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Gift Idea: Maromas Totes, Handcrafted Bags from Costa Rica

Gift Idea: Maromas Totes, Handcrafted Bags from Costa Rica

maromas totes handcrafted bags from costa rica

The initial idea was to give away some bags to equestrian friends she missed as Christmas gifts, but Maramos Totes founder María Elena Fonseca took it as a sign to start something great instead. So in September 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, her brainchild was born—and has since been producing stylish arm candies that every horse lover will love!

maromas totes handcrafted bags from costa rica

Fast forward to another holiday season, and we couldn’t think of a better present for everyone on your list. Maromas Totes carefully designs every collection, focusing on vintage equestrian themes and unique handles made of cord to resemble horse reins, with a classic and functional look, as the owner describes.

Elena is always looking for the perfect carry-all, whether it’s for holding carrots, keeping her sunglasses, or even her water bottle to quench her thirst when working at the barn. However, it’s not easily found—so she decided to simply do it herself!

What makes this brand great, apart from its tasteful designs that amp up your daily look, is how they enlisted the help of fellow Costa Ricans in producing the pieces. “One of the things that I enjoy the most about these products is that they are handcrafted by Costa Ricans. It is part of our values and a way to help during these hard times,” the owner shares.

Their collections are functional and handmade, created from imported washable linen fabric—a smart combination of poly-cotton that makes their totes and prints durable. Every Maromas design begins with a theme, all related to horse disciplines. Elena incorporates ideas from polo, dressage, jumping, eventing, rodeo, and even the different breeds of horses involved, plus all the apparel they use. 

From there, she will scour through books, image banks, old catalogs, and magazines for additional inspiration. “I have to be completely in love with each image before going on to production,” she points out.

From there, she collaborates with her graphic designer Adela Gurdian; followed by the printing process in a local, family-owned sublimation company, ending the process in a small woman-owned seamstresses studio, where they cut and sew each one of the totes. Afterward, Elena adds the final touches—the handles with the rein-like cords and the metal snaps, all carefully crafted so that all handles are unique.

maromas totes handcrafted bags from costa rica

In the future, Maramos Totes might expand to offer other equestrian goods, like customized boots and helmet bags. “And other horsey surprises!” Elena excitedly says.

So if you’re still looking for presents to give away, a Maromas bag will not disappoint. After all, the brand is named for this specific reason. “Maromas in Spanish means somersaults, pirouettes,” the founder explains. “Therefore, Maromas recalls the positive athletic energy of horses.” Let’s pass on this good vibe, one bag at a time!

Photographs by Bernardo Galo
Shoot on location at Pacacua Stables, San Jose, Costa Rica
Model: Amanda Oeding
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