“I am Antonio Vásquez. I was born in the city of Lima, Peru in 1961. I consider myself an adventurous, innovative and visionary man. From a very young age I was interested in crafts, since I got to know them very closely when working in my brother's export company. In order to learn, I had to travel through Peru town by town, and live with the artisans, learning from their art and their traditions. Thank God I have the opportunity to travel the country and meet great masters.
“Inspiration comes from local iconography and the cultural richness of all our regions.
This art that transcends inspired me and continues to do so to this day. All development requires a process that is carried out in conjunction with the artisans. The iconography is taken from their everyday textiles, such as clothing, blankets, etc., and it is taken to commercial pieces, elaborating designs with technical sheets. Prototypes are developed and are subsequently tested in local and national markets.
“It was a difficult start, due to the lack of support from the authorities; however, my momentum never wavered. The results have always been the best motivation to keep looking for new developments. I am proud to be able to dedicate myself to what I am really passionate about. Supporting the artisans of my community in my Peru is something that inflates my chest with joy and excitement. I managed to bring 20 handicraft companies to international fairs despite the lack of support from the authorities; and I helped obtain better prices for alpaca fiber.
“I currently work with a team of professionals who support me in design, production management and commercial articulation. Creativity, responsibility, productivity, empathy and organization are our pillars. We dream of bringing crafts to new markets, sharing culture and art to the world.
“The challenges that I have faced along the way include making the decision to leave the export job to dedicate myself to the artisans; to learn from them and learn about their stories and their work in order to share it. It is also challenging to overcome distrust, and the indifference of the authorities, to establish teamwork. But the biggest challenge today is to standardize artisan products to bring them to the virtual commercial sales channel, an effect of the COVID19 pandemic. I am optimistic and confident that we will overcome all these obstacles and move forward making the most of our skills in art and tradition despite adversity.
“Currently I carry out training in the communities of the sierra, jungle and coast of Peru. I dream of continuing to develop new, innovative artisan products and form a team that helps promote creativity and the sale of handicrafts not only in Peru but throughout the world. I am very grateful for this great opportunity that is given to me by being part of the NOVICA family.”