“My name is Hugo Ernesto Orellana Alvarado, and I am creative, persevering and positive. I was born in the department of San Miguel in El Salvador in 1970. I grew up in the North, in the town of Perquín, in the department of Morazán. I lived a normal childhood, until the Civil War broke out, which is why my family migrated to San Salvador, where I finished training as an adult. Since I was little, my father instilled in me a love for art, especially for drawing and painting. With a marked interest in the arts, I entered the University of El Salvador in the career of Plastic Arts, and since then my working life has revolved around different artistic disciplines.
“I was fired from my job as a creative in an advertising agency and decided to venture out on my own. Four years ago we formalized a family business of leather goods. I remember that the first piece I made was a hand-sewn and cut box, decorated with pyrography as a gift to my wife, which she still has 24 years later. I managed to overcome a difficult situation, creating a project that allows us to cope with the crisis. It has been difficult, with few opportunities or support and with many demands; but it has been very satisfying to be able to achieve it despite everything.
“I had the opportunity to work in a leather workshop that exported products to New Mexico, and it was there that I was able to see the process first hand, and then try it on my own in a self-taught way. It is an activity that allows me to develop new ideas, creating products and exploiting my creativity in each project to be carried out. Even so, it has been necessary to receive additional training and to access tutorials through the internet to strengthen my capacities. We use leather as the raw material in its different variants, as well as hardware, thread, beeswax, and other materials that I buy locally. In some cases, supplies and tools are imported. The best part of my job is satisfying customers through my products; it inspires me to create new products.
“In our family, as a work team, each one has his responsibilities stipulated, working according to his abilities and skills, following the parameters established in the production line. Over time, the leather working process has become industrialized, and artisanal methods have been left behind. In our production process and as the essence of the brand, handwork is a fundamental part, establishing the difference between industrial and artisanal.
“I dream of strengthening our brand to the point of being able to have our products for sale in different countries around the world. Each piece that I make carries a high level of determination and commitment, since everything is handmade. Each cut, each stitch, each hammer blow has the great dedication of the craftsman to obtain an attractive and different piece for each client. We are a responsible, committed and dedicated company who value artisan work.”