"We visited some of the villages near Cuzco and saw the magnificent textile arts there. We decided the whole world should know about them."
"We're Grace Montes and Ronald Delgado. Our story began in the city of Cuzco, where we each grew up and went to school," Ronald says.
"When Grace was 16, she went to Argentina to study industrial engineering and then worked several years for a company there. But she eventually left engineering for her true passion — design. She wanted to be her own boss.
"I also left home at 16 and moved to Lima to study law. After graduation, I began doing legal consulting with businesses in the capital. I then joined Grace and we set up our own textile workshop. Grace does the designing and I take care of legal and business matters. The idea of working with textiles arose during a trip to the city of our birth. We visited some of the villages near Cuzco and saw the magnificent textile arts there. We decided the whole world should know about them
"The change was a bit hard for both of us. We had to give up the security of a job in a big business in order to venture out on our own. At first, we struggled to adapt to the heavier workload and also to having much more responsibility leading a group of collaborators.
"But it wasn't all difficult times. We also had some funny moments, like when we first started. We were beginners. We didn't even know the terms used in textile work. More than once, we go to a meeting with other textile artisans and they'd talk about techniques. Grace and I acted like we knew what they were talking about but, afterward, we'd look at each other and laugh.
"Today, we enjoy the challenges we face day by day. We're always looking for new and better ways to create fine knits in alpaca wool for the most demanding shoppers. Also, many of the artisans who work with us come from low income areas and we look after their well-being, doing everything possible to improve their lifestyle. We're very proud to work with non-governmental organizations to continually develop campaigns in health, to provide school supplies and Christmas presents in the communities where some of our textile work is done."