Soraya Hennessy is a lifestyle and accessory brand founded in August 2016 by Soraya Pena de Hennessy from the blog Chic Flavours as a way to share her Wayuu heritage. The goal of Soraya Hennessy is to show women around the world the beautiful work of Wayuu artisan women and to express a positive message about her native home, Venezuela.
The Wayuu (pronounced "Wah-You") is a Native American ethnic group living on the border of Venezuela and Colombia. A big part of the Wayuu culture is the art of weaving designs in mochilas (bucket bags), chinchorros (hammocks), and mantas (robes). The technique has been passed on by women from generation to generation. Often the girls start weaving from the tender age of eight years old. Soraya’s Wayuu heritage comes from her mother. Soraya grew up seeing her mother and grandmother wear mochilas on a daily basis.
Soraya was born and raised in Maracaibo, Venezuela and moved to Chicago, IL in January 2008 to pursue a B.A. in Hospitality Management. After working in the hospitality industry, Soraya started her fashion and travel blog Chic Flavours in 2014 as a way to showcase her colorful style and passion for travel. In 2014, she and her husband moved to Abu Dhabi, and she now splits her time between the U.A.E. and U.S.
In her debut collection, Soraya Hennessy offers five different handmade woven cotton clutches with unique patterns and lively colors. Each clutch has a pompom and tassel accent with an interior pocket and lining. In addition to clutches, Soraya Hennessy offers a modern twist to the traditional handmade mochila bucket bag, introducing fun and catchy handwoven words such as "#fiesta" and "fluent in sarcasm." Soraya Hennessy is also introducing bucket bags exclusively made for the UAE such as "habibi" and "yalla." The bucket bags are designed with one of a kind crochet yarn and are 100% handmade with love from Venezuela.