The SEQUENCE story began in El Salvador, the second most dangerous country in the world, where founder and creative director Ariela Suster was born and raised.
Growing up during the Salvadoran Civil War, Ariela and her family experienced violence firsthand and it rocked Ariela to her core, but also lit in her a desire to change it. She felt determined to one day influence the sequence of events that keep her country – and its people – in violence.
Ariela went on to forge a name for herself in New York’s fashion industry, holding senior editorial positions at InStyle, Lucky and Harpers Bazaar. Her warmth, talent and flair have drawn some of the world’s most influential designers, editors and influencers into her inner circle.
Leaving the editorial world to follow her heart, Ariela returned to El Salvador and was struck again with an urgent desire to positively influence her home country. She saw an opportunity to disrupt its story of violence by employing – and empowering – a group of at-risk youth to create beautiful, handcrafted artisanal products in their own community.
Channeling her sharp editorial eye into SEQUENCE, Ariela leads her team of artists turning traditional artisanal techniques into a range of products like bracelets, necklaces, headpieces, scarves and hats – all reflecting a high-style symbol of El Salvador’s positive side: its passion, its energy and its people.
The next page of the SEQUENCE story finds Ariela working on the collection in the small village of Tepecoyo, near her hometown of San Salvador, quite serendipitously.
After being introduced to two local artisans, Oscar Bautista and Natali Orellana, Ariela took a chance and went on her own to their hometown – in one of the most dangerous areas of the country, known for its gang violence. She arrived to find a group of tattooed young men, standing with their arms crossed over their chests, staring her down…across a table of impeccably designed bracelets! They were perfect and the men were so proud and passionate about their work.
Ariela knew it was meant to be, and Oscar and Natali have become an integral part of the SEQUENCE family.
Oscar is the Design Manager at Sequence. He is a graduate of Plastic and Visual arts. He has ample experience in community and social work with youth and children in visual arts, including techniques such as natural dyes and costume jewelry.
At Sequence, Oscar is in charge of employee onboarding, training, and knowledge transfer, teaching young artisans techniques such as macramé and costume jewelry so they can apply their newly acquired skills to Sequence designs.
With an extensive background as a teacher of social sciences and as an artisan specializing in natural dyes, macramé, and costume jewelry. Natali is in charge of Production and Quality Control, ensuring that the team of young artisans is working under adequate conditions and in a safe, comfortable environment. She supervises production to make sure orders are delivered on time and with an exquisite attention to detail.
Natali’s work goes beyond her job description, as she enjoys having profound conversations with the young Sequence artists, where they share their personal struggles and accomplishments. Natali has become a role model and a mentor for these young men and women. Many have been inspired to look at their work with great pride, and to realize that the quality of each piece is reflective of each person’s skills.