"Studying fashion design also helped me find myself and manage by creative impulses better. What helps me the most is listening to those who work with me, the artisans and technicians."
"I have always been interested in the ecology, all things natural and handcrafted. My hobby has always been breeding animals and for a while I worked in the family business which had to do with the import and export of live fish.
"Guided by a desire to start something of own, I started working with artisans, creating my own designs. I wasn't thinking of starting my own venture in handcrafts however I soon realized the art world was offering me a wealth of possibilities that would, in turn, benefit the lives of artisans. All they needed was guidance with designs and have their works valued more.
"In 2007 I used all of my savings to set up a small shop, but I didn't know much about quality standards or about putting collections together guided by the current fashion trends. I realized I was lacking in experience and knowledge for such a venture and though we sold well the first year, the next one we had to shut down.
"I realized I needed to prepare better, so I decided to study fashion design. I worked hard to pay my tuition fees. I continued working with the artisans I already knew and sold our designs to other stores. But it wasn't easy: back then the world of alpaca apparel was exclusively about classic and conservative designs, and many stores turned me down.
"My studies helped me refine my style, clarify my ideas and create a collection based on sound criteria. I learned to be on top of the trends and increase my knowledge of them and find suppliers. I met a group of artisans who lived quite some distance away and for two years I drove the every other day, guiding them through the topic of design. But this sacrifice has paid off. I work exclusively with these artisans, who have improved their quality and are not afraid to try anything new.
"Studying fashion design also helped me find myself and manage by creative impulses better. What helps me the most is listening to those who work with me, the artisans and technicians.
"Something that baffled me was that while I was pregnant, I wasn't creative at all. Inspiration had left me and I even thought I had lost my artistic abilities. The doctor said it could be due to all the hormonal changes I was going through and sure enough, a few months after I gave birth, the ideas and inspiration returned – I was so happy!
"It happened while I was in the kitchen, cooking. I was thinking about a new collection and all of a sudden I was flooded with new ideas. It was such a great moment, that I called my husband and told him, 'I'm back designing again!' It wasn't such a great thing for others – only for me. It had been my greatest concern.
"The prime materials for our collections are mainly baby alpaca (season's first shear), alpaca, wool, and other fibers of the highest quality that our artisans can easily work with. For the future we envision increasing our workshop so we may be in a position to offer more work to artisans and so impact their lives in a positive way. We want to preserve our style, starting projects that become a dream, and then working to see them become a reality so customers are satisfied and look forward to receiving our products."