MEET THE MAKERS: Marlena Gonzales

MEET THE MAKERS: Marlena Gonzales

In our Meet the Maker series, we're pulling back the curtain and revealing the secret sauce of the Flowfold brand ... our team! Take a seat and read on as we introduce members of our production team—the gifted folks whose hands, hearts, and minds form the foundation of all Flowfold products.

Marlena Gonzalez, production assistant

Marlena is so speedy that you will need a fresh pair of sneakers to keep up with her. No sooner is a product hot off the sewing machine, than she has it packed up and on the next mail truck. In 2018 Marlena moved to Maine and joined Flowfold as a Production Assistant, and since joining, she’s been a cheerful, and speedy mainstay of the team. 

Marlena went to school at California College of the Arts, where she studied furniture design. This background in design and multidimensional thinking enhances the craft of our bags and backpacks. Her technical skills and craftsmanship in this arena makes her a leader in our production crew. In all her creative endeavors she enjoys the daily problem solving that comes with being a craftsperson. “I like working with my hands and being physical, having mental brain work and problem solving, with something visual in front of me. It’s a process.”

If you can’t find her at the Flowfold studio, it’s probably because she’s out on a run during her lunch break. She runs daily, whether it’s in 90-degree heat or through a freshly plowed snowstorm. Growing up in hippie suburbia where Whole Foods was founded, Marlena has created a lifestyle around movement and wellness. For her running is a mental release of stress, and getting outside is critical. “I’m so big into that, I see how much it helps me.” In 2020 she ran over 1,000 miles, but says it’s not the running that has kept her blood pressure down in a pandemic, it’s the hot sauce.

Marlena Gonzalez, Production Assistant covered in Flowfold wallet fabric scraps

This Austin Texas native is not scared of spice and has recommendations on how to heat up just about anything. “Cholula for tacos and beans, Thai chili paste for fried rice or noodles, crushed red peppers for spaghetti and pasta, and a homemade jalapeno lime salad dressing. You have to have the assortment!” Her passion for cooking is inspired by Ayurvedic principles, cooking blogs, and a deep love of all things jalapeno.

In 2020 craft made a resurgence amid the pandemic. During this time, where we are craving being together with friends and family, Marlena points to how craft is at the foundation of community.

People are makers to trade resources, whether you are a farmer to provide crops, or making a garment to fit well and keep people warm. These are the things that you put your love and energy into. It’s important to help, and be a part of the community.

As a role model in wellness, and a supportive teammate, Marlena leads our community by example.

When not running, cycling, or doing yoga, pilates, or barre, Marlena takes advantage of all aspects of the New England seasons. In the summer she’s hiking, and spending weekends with family out on the boat in Belgrade Lakes. In the wintertime she tunes into the circadian rhythm, and leans into it’s offering for cozy hibernating, tinkering, mending, and learning chess.

LIGHTNING ROUND! 3 Questions with Marlena

Marlena heading out for a trail run

1. Marlena, what is your favorite Flowfold product? 

My favorite is the Scout running belt. It's perfect for my short distance running adventures. I love that it can fit my phone, keys, and money clip. The best part about this running belt is that it doesn't bounce when I run!

2. What product do you enjoy making the most?

I love making the Mammoth zipper totes. It’s super fun to make because of all the straight line stitching and rectangular shapes. This bag is the perfect carry-all for your weekend adventures, from the beach to snow sports!

3. What is the most recent adventure you've taken Flowfold on?

I take my Mini Odyssey crossbody purse on all my daily errands. It's the perfect small bag for running to the grocery store, and even has a front zipper that holds my face mask, hand sanitizer, and keys.


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