My name is Athena Maroulis and I founded ATHINAEUM in 2011 when I was in Guatemala, a country that transformed me and evolved my life path in many ways.
Fashion, textiles, traditional artisan goods (especially textiles) and the mindset of sustainable living has always been in my DNA having grown up with an architect mother and an anthropologist father. I started creating these handbags and accessories after seeing many of the traditional Mayan textiles being made into poor quality fast-fashion goods and artisans being paid poor wages in Guatemala. I felt that it was a disservice to the craftsmanship of the weavings. I knew I wanted to create a range that would last, be treasured and do it by paying these artisans a fair living wage. 
ATHINAEUM creates one-off handbags made from reclaimed hand-woven textiles. 
Each piece is created in Guatemala in collaboration with some of the best leather craftsmen in Guatemala. 


We use slow fashion practices to bring you one-off styles in beautiful quality leather and textile, so you can treasure your ATHINAEUM accessory knowing that it is a carefully considered, ethically made, quality leathergood. 


I take an active interest in local community projects and have collaborated with cooperatives such as Mercado Global to make my ATHINAEUM dust cloth/carry bags. As well as donating time and money where possible to put as much back into the local community in Guatemala as possible.

1. Each bag is Unique

Each piece of fabric is hand picked from a selection of pre-loved hand woven, hand embellished textiles. The fabrics are then hand worked into various styles and trimmed with Guatemalan leather to make each bag into a one-off style. Yes, it’s a long process, but it means each handbag is unique, your style, your story. A true, one-off Athinaeum.


2. Fair Pay + Fair Conditions = Happy Bags

Athinaeum leather craftsmen are paid above minimum wage and work in good conditions. Fairly paid and content workers means, your purchase comes with happy karma. Made with love so you can wear with a good conscience!

Here is one of the talented leather artisans in the workshop below photographed by the talented Anna Morgan.




3. Preserving and Supporting Mayan Traditions

Indigenous Mayan women of Guatemala proudly wear their history, culture and tradition in their daily dress and preserve centuries old tradition and skills. By upcycling these textiles, I hope to share this culture with the rest of the world! You are not only, wearing a wonderful piece of Mayan history and culture, but sharing, promoting and preserving it. So with each bag, I let you know where it comes from and the significance of the patterns on your piece. I’ll also be writing about Mayan trends and traditions in the weeks to come so you can understand the culture and how it's worn daily by Guatemalan women and also find out current trends and where it’s headed!


 4. Minimal Waste

Because all the fabrics are hand woven/embroidered/embellished, I try to ensure that your bag makes best use of all fabric and leather = Minimal waste.


5. Helping out Guatemala

With each purchase you are helping support the struggling Guatemalan economy and the local Atitlan community. Guatemala is a country struggling with poverty, crime, political tension, the legacy of many years of civil war and more recently, natural disasters. Every little bit helps.