"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you."
- John Bunyan

Trial by Fire


Wow, I really just had no idea what I was getting myself into! Briya bags was born out of a desire to help children get the resources they need to thrive. The bags- a tool to get the resources from places that have them to places that don’t. It seemed so simple. I travel a lot. I love searching for (and finding) the perfect travel bag that allows me to travel comfortably and in style. Why wouldn’t I just make one myself that could fulfill both objectives?

There is, however, a substantial difference between shopping for the perfect bag and creating one! Especially by a girl who can barely sew a button on a shirt! Thankfully, I found a talented young designer to help me develop my ideas into an actual prototype. But that was in the states, in English, and I did not have to think ‘inches, materials, and stitching techniques’.  She just created this beautiful bag and gave me the measurements and pattern. Perfect, I thought, I will just take this to Colombia, hand it over to the talented artisans and Briya will be off and running.

I did not consider that I had absolutely no idea where I would find the material I needed or these ‘talented artisans’ to make the bags, or the whole ‘metric conversion’ part (inches to meters), or the currency conversion (dollars to pesos) or fact that, although I have a good grasp of the Spanish language, the ‘language’ of patterns, fabrics, material blends, colors, textures and sewing techniques is completely foreign to me…in English!!

Fortunately, I like a good challenge…and I found Diana Mendieta Rojas.

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