[by Irma Heuven]
One of my dear followers on Instagram is the Venezuelan Handbag designer Mercedes Machado. She is known for creating unique high-end handbags in luxe materials like suede, crocodile skin, and leather. Her life has always been immersed in the arts and design. Mercedes Machado grew up in Venezuela, and has been living abroad for many years. In Paris, London, and in Switzerland.
During her youth, she was surrounded by painters and artists that would visit her parents who were art collectors. In 2002, she began designing handbags, first under the label Jacaranda Handcrafted Bags, later under her own label. Machado’s success lies in her talent for juxtaposition. Mercedes Machado masterfully combines art, style, and color in her unmistakable handbags. Her designs have been published in Vogue Magazine, in the US- and the Italian edition.
Could you please tell us about yourself, your date of birth, relationship status, etc?
My name is Mercedes Mac, I was born in New York City in 1955. Lived most of my life in Venezuela. I’m currently single, I have learned to enjoy my own company and make self-care a priority. I have four kids which are my special interest and inspiration. A philosophy I live by is; always try to be the best version of yourself in every situation.
How do you feel about being fifty plus?
Much more calm with everything. Most of the questions of my life I feel have been answered. I became more careless, in a good way.
At which age did you enjoy life the most? Would you like to go back?
Definitely my 30’s. Best year. I feel I was mature enough on my decisions but still had a lot of fun! I would surely go back, for one night haha!
From which experience did you learn, what made you stronger?
When my parents died in a plane crash. I was 27.
There are a lot of lessons in grief. The most important one to me is you have no idea what you’re capable of doing until you have to do it. Oh and also, God won’t give you something you can’t handle.
What changes have you experienced after your 50th?
Apart from the ones that I see in the mirror each morning, I think I am a more patient person.
What made you stronger in life?
The bad times and mistakes. Especially from my divorce.
What is your favorite quote?
Bad choices make good stories…
Follow her on Instagram Mercedes Machado
For more interviews of inspiring fifty-somethings, see our Portraits series.
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