Sandra Aldao, originally from Argentina, and Amaranta Ferrao, originally from Brazil, create beautiful, authentic, handmade leather items. The two women first met in Sayulita in 2003, and sharing a love of fashion and design, began working together in 2009. In 2012, these talented women opened their own store, Areias Leather, in Sayulita. Sandra and Amaranta tell El Sayulero all about their store, their creative process, their best selling purses, and more.
First off, tell me about Areias Leather in Sayulita. What type of products do you sell?
We sell all types of leather items, with the leather being very soft and, which we get from Mexico and Argentina. We use good quality leather - finished aniline, pigmented, suede, and animal prints. We sell bags, clutches, hanging leather mobiles, passport holders, jewelry, etc., and on occasion, clothes.
How did you come up with your business name, Areias Leather?
Before we worked together, Sandra had her own store for about a year and a half, which was named Sand Leather. When we started working together, we changed the name to Areias Leather. (Areias means sand in Portuguese).
Are all of the designs your own? And if so, from where does the inspiration for your designs come?
Yes, the designs are all our own. Currently, Amaranta is in charge of all the production and designs, and Sandra is more on the sales side, buying leather and shopping for the store. The design inspiration comes from our heads, but we also look in magazines for ideas. During the designing process, we experiment with different looks and figure out what looks the best and is the most functional. We might do a design three different times before we are happy with the finished product. Even with our current designs, we are constantly making improvements to make them better. For instance, some bags started without lining and we have since added lining, we use new seasonal colors when we can, and we also use various fabrics for the inside of the bags.
What sets your designs apart from other bags/purses that one is able to purchase in Sayulita?
Everything is authentic and is handmade. We cut every hole, make every stitch, cut the fringe by hand, we do everything. Larger bags/purses take us as many as 12 hours to finish, while smaller ones may take about 3 hours.
What is your best selling bag/purse at Areias Leather?
The Susi, and the mini Susi, are two of our best sellers. These bags have three lines of fringe on each side of the bag with laced detailing around the borders and a braided handle. The Mia bag is also extremely popular and has an adjustable strap that can be made long to wear across the body. This bag has one long layer of fringe on each side and has laced detailing around the borders. The Ama bag is yet another bestseller – it is big and is great for travel or used as a beach bag and has two tassels on it. The main colors we use for these bags are white, gold, black, silver, and red, but we always try to find seasonal colors, like blue, also.
The jewelry you sell is also unique. Will you share more about the jewelry that is available?
We’ve done a variety of interesting leather necklaces in the past – which are made by Amaranta’s mom, some with shells, others with shark teeth, and others with feathers. We currently sell leather necklaces with fringe, and leather necklaces and bracelets with silver beads.
What do you like most about having a business in Sayulita?
We are really happy to have a business here because Sayulita is our home, and while what we do is a lot of work, we love what we do. We’re very fortunate because not only do we sell our products here, we also sell them in the United States, Europe, and Australia.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Our products are sold at our shop, Areias Leather, Friday’s Mercado del Pueblo, and several other boutiques in Sayulita. We are also planning to add men’s items soon, such as wallets, belts, and shoes. Sandra’s dream is to some day make accessories, like lamps, for interior designs.