our story

Our Story

Gifts of Natural Beauty

Lucuma Designs celebrates the beauty in everything handmade! With sustainability in mind, we seek to benefit people and our Mother Earth ahead of profits. Inspired by love for nature and rooted in tradition, our fair trade gifts and fine crafts support cottage industries in Peru and Costa Rica.

We take pride in our personal connections and strive to do business in a way that is good for the artists, the gift givers, receivers, and everyone in between. Equally important to us, is offering you personalized service and attention to detail that exceeds expectations.

Lucuma Designs is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation and 1% for the Planet. With every purchase, you build a kinder and greener world!

Our Founders' Story

As an American-Peruvian duo, Don and I had a crazy idea: what if we could share the best of Peruvian craftsmanship with the world and build opportunities for talented artists while doing what we love. Don’s know-how and curiosity for new technologies paired well with my eye for good design and passion for traditional handicrafts as we launched Lucuma Designs in 1998.

Soon after, we learned about the fair trade movement and discovered within it our bigger purpose. Through the years, our understanding and commitment to fair trade practices and values of social justice, solidarity, and equality grew little by little to become a way of life. Recently, we felt the need to become better stewards of the Earth, and so Lucuma Designs joined the 1% For the Planet movement to step up our sustainability efforts.

Over the past 20 years, with the help of our local team in Lima, we have been nurturing personal connections with our Peruvian artist partners. Side by side with our gourd artists in Huancayo, knitters in Puno, clay artists in Lima and Arequipa, alabaster carvers in Ayacucho and in few other places, our journey together continues to surprise and inspire us.

Since 2018, we also call as friends artists from the indigenous community of Boruca, Costa Rica. Their exquisitely carved balsa wood masks, like no other in the world, give testimony to their rich cultural heritage and talent.

These long term relationships allow us to co-create our handmade and fair trade gift collections which are sold in over 500 specialty stores and museums within the US and Canada.

All around, we believe that when business gets infused with compassion, it has the power to open hearts and change the world, one handicraft at a time. Thank you for sharing this adventure!

Alessandra Bravo & Don Blackowiak
co-founders, Lucuma Designs

Quick Facts

  • Handmade Gifts: our collections appeal to nature, art, and craft lovers of all ages. Discover your next favorites among our extensive assortment of natural gourd ornaments, knitted organic cotton finger puppets, charming ceramic plant pots, fine alabaster nativities, festive Christmas decor and more!
  • Artist Partners in Peru: love using their creativity and skills to create quality crafts that keep traditional techniques alive. They are grouped within 20+ family workshops throughout Peru. Learn more about in our artists' blog and check out our artist videos!
  • Artist Partners in Boruca, Costa Rica: since 2016, Lucuma Designs has been representing a collective of outstanding indigenous artists from the Borucan tribe in Costa Rica. Their vibrant masks, intricately carved from balsa wood, serve as ambassadors for their culture and rich traditions. Their mask making tradition, together with their annual celebration of the "fiesta de los diablitos", are living testimony of this community's historic struggle for survival since colonial times.
  • Women: Of the 250 artists and crafters we work with, over 80% are women. Their work helps them gain economic autonomy that empowers each of them to have a stronger voice within their households and communities.
  • Beauty all around us: from the beauty of nature as endless source of inspiration, to the beauty of the personal relationships behind each of our gifts, our values and Beauty Pillars guide our work.
  • Fair Trade: in 1998, the term “Fair Trade” was almost unknown. It took us a year to discover the like-minded network, of socially responsible businesses members of the Fair Trade Federation.
  • 1% For the Planet: since 2018, Lucuma Designs made the commitment to give back by donating at least 1% of each sale to non-profits working to restore the environment and heal our Mother Earth. With each purchase, you become part of this effort. To do more, we invite you to join at OnePercentForThePlanet.org.
  • Our name Lucuma: was inspired by a tasty Peruvian lucuma fruit which has a beautiful bright yellow flesh reminding us of the exuberant colors of our Peruvian Folk Art.
  • Store Partners: our handcrafted collections reach conscious consumers on the shelves of over 600 specialty gift shops, museums, fair trade shops, botanic gardens and nature centers, and fine craft galleries and boutiques across the US, Canada and abroad.
  • At Your Service: expect personalized customer service from our team, quick turnaround, artist story sheets, and no-hassle returns.
Copyright © 1998-2020 Lucuma Designs, Inc. All rights reserved.