Paola Cruz Llerena
"My mother inspired me to enter the world of design. I used to accompany her whenever she visited ceramic artisans in different communities to teach them about quality, presentation and product design. <br><br>"My taste for handicrafts increased when I was at Piura University, and I was also working for an export company specializing in handcrafted goods. As Ceramics and Textile Accessories Manager, I got to learn more about textiles. <br><br>"I think one the events marked my life more than others - and therefore made me stronger - is the car accident I was in when I was 12 years old. I split my forehead and needed 47 stitches, as well as suffering other bumps and bruises. I realized I had come close to dying and even at that young age, that accident taught me to see the world with different eyes. <br><br>"And just like there are hard times, there are also happier ones that are worth remembering, which is why I'd like to tell you about the time when I was 15 years old. It was my last year of school (at an all-girl school) and we went on a spiritual retreat to prepare for our Confirmation. It was a time for peace and reflection, and we all had to share our most intimate thoughts and feelings - some of the girls were even crying. <br><br>"When it got to be my turn, I had to light a candle and in doing so I caused a small fire when I let the tablecloth near the flame! I burst out laughing and couldn't stop, and my friends started laughing too. We ended up being kicked out of the retreat because we had ruined a time for peace and reflection! <br><br>"I want to keep growing and form a venture which I can administer and offer work to many artisans. These days, Peruvian artisans need help with marketing and selling, and they need guidance in terms of quality and design, while still preserving ancestral crafting techniques and rescuing processes that are respectful of the environment. <br><br>"My mother has been my best teacher. I learned a lot from her and now we work together creating alpaca and sheep's wool accessories. Sometimes we can only get certain fixtures for our designs in Lima. <br><br>"Our inspiration comes from the world of fashion and from a flair for combining tradition with modernity. Our inspiration also comes from a desire to help women who live in faraway regions, and above all, it comes from the beauty we find in Peruvian textiles. <br><br>"We want to share it all with the world, which is why you'll find us here developing new designs which we create with a lot of love hoping customers too will become impassioned with our culture when they receive our creations."