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Karla Solano

Artisan Organization: Karla Solano

Country: Central America

"The art of knitting is a great therapy; I leave part of my love for knitting in each stitch. Knitting is expressing many emotions. In addition to earning me money, it is a pleasant job-- it gives me peace, fullness and relaxation.

"My name is Karla Solano, born in San José Costa Rica. I consider myself a persistent, enthusiastic and very creative person. My childhood was very beautiful despite the economic limitations. I lived with my grandmother and my mother in San José, Moravia. My aunt taught me to knit when I was 7 years old. It was a bit difficult because I am left-handed and my aunt is right-handed, but I managed to learn and now I teach it to my daughter.

"In my family it is customary to weave baby clothes, and since I was a child I liked it. For me it was very nice to collaborate in making a piece for that new baby in the family. At 15 years old I studied at night and worked during the day to help at home. I learned to weave on a machine, thanks to a lady who lent it to me for fifteen days. My desire to learn made me do it in three days. That's how I started to make different products, which she sold in her store and in supermarkets. When I turned 18 I asked for a loan to be able to buy a new knitting machine. And it started for me, this beautiful adventure of designing knitted garments and becoming an enterprising artisan with my own business, a great passion that I enjoy very much.

"Within this art I have had very beautiful experiences. One that I would like to tell you about is when an executive saw me selling at a handicrafts fair in a park; he told me that due to the quality and design that I had, my products should not be sold in that place. Then he gave me the opportunity to participate in a large exhibition event and sell the products by the dozens in a more practical and easy way. That was the beginning of my growth in sales; positioning the products in design stores, airports and fairs with state institutions.

"I love making clothes that are functional and practical to use. The most beautiful thing is to see that it is an ideal gift and many of my clients are satisfied. My inspiration is in nature, the mountains, the texture of the trees, the colors. I love volcanoes, their different shapes and vegetation, the energy they have, the climate of each one, seeing how in nature you find a wonderful world where every day you learn. I handle the entire process in making the products, using acrylic yarn, wooden accents and synthetic leather; with tools such as the sewing machine and hand-made techniques such as crochet. Although establishing myself as a craftsman has not been easy, I have achieved it with a lot of effort and with several trainings.

"Weaving is one of the crafts that most unites women; it maintains a bond from generation to generation. I like to design inspired by the shapes and colors that give rise to Costa Rica. The crafts that I offer you have a seal of love and passion, where I can express in a woven garment my most beautiful and pleasant feelings of peace, harmony and delicacy. When I am designing the piece, I think of the client, that when they use it they feel comfort, peace, shelter, fullness and a very warm hug on your skin. Your purchase helps improve the quality of life of a family that lives from what it loves to do ... weave moments of inspiration and peace." "