“In design we have a tool through which we can present solutions to existing problems as well as ensuring cultural diversity worldwide.”
The BrandConcalma is a distinct brand founded in 2006 that has had great customer acceptance and has proven to be resilient. The competitive advantage of Concalma comes from the consolidation achieved at Concalma The Store, a brick-and-mortar operation that supplies quality designer products, including its best selling product line of tote bags designed by Concalma's founder Matilsha Marxuach. The bags are manufactured at an industrial women-owned factory in Utuado, Puerto Rico. The store also supports products of other local designers. The communication strategy of Concalma aims to raise awareness of fair trade, the importance of local design and manufacturing as well as promoting sustainable practices. Concalma’s mission is to combine functionality, quality and creative design into its products with sustainable, social and responsible actions, creating a unique bundle of physical, emotional and conceptual values.
Concalma is a designer brand with a brick-and-mortar store strategically located in the heart of Old San Juan (207 San Francisco Street) that serves as a marketplace for its own product line of designer tote bags and distributes products of other local designers as well. Our store presence has represented design, innovation, entrepreneurship, fair trade and local production.
The Concalma handbag line is made up of 16 different styles of cloth bags and totes designed by founder Matilsha Marxuach. The bags are made out of fabric and the wide, comfortable and athletic handles plus colorful fabric choices and combinations are some of Concalma’s trademarks. The handbags are used as an everyday carryall. We also carry styles for the beach, as well as smaller hiking pouches and cross bodies. Our bags are designed for comfort, are long lasting, and are manufactured at an industrial women’s cooperative in Puerto Rico. Our handbags are designer quality products and are specially designed to be utilitarian, durable, comfortable and fashionable. We have sold around 16,000 units of the fabric handbag tote. Through the years we have also had around 20 collaborations with different artists for our handbag line.
Matilsha Marxuach is the founder/CEO of Concalma LLC and the Senior Designer of Concalma handbags. She is a graduate from Rhode Island School of Design. Concalma was established using the values of fair trade and the founding principles of sustainability, being especially enamored with the quality of resiliency and the ability to adapt and endure. Her inspiration comes from local culture as well as from traditional lifestyles and knowledge. Her passion for sustainability and functionality lead to her founding the Concalma brand which offers high quality design products. Matilsha also serves as an avid advocate of the concepts of fair trade and local consumption, which are the guiding principles of her work.
Among her Awards and Recognitions:
- 2014 winner – “Microentrepreneur of the Year” by Citi Foundation and the Puerto Rico Community Foundation
- 2009 finalist – Guayacán, Inc. – EnterPRize Business Plan Competition
She has participated in international and national conferences and events such as:
- 2015 H-3 Conference – Tech and Innovation – Social Entrepreneurial track
- 2014 Ted x Talk, Santurce PR
- Iberoamerica Biennial – Matadero (Spain); Bronx Museum of The Arts – Concalma Holiday Pop Up Shop – New York;
- AMO Studio Pop Up Shop – Soho, New York.