Shop Local: Luna Maya Macramé
The retro fiber art is making a comeback. Think wall hangings, yoga-mat carriers, handbags, nursery mobiles and more.
Falls Church resident Anielka Azarian was in the middle of a bedroom refresh when her mother, Anita Poot Cu, came to visit from their home in Campeche, Mexico, a few years ago. Seeing a macramé wall hanging that Azarian was considering purchasing on Etsy, Poot Cu revealed that she herself had learned macramé in middle school—and balked at how much the decorative items were going for these days. She offered to make something similar.
“I’m a flight attendant, so I was going on trips,” recalls Azarian. “She was staying at my house, so that was her little project, to do the wall hanging. I came home, and she had a wall hanging looking exactly like the one I wanted.”
When the pandemic hit and Azarian was furloughed, she opened an Etsy shop featuring her mother’s creations. The collection sold out in 24 hours. Soon, Poot Cu was teaching her daughter about knot-making from Mexico via FaceTime, and a side-hustle was born.
Now Azarian sells online as Luna Maya Macramé, as well as at a few retail locations and at pop-up markets, where she regularly convinces folks that the craft is more than just those plant holders from the ’70s.
“You can actually make really pretty cool, not-so-traditional wall hangings, more modern-looking [pieces] to decorate your house,” she says. “There’s a little bit for everyone. It’s amazing how it came back.”
She chose the name Luna Maya as a nod to her roots in southern Mexico, where the Mayan civilization thrived and is still celebrated today. “In the Mayan culture, the moon is sacred, and so is my business,” she says. “Putting these two words together was a perfect match for us.”
Azarian has grown her offerings to include those ubiquitous plant holders, which she says are her most popular item—perhaps thanks to the pandemic plant boom—along with artistic wall hangings, bottle and yoga-mat carriers, and even shelves and purses. Prices range from $20 for bottle holders to $350 for large-scale, customizable wall hangings.
With the anticipated arrival of a baby this year, she has been experimenting with nursery-inspired pieces. She expects to have a new line available come fall.
“I’ve been crazy over rainbows and mobiles and just cute little things to decorate the nursery,” she says. “I think that’s definitely my next project.”