Rocio and Amparo
Handwoven handbags and accessories in The Andes
"When I'm designing, the first thought that comes to mind is my mother, my family, my two-year-old son and my husband. I work very hard for them.""I'm Rocio Melendez and I work with my mother, Amparo Araujo. It's such a blessing to have her here with me for this project we formed together.
"Amparo is an admirable woman in every way, always concerned about her family and, especially, her children. She's sociable, sentimental and very loving, and she's kind and noble. My mother has made me the woman I am today, patient, committed to my family and passionate about art.
"It's never easy when you have to make a decision that will change your life. I've had several such moments in my life — changing jobs or finally deciding what to do and thinking about the future. But the hardest was deciding to follow my intuition and do what I really love to do.
"All my life, art has been present in my home. My mother was always a homemaker and worked at all kinds of handicrafts. She knitted sweaters, did embroidery and also baked beautiful cakes. My brothers and I were so proud when she'd send us to school with her homemade cupcakes. What impressed me most was that Amparo could do so many, many things!
"Time passed. I graduated with a degree in business administration and got a job with a company in the area of product development. There, I was able to develop my creativity and learned a lot about color theory and techniques. It was a very good job, but office work didn't let me take on the other activities that I liked very much, such as textiles and fashion.
"So although they offered me the chance to travel and all, I decided to forge my own path. I knew it would be difficult but I told myself it was now or never. I wanted to do something of my own.
"With all I had learned, I set my creativity free and I couldn't wait to share this with my mother. She was delighted with my ideas and said we could work together on this artisan textile project. We wanted to learn about the weavings and ancestral techniques of our people.
"I learned to weave by hand on a table loom, taking courses in the local cultural center. I found it fascinating. I had always wanted to do this.
"My mother backed me in everything with her ideas, her imagination and the way she inspires me to create new designs. It's wonderful to have her beside me as a part of this dream.
"When I'm designing, the first thought that comes to mind is my mother, my family, my two-year-old son and my husband. I work very hard for them. I love to be with them and enjoy their company. I'm also greatly attracted to Peru's rich culture. I'm constantly attending craft shows and reviewing what's new in the digital world in order to renew myself.
"I'm convinced that this is what I want to do. Every day, I take pains to achieve the best quality possible, to learn and improve my work. That's that it's all about and, moreover, with the love of my family, I believe I can overcome any obstacle.
"It's wonderful to be able to share my art with the world because I love my culture, my traditions and my history."
5 items by Rocio and Amparo
Hand Woven Coin Purse with Braid Detail from Peru
Sunny Braid, Hand Woven Coin Purse with Braid Detail from Peru
Rocio and AmparoThis cheerful coin purse is perfect for holding loose change or storing small valuables like headphones or jewelry. It's handcrafted from a durable cotton blend by Peruvian mother-daughter team Rocio...$29.99
Andean Valley Sunset
Colorful Stripe Handwoven Cotton Blend Leather Accent Clutch
Andean Valley Sunset, Colorful Stripe Handwoven Cotton Blend Leather Accent Clutch
Rocio and AmparoPeruvian artisans Rocio and Amparo handcraft a lovely clutch with the colors of the sun spilling across an Andean valley. The body of the clutch is a hand woven cotton blend in stripes of tangerine...$89.99
Hand Woven Red Yellow Pink Fringed Clutch Bag from Peru
Andes Fiesta, Hand Woven Red Yellow Pink Fringed Clutch Bag from Peru
Rocio and AmparoThis festive clutch will dress up the simplest of outfits. Peruvian mother-daughter team Rocio and Amparo weave the fabric by hand on a table loom it from a durable cotton blend. Trimmed with...$39.99
Andes Blue Fiesta
Hand Woven Fringed Clutch Bag in Blues from Peru
Andes Blue Fiesta, Hand Woven Fringed Clutch Bag in Blues from Peru
Rocio and AmparoThis festive clutch is the perfect beach vacation accessory. Peruvian mother-daughter team Rocio and Amparo weave the fabric by hand on a table loom it from a durable cotton blend. Trimmed with...$39.99
Multi-Color Handwoven Cotton Blend Leather Accent Clutch
Beach Sky, Multi-Color Handwoven Cotton Blend Leather Accent Clutch
Rocio and AmparoPeruvian artisans Rocio and Amparo handcraft a pretty clutch with the colors of a sandy beach under a sunny sky. The body of the clutch is a hand woven cotton blend in stripes of robin's egg blue...$89.99