History of Marakame


Man sitting on a rock wearing a hand-woven bracelet with beads and real leather on his forearm


Hi, it’s me, Mam’! My parents are from Egypt, but I was born and raised in a melting pot of cultures called Geneva. I am what they call a third culture kid. Defining my identity is complicated, especially when my teenage years gave me an unexpected passion for the Spanish language and the diverse cultures of Latin America. Surprisingly, over time, I became more proficient in Spanish than in my native language, Arabic.
While living in Mexico and Colombia, and exploring various Latin American countries, I found myself immersed in the captivating ambiance of bustling street markets. It was there, among the bustling crowds, that I discovered a wonderful connection with the artisans who crafted and sold their fascinating creations. These talented people drew inspiration from their rich cultural heritage, putting their heart and soul into every piece they made. After returning to Switzerland from a memorable trip to Colombia in 2018, I couldn't help but feel like something was missing. I wanted a leather bracelet that would encapsulate my experiences abroad, something unique that would set me apart. Alas, despite my searches in the markets, none of the bracelets captured my attention in an extraordinary way.
Then, that same year, an inspiration struck me like a bolt of lightning. I came across an image of the Maasai people, proudly displaying hand-embroidered beaded bracelets that adorned their forearms and biceps. It was the extraordinary accessory I had been looking for all this time, an ankle or forearm bracelet with an original design. Determined, each time I returned to Colombia and Mexico, I hoped to stumble across this elusive accessory, until finally accepting that it might not exist.
In January 2023, I made the bold decision to take a break from my life and embark on a big adventure: creating my own accessories. Naturally, I returned to Mexico, where the Wixárika community has been perfecting the art of bead weaving for decades. Mexico holds a special place in my heart, which made it the perfect starting point for my artistic journey. ​At a street market in Jalisco, I met Alicia, of Wixárika origin, and her husband Manuel, a couple working together and selling Alicia's wonderful creations. I entrusted them with my designs to weave with Miyuki beads and the result was exactly what I had imagined. Next, I designed leather bracelets that I combined with Alicia's work to create a one-of-a-kind accessory: Marakame Originals bracelets.
But my creative journey didn't stop there. Along the way, I had the honor of crossing paths with exceptionally talented women artisans, creating deep connections with each of them. Their unique stories and reasons for creating original jewelry and accessories resonated with me in a deep way. Growing up, the women in my family played a vital role in the person I am today. Their unwavering dedication and the endless number of lessons they imparted to me have had an immeasurable impact on my life. Therefore, it seemed only natural to dedicate my artistic adventure to the support and honor of women artisans from the four corners of the globe.
The story continues on the blog with the choice of the name Marakame. Click here to learn more.