Santuario was founded in 2019 with the mission to connect vibrant Colombian heritage with fashion-savvy women so they could update their look in a unique way that held meaning behind it. The name Santuario holds a special meaning to the brand’s founder and means “a sacred place.” As the name of the birthplace of her mother, Santuario holds a deep connection to Natalie that she wants to share with the rest of the world.
We create leather handbags handmade from the artisans of the towns of Santuario and Jeríco, Colombia. Each bag is constructed by hand using techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation. Santuario, the brand, works with several workshops to create pieces that range from strictly traditional styles to updated traditional that cater to modern fashion with the use of accents and embellishments.
We strive to not only have a professional relationship with each of these artisans but something more, as well. The region is known for its welcoming and friendly atmosphere, where residents treat you like family. We wanted to return the gesture and expose the world to this hidden region’s skilled craftsmen and growing leather industry. Unlike other global leather industries, the leather used by Santuario’s artisans is not mass-produced in great quantities.
As part of the region’s way of life, nothing is wasted when it comes to materials. The hides used to construct these bags are from cows raised on the local farms of Jeríco. They are raised in large open spaces and lush forested areas. These living conditions are what attributes to the variances in the hides that the bags are made with, each unique with different markings meaning no two are the same. At the appropriate time, they are taken to the weekly Sunday market in the town square to be sold. When these hides are transformed into a bag, each carries its own unique variances. From color to texture and markings, each bag is carefully crafted to enhance and highlight the characteristics of the life of the cow it came from.