"All of us who work in the world of handcrafts have learned from our families or through work experience. My country already has what it takes to reach international recognition..."
"I was born in Lima and growing up with my siblings, we had the good fortune of traveling to other cities thanks to my father's job. As a little girl what I loved the most was to paint and draw, as well as read all about Peru's ancient cultures. I'm a fan of Paracas throws, the delicate weaves of Chancay, Nazca ceramics and the incredible architecture of the Inca.
"My great grandmother did very beautiful crochet and I lovingly remember her knitting dresses and wraps for my dolls, filled with bright colors.
"I enrolled in architecture but after a year and a half of studies I realized that my true vocation lies in design. It was a difficult time in my life because back then, designing was a relatively unknown degree in Peru and as such it was hardly valued.
"When I finished my studies I had the opportunity to travel to Germany and France and get to know about the great fairs. Through them I came to work for a Bolivian company who specialized in alpaca apparel. I worked hard for four years in La Paz, in the areas of sales and production. It was an enriching experience which allowed me to learn about the best of both worlds.
"I returned to Lima for personal reasons and it so happened that a friend requested pima cotton apparel. I got together with another friend and together we designed some samples. Imagine our happiness when we received the first orders! My dad and brother, who worked in something completely different, helped us with all the legal requirements so we could export. That's how all of us together began to shape this venture of ours.
"There were many changes during our first years: my brother moved abroad and my friend retired after giving birth to her first child. Happily my husband and my father decided to help me. Dad organized the venture and managed it for eight years, and then he left me in charge. Matthias, my husband, helped me market my designs. I can't say it was easy – on the contrary, it has been several years of hard work and sacrifice in order to grow, overcoming obstacles and let downs, as well as people copying our designs.
"I'm a perfectionist and as a designer I have found in hand-knitted techniques my ideal means of expression. I love trying out new color combinations, as well as combinations of textures and materials. Weaves take me on a voyage filled with surprises, satisfactions, and continuous learning.
"My source of inspiration are Peru's ancient textiles, traditional arts and the beautiful colors of my country. My intention is to innovate based on our handicrafts in order to make high quality apparel with fine natural materials such as baby alpaca wool, silk, merino wool and cotton. I mainly use certified cotton.
"It is very important to me to create a great, safe and familiar environment for those who work with me. I am lucky to work with a talented group of artisans who support me with all my ideas. One of my greatest satisfactions is knowing that people who used to work with me, have now set up shop on their own.
"In 2014 we received the Fair Trade certification from PromPerú – everyone associated with this venture worked hard for a year to make sure we got it, and we are committed to fair trade.
"In 2011 we started working with a group of talented weavers in Huancavelica, 4200 meters above sea level. They weave and knit by hand, and at first we gave them the smaller details, then we entrusted them with small collections and now they help us with larger orders.
"Through my work I've come to realize that in my country there is a great lack of technical education in handcrafts. There is so much talent and so many ancestral techniques, that it's a great shame that there isn't a legally recognized institute where artisans can go to learn more and update their designs with colors and trends, as well as with techniques so they may meet export requirements. It would also be good to be able to exchange experiences with artisans from other countries.
"All of us who work in the world of handcrafts have learned from our families or through work experience. My country already has what it takes to reach international recognition just like 'Made in Italy' has, and my dreams is to contribute in some way to this."