"It's been a challenge to demonstrate what wonderful things can be made, the fact that even with children, women can move ahead in life."
"For me, my art is essentially a way of rescuing part of our own traditions. The colors, the materials and the textile arts are an important part of our identity.
"I was born in the capital on December 15, 1964. But I grew up in Bellavista where we lived with my grandparents. My Grandmother Aurelia loved handicrafts and encouraged us to knit and embroider. She was a wonderful cook and really great at everything she did; she was a dynamic woman and we learned a lot from her.
"I learned my art at home. Both my grandmothers loved handicrafts and they often created things to sell in order to cover a household expense. Another factor is that my father loved to paint. He was a university math professor and the still life was his favorite theme. My mother was an art teacher in a state school. With them I acquired a love for art and its different expressions in different parts of Peru. My father loved to travel and bring home souvenirs from the places we visited, and in this way, we became acquainted with our country's different arts and crafts.
"I got started in this work by chance. People take different paths in life and, when my children were born, I spent every minute with them. At the time, I knitted and crocheted a lot so they'd always have pretty clothes. One day, a shopkeeper asked me if I had knitted the sweaters they were wearing and he also liked my handbag. I was proud to say I had made them all myself and I also made their clothes. He asked me if I could make some things for his boutique. In those days, I didn't see myself as a craftswoman — I was just creating things for my family.
"But that wasn't the last of it. When my children were older, things were a bit difficult economically. Both of them were in the university and their expenses were much greater, so I went back to this wonderful world of designing and crafting. I began to make handbags. I wanted to get ahead with things I created with my own hands and this brings so much personal and professional satisfaction. It leads us to reevaluate women's work.
"Through my handicrafts, I want to share our rich culture, our identity and the importance of what Peruvian women can do, as there's always a way to get ahead in life. Many times we can't do it alone, but together we can.
"My art is a part of my life, something essential that completes me as a woman, a mother and a professional. My greatest challenge has been facing a lack of support when you are alone. It's been a challenge to demonstrate what wonderful things can be made, the fact that even with children, women can move ahead in life. But my greatest challenge of all has been this reevaluation of Andean textile art in its different expressions.
"My favorite hobby is watching movies with my children, when I can enjoy their company.
"Thank you, Novica friends, for letting us into your lives with handcrafted designs rooted in our traditions. We hope you enjoy each one as much as we enjoyed creating them."