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From an early age Andy Krumholz was fascinated by foreign cultures. Throughout school he did miserably in languages but for some reason had a knack for Mandarin and ended up living in Taiwan for 14 years. In 2002 Andy decided to take a long awaited trip to Brazil. It was there he saw the traditional handicraft of crochet-with-tabs and from that moment he knew he wanted to somehow adapt this traditional craft into products for the international consumer.
Escama Studio, founded in 2004, is a collaborative design studio based in California and Brazil. It adapted the traditional crochet techniques and imbued this tradition with modern design sense and new materials to create the flagship product a sleek, handcrafted line of women's handbags made from recycled aluminum tabs.
The handbags are hand crocheted in Brazil by artisans who work in co-operatives located outside of Brasilia, Brazil. The groups offer women and men in the community a means to earn a living wage through handicrafts and provide a setting where friends are made and self-esteem is regained.
Since 2004 approximately 70,000 handbags have been produced. Escama Studio has expanded beyond the handbag and now makes a line of fashion accessories. The group of artisans working with Escama Studio has grown from 12 to over 100. In addition to creating employment, Escama Studio gives back a percentage of gross sales to the co-operatives for building.
In June 2010 Andy and Escama Studio were awarded the 2010 Independent Handbag Designer Award for the "Best Green Handbag."
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