Alejandra Hynek created Nena & Co. in 2013 to bring some of her Guatemalan culture to your colorful lifestyle. In Spanish, nena means "baby girl" or "darling". But it’s also Alejandra’s nickname. As a nena, Alejandra was taught her Guatemalan culture by her mom and abuela (grandmother). Guatemala (Guate) quickly became a magical place for Alejandra as she learned all she could about her heritage of the lush, green country. She learned how to cook all kinds of ethnic foods like tortillas, black beans, and arroz con leche (rice pudding). She also learned how to make dozens of Guate handicrafts like piñatas out of traditional patterns. After years of learning about her culture, Alejandra had a brilliant idea. She realized that Guate’s colorful fabrics had more to offer than she could have ever imagined. Combining her love for design with her Maya roots, Alejandra created Nena & Co., the one-of-a-kind artisan handbag company.
"I fell in love with these textiles as a young girl and never stopped loving them. They are a true reflection of the Maya culture with patterns/designs that have tested the sands of time." – Alejandra Hynek
Today, Mayas still wear these patterns/designs on their hand-loomed huipiles (shrits) and cortes (skirts), continuing a tradition that has been passed down for centuries; however, Alejandra and her Nena & Co. artisans have modernized these works of art into handmade artisan bags and other fashionable accessories. Every product is beautifully hand- loomed and one-of-a-kind, which means that you can always find the perfect bag just for you to take on your next adventure.
Rather than just admiring the talents of these impoverished Maya families, Nena & Co. is committed to always giving back! Your Nena & Co. purchase will enable us to make a difference in Guatemalan lives, whether it is by providing purified filtered water or a scholarship to help Guatemalan artisans receive a better education. Share this journey with us by following Nena & Co.’s blog "Peace Pilgrim" to see the difference we can make together.
Nena & Company is currently teaming up with the non-profit group SADEGUA. We work closely with Alejandra's Aunt Lubia who was born and raised in Guatemala and runs many of SADEGUA's out reach programs including teaching women how to deliver babies. We are raising funds to piece together birthing kits to then leave with these women who do not have access to a proper doctor or medical facility. Our goal is lower the infant mortality rate in the highlands of Guatemala and to help welcome their babies into this world!