It’s not every day that you learn of a mother-daughter duo so inspiring you want to run to tell their story, but Beatriz Martinez and Paulina Anchia, 12, is the dynamic pair behind handbag brand, Beamina. From the story behind its name, which is a hybrid of Paulina’s childhood nickname, Amina, meaning warrior, and the verb to be, Beamina ultimately sends the message to be a warrior and to fight for your dreams. Their leather handbags are thoughtfully designed in Puerto Rico and produced in Colombia. Each one is lined with a unique illustration by Paulina and carries their signature two-stars logo.
As Betty explained about her daughter, the entrepreneurial mentality has always been a part of Paulina’s aspirational persona, and her great-grandmother’s sartorial creativity was passed down to her. “Paulina always had a special sparkle, and she was extremely mature for her age,” she said. Paulina’s drive and fearlessness explain the significance of their collection titled Fearless as when she was eight-years-old, she was already determined to launch a handbag brand.
Two years before, the aspiring designer was given a sewing machine for Christmas, which led to sewing classes and eventually to the production of handbags. At the time, the money Paulina earned from her sales, she would end up donating to charity, which ultimately continues to be the promise of their brand. “We want to help other people feel comfortable about themselves. We want to stop human trafficking. We want to help people feel safe,” explained Paulina.
For each purchase, a part of the proceeds is donated to the Ricky Martin Foundation – an organization committed to “denounce human trafficking and educate about its existence through global awareness, research, and community initiatives, anchored in the defense of children and youth rights.”
Aside from placing their name in the sector of making a difference, the fashion industry has also taken note of the up-and-coming label, making Paulina the only keynote speaker representing Puerto Rico at the annual Latin American Fashion Summit in Cartagena, Colombia.
In November, the talented pre-teen will be sitting alongside legendary fashion designers she looks up to such as Carolina Herrera, Johanna Ortiz and Carmen Busquets. “I’m so surprised. I couldn’t believe when they told me,” exclaimed Paulina. “It feels like you’re a person that inspires, like someone that can bring a smile to a person.” Beatriz seconded Paulina’s joy by saying, “Honestly we’re super happy. We were so surprised about the opportunity because this is going to be the most important congress of fashion in Latin America.”
She added, “We’ve only been around for a short time and for them to consider us is a great example for all Latin Americans.”
At HOLA! USA, we believe in highlighting fashion brands, designers, and creatives who are breaking boundaries in the fashion industry. Within the weekly segment of #HolaCouture we’re spotlighting Latinx talent and entrepreneurs who are firm believers that their Hispanic roots and culture are worthy of being shared with the world through fashion and style. Not only are we highlighting their unique and artistic skills, but we're also continuing their conversations.