Artisan Organization: Felipe Berckholtz
"Ever since I can remember, I've always been interested in all things textile ‚Äî the colors, forms and textures. I was born in Lima but, since my parents were from Arequipa, we went there very often. Dad's interests had more to do with music, and I would accompany mom when she'd go shopping for alpaca apparel in Arequipa. How I loved everything they had! I loved touching them and I would try on everything I could. That's how my passion for natural Andean fibers came to be.
"I formally stepped into the magical world of natural fibers in 1998, first with cotton knits and then alpaca. And just like with every new beginning, mine was very tough. I worked 24/7 for about three years ‚Äî sometimes I would hardly have time to go home, take a quick shower, and return. It's always like that when you start something new, but then everything gradually took on its own path and I was able to relax a little. I never take my vocation for granted, I love it.
"My hobby and spiritual therapy is surfing ‚Äî running with the waves and being in contact with nature and the sea makes me forget about my problems and clear my mind. Then I can create new things and have clearer ideas.
"Whenever I want to create something new and interesting, I look my beloved Peru for inspiration ‚Äî our cultural diversity, colors and customs. Then I find a way to convey them through each design I create.
"My motivation comes from a desire to show the world the qualities of this beautiful fiber that nature has given us. I wish to share the attributes of alpaca with apparel ‚Äì be it for everyday use or for special occasions. I'd like people to know what's behind every single piece of alpaca apparel, the chain of people involved, the communities and families, the respect for their rights and our support for the preservation of the environment and its resources.
"My main motivation of course is my family ‚Äì I would give my life for them. They are everything to me.
"All of this inspires me to lead a tranquil life and without the many unpleasant surprises that one can find this day and age. I love thinking things through and not get overexcited or do crazy things.
"You won't regret purchasing one of our products, and I'm not just saying that because of the love and dedication that we give to each one from start to finish. Each item is the result of a team effort ‚Äî we share the work and we share the accolades.
"We also want to help people realize that it is myth that all alpaca products are itchy. We hope that with our clothing and accessories, you'll feel the goodness that alpaca has to offer, especially the wonderful warmth it exudes."
Felipe Berckholtz has presented his collections in different fashion fairs in Peru, as well as in Ecuador and Colombia."