Mari Gray was born in Guatemala to a textile artist mother and a photojournalist father. She grew up in Guatemala, Japan, and the US, surrounded by textile beauties from around the world. As a young adult, she moved back to her birth-country and somewhat serendipitously decided to apply her studies and experience in international development alongside her passion for supporting traditional textile arts.
Since 2013, Mari has been the primary designer for her small business Kakaw Designs, which began as a direct online sale website. With now so many branches of the “cacao tree,” she multi-tasks from facilitating and guiding textile travel itineraries in Guatemala to organizing custom production for other businesses. She now holds an MSc in Sustainable Development from the University of Graz (Austria) and the University of Utrecht (Netherlands).