GUMOs are handmade products made by Native artists in Panama using Traditional textiles, purchases will support the local communities
About this project
The Guna Yalas** are the biggest Native tribe in Panama. They live in the San Blas Region and are famously know for their Molas. Gunas have been making Molas for almost 200 years. Molas are cloth items that get sewed into the Gunas traditional clothing. Nowadays, the Gunas have been creating molas in more contemporary styles such as hats, towels, bandanas and more. However, they don’t have all the essential items they need when it comes to basic necessities like books and religious ornaments since the profits from the little they sell locally are not enough.
Our idea is to create our own designs combined with the traditional mola techniques in order to create an exclusive item.
The idea for Gumo was born due to the necessity of helping the Guna Community combined with the possibility of creating a new form of art that essentially pairs modern designs with the ancient techniques of making Molas.
Meet Florina and her daughter Chelsey. They were the first two Guna Artists to join the GUMO team. They do not live in the best conditions, but they do everything in their power to grow economically and support the rest of their family members. They are very happy to be working with us and we feel lucky to have them on our team. They have contributed ideas that, combined with our modern designs, have flourished into the beautiful final products that are available in this campaign. Before Gumo they made traditional molas such as the ones below and sold them in Panama City. They are excited to work with Gumo because they will be able to show the world outside of Panama their talents and beautiful products.
The success of this campaign will help us get GUMO off the ground and grow into a full-fledged company. Once we achieve that growth, we will begin acting on our social responsibility mission by giving back to the community.
With the success achieved after this campaign, we will set up Spanish courses at the Gunas local communities. Since they have their own dialect, it is sometimes hard for the Gunas to communicate in the city. We have partnered up with local teachers to help us achieve this goal!
Our process is both unique and interesting. We create modern designs using techniques that have been around for more than 200 years. Our designers pass the designs to the Gunas that are on our team, like Florina and Chelsey, and then they create the final product.
We are beginning our company with these 2 product categories locally proven to be the best sellers. With the success of this campaign, we plan on expanding our product line.
Proven to be an A+ icebreaker. Unisex. For your essentials.
Gumo Clutch Bags
Classy night out. Going to the beach. Any occasion. Premium leather + Mola
Once the has been campaign funded you will receive an email with a survey allowing you to select which design you would like to have.
**for more information about the Guna Yala Community you can check out this interesting article. http://mashable.com/2015/05/03/guna-yala-panama-ecotourism/#z41ZFsKXkkq7
Risks and challenges
1. Workforce: Currently we only have 4 Guna Artists on our team. The process of creating a mola, or the stitched design, takes around 2-3 days since they are all handmade. From there, making it into a final product like the clutch or wallet above, takes another 4 days. In a week working full time, an artist can make 15 finished products. So, in order to keep up with demand, we need this campaign so that we can hire more artists and keep up with the demand from this campaign and future sales.
2. Language Barriers: Gunas do not always speak Spanish, so it becomes hard to express our intentions and vice-versa. We have been working on it, partly through setting up Spanish courses at the Gunas local communities.