To be or not to be … independent, to have or not to own a business …
When you choose to do something that you are passionate about, that question remains …
At some point in our lives, some people have seen us in the dilemma of undertaking or not their own business and the first question that arises is: what business should I start? How will it go? I remember someone very close to our family, told my husband and me, “you where are you going to be entrepreneurs …?” Because this is very common and many times, our own family becomes the main obstacle to take that decision.
This lack of support from some families is not always because they do not trust us, sometimes it is a way of wanting to protect ourselves from an alleged failure … In our case, we took these unpromising words as a challenge and we said to ourselves “where we are going to be entrepreneurs … because of our work and passion for what we do and we will demonstrate that we can …” that’s why I consider it very important for anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur, pursuing his dream with great faith and perseverance.
It has been more than fifteen years since we made that important decision in our lives and at that time when we started this project, we lived in Lima. My husband worked at a well-known soft drink company and I was a Personal Banking Business Executive at a financial institution.
In 2001, we began to sell garments for ladies and girls woven in pima cotton, hiring workshops, with the idea of exporting them and I had the opportunity to travel to USA in order to look for potential customers for our garments, but after seeing the reality in that country and find out that in order to be able to sell our products to exclusive stores or distributors of such products; it was necessary to attend international fairs whose participation costs did not fall below the US $ 10.000 or we had to contract the services of a designer of that country, something that at that moment we could not assume, reason why I returned to Peru thinking that we had to change of turn to some item that did not involve greater investment. Honestly we were a bit scared.
For this reason, my husband began to investigate which export item was growing at the time and discovered that the export of alpaca fur crafts was a good option and we decided to start our business in this new field, researching and learning.
Doing what you are passionate about, pursuing your dreams …
I remember when I lived in Lima and I was 9, at that time I liked to sew the dresses to my dolls and also to make stuffed animals of different fabrics that I had on hand, making my own molds. I always had the illusion of making a full-length black evening gown with a “V” cut on the front and back, only at that time I imagined doing it in a very fine and elegant fabric with feathers in the same color of the fabric of the dress I also remember that for an anniversary of my parents, I proposed to give them a teddy and made the Yogi bear and his partner.
I am sure that my parents never imagined that this hobby at any moment could become a passion and a business that for 4 years I have been handling directly. However I owe them a lot of what I am, despite having married very young, they knew how to guide me and motivate me to be professional; since I chose the university course of Accounting, in order to learn the integral management of a business and to be able to work being myself my own boss.
While it is true, Accounting is not related to fashion and design; opened many doors and work in good companies, which allowed me to raise a capital important to continue my dream … ..
Overcome obstacles and persevere …
Our business, like everything else in life, had its ups and downs, which forced us to return to temporarily dependent jobs, but at no time did we abandon our company and rather maintained it while working and returning as an independent and assuming management, we refocus and diversify; since we began in the preparation of alpaca leather rugs and now we are mainly engaged in the manufacture of accessories and alpaca leather garments; such as wallets, scarves, stoles, footwear; of cowhide, goat and alpaca fur, as well as fine fiber fabrics, such as baby alpaca wool.
Working with integrity, sustainability and social responsibility …
What also fascinates me, is to be able to help the development of families and groups of working women. I am thrilled to see how our strategic partners, who are the families with whom we carry out the process of tanning and dyeing alpaca fur, have improved their standard of living: the family with which we started working more than 10 years ago, lived in a semi-built house and now have a three-storey house, which have also provided as a workshop and accommodation for more workers mainly their relatives who come from Puno.
It should be noted that the skin we use to make our products come from the natural mortality of alpacas, due to extreme cold, rain and snow conditions in the highlands of the Andes where they are raised and rather our activity supports to these small shepherds from these remote and poor areas, recycling these skins and contributing to improve the economy of these families.
We are currently exporting our products to different customers in the USA, Canada and Europe and by the end of November this year we will be launching our brand in the local market and I am confident that this new step is about to start a new dream, allows, we will fulfill thanks to the team work with my husband and my youngest daughter; who is my personal assistant and my main image consultant, when she does not have many school tasks. She also supports me in some designs that I am currently including in my new collection of alpaca and pima cotton.
In these lines, my intention is to leave a message motivating, but at the same time realistic of what implies, in my opinion; own business. As you may have read in this testimony. Making this decision requires working day by day, overcoming obstacles that will always arise; however it is very gratifying to know that in this way you never finish learning and creating, living your passion ….