Handwoven alpaca apparel and accessories in The Andes
"My most important dream is working with my brother artisans and alpaca farmers… I want to empower them so they can grow as people living in harmony with their loved ones and the environment."I was born in 1989 in a small village in the department of Junin in the Andean region. I consider myself to be a spontaneous, super emotive, sensible, and sincere man.
When I went to live in Lima, the capital, leaving my mom, my dad, and my sister made this one of the most difficult moments of my life. But I had to in order to fulfill my dream of studying textile engineering. I am proud to have beaten my loneliness, and I learned to make each new place that I visit my second home by meeting new people and making new friends.
Working for myself has been the most beautiful part of my life, but it's also one of the most challenging. The path has been a long one with many obstacles, but apprenticeship is very important. Working for myself has allowed me to meet extraordinary people and see many places. It has also helped me to mature, grow as a person, fortify my entrepreneurial spirit, and share my experiences with the world.
To master my art, I had to learn to manage my emotions and channel my internal energy. This gave me the patience and humility that I needed to learn from the great master artisans. Dedication, passion, and love for what I do have been the keys for me.
I have as many professional dreams as I have personal ones, but the most important one is working with my brother artisans and alpaca farmers of Peru. I want to empower them and give them resources so that they can develop themselves, and grow as people living in harmony with their loved ones and the environment. I believe that I can generate incentives and motives for my own community.
I became interested in textile art through my grandfather, Venancio Rojas. He wove blankets and frazadas. He set up his loom and warp threads, and also inspired my elementary school history teacher to talk about the Paracas blankets and Inca textiles. That was when my passion for textiles, our history, and alpacas was born.
My aunt Vicenta Rojas taught me to weave. She is a master artisan, and is very dedicated to handicrafts, teaching, and textiles. She founded the first educational center for artisan knowledge in Junin. I too teach this art in my community, continuing the legacy she left behind.
What I like the most about my art is that I can transmit emotions through the textiles I create. Weaving also allows me to get to know how mystical and rich Peru is through its textiles. What I find most challenging about my work is being able to help more artisans and improve their quality of life. My inspiration comes from the Andes, from Mother Earth, the sky, the moon, and the stars. I'm also inspired by my Inca ancestors, my culture, and the well-cared for alpacas who give us their fleece.
I work with my family. My sister Maylen helps organize my artisan brothers who weave. She also teaches them the importance of coexistence, solidarity, and empowerment. My mother Apolinaria helps with quality control and spoils the entire team with her cooking. My father Juan is the leader of the alpaca farmers and artisans. He is in charge of arranging help for raising the alpacas and he is very vigilant in their care.
I'm very happy to know all of you and share my work with you. And I'm very thankful.