Artisan Organization: Johnny Jimenez
"I have been working in crafts with my wife since 2000. It was in 2012 when I joined Novica, thanks to a cousin who told me about the platform. I must confess that at first, I did not give much importance to my listings, however, starting in 2015 I began to pay more attention to my sales and inventory rotation. Additionally, my products began to be selected for the fall/winter catalogs. That really changed my life.
"In 2016 we began to improve my house, which before was practically made of cardboard and wood. Today we have a beautiful family home thanks to my sales at Novica. I am extremely grateful that today I have financial peace of mind and the gratitude of providing my children with an education."
Original Artist Story
Johnny is heir to a family leather tanning tradition. His father, Don Diomedes had a leather workshop, and he learned the craft alongside his siblings. Their parents and uncles were their teachers. By the time he was six years old, Johnny would play with spare pieces of tooled leather, making designs. He eventually learned to tool. "It's ironic how, back then when I was a kid and had no experience, I never had an accident. And later, with years of experience, I cut my hand!" Johnny confides.
"When I was 12 years old I was allowed to work on my own designs, and when I was 15, I was given my own set of tools! I used to compete with other people in the workshop too. Now I'm married to Irene, and we have two children, Brigitte and Johnny.
"When my dad ran the workshop, we specialized in colonial motifs. I prefer Inca motifs. I studied business administration but, the truth is, I much prefer doing this. I like to try new things, including different leather tooling methods, and, in doing so, I realized the quality of my work improved drastically. I am regarded as being one of the few tanners in Peru that still works with his hands.
"Some people from the United States visited my workshop and liked my work, and since then they keep commissioning items for cowboys. This experience has taught me the value of constantly creating and renovating, and working with different materials, including leather, wood, and wrought iron.
"My dad and I learned to draw on our own because we enjoy creating new designs for our leatherwork.
"There used to be many leather tannery workshops, but now there are only two where I live, mine and that of another featured artist, Moises Alvarez. That's why I'm very happy to be associated with you. I'd love to show the world how rich Peruvian artistry is, so that we may stop it from dying out. That's why I dedicate all my time and energy to my work, so that it may be worthy of your admiration."
Johnny was recognized for his contributions to local handicrafts by the City of Lima in 2018."