Madre Culture started to beep on my radar back in 2016. It caught my attention because its aesthetics was completely different from anything I had seen in Nicaragua at the time. So I did some research to find out who was behind those original and colorful patterns and I came across Donald Blandino. I visited him at his studio in Managua and ever since he’s become a great friend, and Madre Culture a recurring name in Dream Life Factory.
My first impression of the studio was a pleasant surprise. Despite being tiny it’s packed with a lot of personality in every corner. Once you step inside you immediately realize what the brand and its creator are all about. Colorfulness, friendship, fun, and a lot of love for Nicaragua.
Madre Culture was born in 2014 as Donald’s graduation project. His idea was to create accessories that represented the Nicaraguan culture in a new way, with a bohemian and modern influence.
According to him, the now iconic patterns started from his own doodles. Those he can’t stop drawing whenever he’s bored. Slowly, those doodles evolved to represent patterns of ancient vessels from indigenous tribes found in Nicaraguan archeological sites.
Madre Culture made its official debut during an exhibition of the American Unversity (UAM) in Managua. It started with 3 lines of product that were more like prototypes. Nowadays, it has more than 25.
All the pieces are 100% handmade by Nicaraguan artisans from the indigenous community of Monimbó, in the city of Masaya. According to Donald, it was a challenging learning curve because the styles were so different from the traditional shapes. However, the efforts paid off because now all artisans are committed to the project and strive to keep improving and innovating.
Mare Culture pieces come at a very reasonable price tag. Especially if you consider each piece is unique and handmade out of premium materials. It’s definitely a great investment that will be with you many years if properly taken care of.
I’m absolutely in love of the color combinations and the functionality of the designs. I particularly enjoy the notepads and handbags. I love traveling with them because they’re great conversation pieces that make me feel incredibly proud of being Nicaraguan.
If you enjoyed this post and want to learn more about Madre Culture, follow the brand on Instagram and Facebook. As always, thank you so much for reading and may the force be with you. Until next time!