Artisan Organization: Elsa Flores
"I was born in 1974 in the magical and historic province of Cuzco. It is one of Peru's most representative cities, not only for its magnificent architecture but also for its ancestral cultural legacy.
"I consider myself a happy woman, an extrovert, trustworthy and hardworking.
"I had some difficult moments when I began working with alpaca apparel. It first, I was blessed with very faithful shoppers who'd come back or even wait a few days for one of my designs. But very soon, copies of my designs appeared in the local market and I had to constantly renew my apparel and accessories to make them different from everyone else's.
"One of my plans for the future is to expand my beloved workshop. I want my work to make a mark in fashion trends and colors in the world by creating perfect accessories for all kinds of outfits.
"It was my parents who introduced me to Andean textile arts. They knitted all kinds of apparel but what I liked best were the hats, the chullos, and the ponchos. How could I not feel attracted to it? Through textiles and fashion, I can express my feelings while giving life to the yarns by combining colors and design.
"What I like best of my work is the freedom to play with colors, forms and designs. I love the symmetry that results in an attractive and good-looking piece of apparel that shows my own style but also reflects that of the land where I was born. Here, the world is filled with light, the skies are blue and clear, the seasons change. In the fields and hills, animals graze and rest amid lush vegetation. I want to express and share all this through my knitting and weaving that carry on the ancestral legacy and techniques of our Inca forebears.
"My inspiration comes from Andean dances, our customs, our religion and the icons of this culture. They reflect the experiences and beliefs of our ancestors and the desires they handed down from generation to generations.
"It's really exciting to share my art with the world and this great passion I feel for my work.""