Born in El Salvador, Lula Mena has a long history with artisanal design.
While studying artisanal design at a local university, Lula fell in love with the traditional techniques used by artisans throughout the country, and saw that many were disappearing and were being replaced with more industrialized and impersonal techniques.
Since then, she has sought ways to contribute to the rescue of traditional techniques by working directly with artisan communities to produce high quality products with an emphasis on design.
Following this goal, she was a pioneer in the reactivation process of indigo farming and its use in handmade products, primarily textile dyes. She was also a consultant for several NGOs in artisanal design.
When she became a mother, Lula experienced the importance of being fully present with her children, and was aware of the benefits of having a flexible schedule. She wanted to offer women in rural areas of the country the same opportunity of having a job that allowed them to have a steady income, and at the same time be present for their families.
Today, these women are the main providers for their families, many times earning more than their husbands. They now have the empowerment that allows them to make important decisions in their families, including the education of their children.
Lula quickly realized that she could use her designs as tools for social change, so she began to work with more communities, using a variety of techniques and materials that were available in the communities.
Lula Mena designs, develops, and commercializes sustainable, eco-friendly products that are handmade by Salvadoran artisans under fair trade standards.
My work is characterized by modern design with traditional qualities.
My designs are based on 5 principles: eco-friendly, handmade, fair trade, innovation and the empowerment of women.
I focus on empowering women artisans in a- risk areas by providing them with steady jobs to sustain their families and help the development of their communities.
The production process uses mostly traditional techniques with an emphasis on quality, natural or repurposed materials
The materials that I use are locally grown natural seeds for my jewelry line "Seeds of Joy" and cotton dyed with natural indigo to create handwoven textiles.
I also repurpose some materials for my designs, such as copper wire from repurposed energy meters to create unique and fashionable jewelry.
Since 2011, I have sold my designs in the Lula Mena Store in El Salvador, where I´m the lead designer and product developer.
Last year, I became the first Salvadoran company to showcase my designs at the Emmy and Oscars Gifting Suites.
"All that you vividly imagine and with your heart desire ... will inevitably happen..."