Hi, my name is Jess Bercovici and I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I first came to Guatemala in 2007 as an archaeologist working on a Pre-Classic Mayan site on the Pacific Coast of Guatemala near the Mexican border called La Blanca. It was at this time that I not only fell in love with the vibrant textiles throughout the country, but also the people. After working on the project for three consecutive summers, I committed to starting a brand with a few artisans I had met over that time. Stela 9 was officially established in 2010. With a background in Anthropology, it was a natural transition to focus on cultural preservation through creating modern, wearable handbags and clothing.