According to historians, the art of textile lace reached its peak between the 1500s and 1700s, thanks to an affluent clientele from European nations such as Belgium, England, Spain and France.
And, as expected, the elaborate art of the world spread to our coasts after the Spanish colonization, becoming a hobby for young and adult women who used it as a hobby.
However, centuries later, the arrival of automatic embroidery machines and the gradual integration of women into the world of work pushed this intricate practice almost to its disappearance, reaching refuge only among retired grandmothers and great-grandmothers, who saved the traditional craftsmanship of their eventual extinction.
Today, by inexplicable designs of fate, the art of the world has regained vitality and demand, both in the world of fashion and in the textile industry, so that new generations have begun to turn to its study and reinvention.
Living example? The new artisan Maricarmen Dávila Figueroa, who from Adjuntas already stands out in the local and American market with her threads turned into nets, braids, lace, squares and fillings, which she calls Mundillo by Nina.
As he explained, he spent his youth years between classes and training workshops in various craft disciplines, thanks to the example of his mother.
“Since I was little, I remember having accompanied her to her metal embossing workshops, hammock making, filigree and world class making classes. She has done everything in this life and I have grown up with it. In fact, of my siblings I am the only one who works with handicrafts or handicrafts ”, the 29-year-old girl recognized with emotion as she remembered her beginnings in this field.
“I certified myself to help them to do things,” added the young entrepreneur, explaining that he began as a goldsmith in the art of filigree to collaborate in the creation of works of his mother and an aunt.
However, four years ago he approached the Taller de Mundillo that was offered at the Plaza del Caribe shopping center in Ponce and, from then on, his connection with the art of lace and bobbin was immediate. For this reason, she admits, she succumbed in love to the call and quickly armed herself with the necessary tools to innovate and achieve another of her dreams: Mundillo by Nina.
Since then, the young associate with a bachelor’s degree in Advertising and a master’s degree in Management invests every free minute in making garments that can take from one to 20 hours of work.
“I already make the screens faster. What takes me time are the rosaries and other pieces that can take between 10 to 20 hours ”.
And about the name of his brand, he confessed that he was inspired by the story of his cat, a feline rescued from the rubble left by the passage of Hurricane María in that mountain town.
“That name has a history. When we were developing this whole idea, we wanted the brand to represent something young, with fun colors, but to maintain the elegance of the world. And in the flow of ideas we realized that those were the same characteristics of the kitten. Super fun, small, playful, but always with the elegance that cats have ”, she commented.
He also explained that to achieve the exhibition and sale of his artisan pieces, he opted for what many of his generation have done: reinventing themselves in times of crisis until establishing a virtual store that has allowed him to exhibit his work, beyond the 100 x 35 of Puerto Rico. www.mundillobynina.com.
“Since shipments are made by mail, I have already had people from the United States who have ordered. And since the page shows you the product, people can customize it with the color they want, “he mentioned.
“I have a map that I am painting according to orders and I have already had clients from almost all of Puerto Rico,” she reacted gratefully, particularly, given the reality that still exists as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
And on the subject, he stressed that he has also adapted his line to enter the market for the manufacture of masks, which have had an excellent reception among acquaintances and followers of his virtual store. “People asked me for them and so I started inventing them,” he added.
Precisely because of experiences like this, Maricarmen is already determined to rejuvenate the business of the world and expand its possibilities in pieces of clothing, scarves or baby cloths.
“I will include more clothing and other accessories such as masks, rosaries, necklaces, display bracelets, scarves, bookmarks, and baby wipes. Everything you can create in the world ”, concluded the enthusiastic young woman.