Creating unique leather bags and improving livelihoods was our dream.
Handcrafting natural leather using skill and experience is what we do.
Seeing our bags stand out in the crowd is what we enjoy.
BEARA BEARA IS WHO ARE WE.
We design and create unique vintage-style leather bags handmade by our experienced craftsmen and women in Bolivia. We’re inspired by the British vintage classics that are timeless, stylish and will never go out of fashion.
Our premium leather treasures are not just bags, they are pieces of artistry and stories interwoven with love and expertise. At the core of our creations are the skilled hands and hearts of our Bolivian craftsmen and women who pour their passion into each bag, bringing to life a fusion of old-school British vintage style and the rich heritage of Latin America.
Our bags are not just a fashion accessory, they represent an approach to life and a set of values that have a positive impact on the world. The company Jake envisioned since the outset was one not based on profitability and communism but on having a greater sense of purpose. Create something special and use it as a vehicle for positive change.
How we started
Our journey began when our founder, Jake Bullough, a travel writer at the time, ventured into the highlands of Bolivia while writing a book about his experiences in South America. Fate had something different in store for Jake and although the book didn’t get finished, Beara Beara was born.
Amid the bustling streets of La Paz, destiny introduced Jake to Julia, a radiant soul at the center of a family with a time-honoured tradition of crafting leather bags. The meeting ignited a spark of collaboration and Jake immediately saw how the combination of generations of experience combined with quality materials had huge potential. With Jake’s designs and a lot of hard work, they turned what was a small struggling business of three people working in a cluttered basement into the thriving business it is today.
Julia’s son, Wilson is now our factory manager in La Paz and their traditional way of creating the bags has lived on. Jake’s aim was to create real lasting change in Julia’s small business and others like it and today we are proud to have a family of over 80 artisans working with us to create our one of a kind pieces.
What we do now
The power of employment as a force of transformation became the cornerstone of Beara Beara’s journey. Today, we stand as a beacon of opportunity, extending training and meaningful work to more than 80 individuals who form our extended family.
Beyond employment, we focus on a number of areas to support our employees. We provide classes in areas like women’s rights, sexual health, and nutrition. We encourage them to be part of the business and not work for the business, helping us to constantly improve systems and the working environment. We enjoy time outside of the factory together with families often playing sports and going on picnics and weekends away. We provide healthy food packs on a monthly basis or often gift kitchen essentials to encourage a healthy lifestyle.
Our craftsmen and women carry a profound sense of pride. Their hands create not just bags, but bridges between tradition and modernity. Our bags have changed over time, our first capsule was infused with the spirit of the Andean culture by incorporating vintage ‘aguayos’, woven fabrics that narrate the history of indigenous communities spanning generations. The threads that bind these bags resonate with centuries of heritage and artistry, a testament to the enduring legacy of Bolivian craftsmanship.
The days of cramped spaces and struggling profits are replaced with thriving workspaces and efficiency. Though the traditional techniques of leatherwork persist – measuring, cutting, staining, embossing, and stitching – they are now wielded with a newfound mastery that minimizes waste and maximizes impact. Our artisans, our family, have grown not just in numbers, but in skill and empowerment.
We offer opportunities. Opportunities to those who have the hunger to learn and grow and achieve, but may not have been as lucky as some. We open doors and enable people to take their destiny into their own hands. Months of intense training create new talents, ensuring each bag carries the legacy of mastery and care. Amid the daily rhythm, our workshops come alive with the sounds of unity, laughter, and camaraderie. Beyond the labor, these artisans are students, parents, and dreamers, shaping their own futures as they contribute to ours.
We hold aspirations as vast as the Bolivian landscape. We envision student scholarships and study areas, enriched and inspiring workshop spaces, thought-provoking and educational classes, a creche for single parents plus community initiatives. While the horizon gleams with possibilities, we honor the present, mindful of the value of each step taken. Our journey is not just about bags; it's about hearts, hands, and the shared story of a brand that believes in having a positive impact on the world around us, one stitch at a time.
What we stand for
We believe in creating a stylish and affordable product that stands the test of time. With every Beara Beara bag, our heartfelt intention is to envelop each customer in the warmth of the love, determination, and respect that permeate its creation. Fashioned from the robust hides of Bolivian lowlands, these bags are not just durable companions; they are enduring tokens of appreciation for quality, individuality, and style. Our products celebrate the joy of owning something crafted with intention, transcending fleeting high-street trends to embrace the timeless.