of our partners in Guatemala asked very reflectively —
“They say we live in a hyperconnected world, so why do we feel so disconnected?”
Our response is – Let’s connect!
Pura Utz is a project where we try to connect worlds in all aspects. We create cool products that honor the Mayan weaving tradition and colorful outlook, but at the same time are suitable for a more simplistic Scandinavian style.
We connect worlds in the sense of the physical world, where products cross oceans, borders and mountains to reach new destinations and environments. It's the connection between the unjust chasm of what we with stigma name the ‘first world countries’ and the ‘third world countries’, but also all the worlds that present themselves in the encounter between people and cultures. It's a connection to the world around us and it’s a search for meaning and an attempt to integrate it all.
We want to open international markets for the artisans in order to acknowledge their skills and crafts, and we want to provide you with products that are of high quality and design, plus have meaning and history.
Anna — creative director & founder.
“When I founded PURA UTZ it was a dream of working for the empowerment of the Mayan women through their crafts and skills. For many years I have considered Guatemala my second home. Visiting the country for the first time when I was around eleven years old, proved to create a certain path for me in life so far. Since then I have undertaken numerous travels to Guatemala, working as a volunteer teacher, nurse and eventually doing my thesis on the reproductive health of the Mayan women. Oh yeah – my ‘real’ profession is nursing and anthropology student at UNI.
I feel a profound compassion and love for Guatemala — the amazing people, the diverse culture, the endless colors, shapes and forms, the tremendous mountains and volcanoes, the lush forest and jungles, the Mayan religion, the ancient dialects and everything in between the old school buses and corn tortillas.
PURA UTZ is to me a dream of living a life in close relation to Guatemala. It’s a dream of connecting worlds, it’s a dream of being creative, it’s a dream of making a difference in someone else’s life, it’s a dream of adding warmth and color to Scandinavian homes through sustainable quality design and, furthermore, it’s a dream of honoring ancient weaving craft and traditions — basically it’s a dream of doing and living something I love. That dream is alive and I am so grateful.
Thank you for being here on our website, we hope that you like what you see. Feel welcome to send us a message with anything that’s on your mind, I would love to hear from you.”
Meeting Bernabela was a chance encounter, but such a destined meeting. We both agree we are some sort of soul mates because we share the same dream, and we needed to find each other to make the dream come true. We dream of growing our team to fulltime employing more than fifty women, creating high quality unique products that can sustain themselves in the international market. We dream of growing, so that we can build our own place in Santiago Atítlan. A place where we can work and enjoy the smell of the fresh morning coffee, while enjoying the view of the volcano lake. When we have this place, we want to open it to being a place of mental health as well. Bringing practices of meditation and the body to the women and children of Santiago Atítlan. With my background in psychiatric nursing it was something I all of a sudden saw myself using a lot of the time in the village. This was consulting family members of Bernabela and friends. I realized how little knowledge and practice there is around this, so this became a common dream for Bernabela and I. We try to practice some guided meditations with the women and talk openly about mental challenges and struggles. But we would love to create the physical and beautiful space for this, so that people from this area can come and share their practice with the women and children. This is the bigger and larger end of the goal - join us on this journey, it might take years, we are in it for the long run <3
Bernabela and Elisa — mother and daughter.
Bernabela is the chief of everything in Guatemala. She coordinates production, groups and quality control. Now also alongside her brilliant daughter Elisa, she assists Bernabela in everything in production and coordination. Saturdays she studies at the University, acquiring skills within accounting and business management. We make a pretty great team if you ask us.