Alida Boer is the CEO and founder of Marias and Ix Chebel S.A., based in Guatemala City and New York. With a focus on social entrepreneurship, Alida seeks to empower underprivileged women with education and fair wages through her business and philanthropic endeavors.
Born and raised in Guatemala City, Alida founded Marias handbag collection in 2011 to preserve and elevate her country’s heritage of textile craftsmanship while supporting local female artisans. During her work and extensive travel as Miss Guatemala in 2007, Alida witnessed first-hand the immense skill of traditional female weavers, as well as their struggle with workplace inequality and a lack of employment opportunities to provide necessarily income for their families.
Alida started producing handbags with a small group of women from the remote village of Pastores in Sacatepéquez, Guatemala. Marias has since grown to a network of over 500 artisans throughout the country.
"Marias is not just in the business of fashion; we are in the business of storytelling and preserving heritage. Each thread, each bead tells the history of my ancestors and the beautiful legacy that weaves our stories together."