MIAMI
06/11/2013 10:33 am ET Updated Jun 11, 2013

YU Handcraft, Miami Bag Line, To Employ Indigenous Colombian Women (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Miami-based YU Handcraft bags offer the pop of color so characteristic of this tropical town where corals are neon and houses in Little Haiti are painted bright blues, oranges, and purples.

But the launch of the handbag line also means employment for indigenous women in Colombia, who spend several days making each mochila bag by hand.

Madeleine Furuvald, a Swedish social entrepreneur who lives in Colombia and travels back and forth to Miami, first visited Colombia two years ago and fell for the cheerful knit bags, which she discovered were handmade by women in the Wayuu tribe in the La Guajira peninsula. Watch the video above.

She brought some bags back to Sweden, where others loved them as well, and was inspired to launch a collection of mochila bags herself.

Furuvald recently started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for YU Handcraft's Summer Collection of mochilas. Once funded, the company will employ 20 Wayuu women to make the bags.

The bags will retail for $100, but as a project funder, a $50 pledge will land you one of the colorful handmade bags as part of an early bird special.

"The idea of this project is mainly to export the bags since they really do go along with all the summer fashion trends going on at the moment," Furuvald told The Huffington Post, "but also it does help the Wayuu women as the more bags we are able to export, the better it is for them since it helps them increase their income and promote their cultural heritage."

Click below for images of YU Handcraft's mochila bags:

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