In 2011 Katia Guardia and Pipo Ramirez started working together with artisans to make KANI’s first collection. The goal was to innovate in this first collection of hand embroidered and hand loomed accessories. They were advised by artisan Faustino Flores to move to Ayacucho, Peru to get to know their artisanal techniques and communities. So they did. During the two years they lived there it became clear that KANI’s purpose was not just to innovate in handmade products, but to have a positive impact on the communities whom traditionally handcraft them.
Katia and Pipo got involved in the world of artisans in Ayacucho to identify opportunities and challenges. They found that artisans have the abilities to empower their communities. This is when they realized that they had and opportunity to innovate and design a solution that would bridge artisans communities and global markets. Building this bridge was going to take time but they were determine to do it.
In 2012, our team decided to move to Ayacucho, Peru to learn from artisans and develop new handmade products. A beautiful friendship with a artisan couple opened the doors to the artisan community of Vinchos. As soon as we saw their living conditions we decided to do more than work on new products. We started to visit this community constantly in the afternoons. The first time we visited Vinchos in the morning, only a couple of hours out in the open were enough for our faces to be severally sunburned. We understood firsthand why the children’s faces were so damaged by the sun.
Who hasn’t gotten sunburned? But this rarely happens because in the city we are mainly go from the shade of our home, to the shade of our transportation, to the shade of our workplace. In these villages things are different, most of the daily activities happen out in the open and children are more exposed to sun radiation. That morning in Vinchos we found another way to have a positive impact in these communities: work to empower artisan communities and to protect children from sun radiation.
When you purchase our traditionally handcrafted products, you also build sustainable lives for artisans and their children.
We admire the traditional handcrafts that artisans in Peru are able to make. We see how artisans have the abilities to empower their communities, they just need to be included in the global market place.
Vinchos is a community located in the Ayacucho Region of Peru. This community is known by their work with embroidery which is a craft that has been passed down from many generations. Our handcrafted products are embroidered in this community and we have developed strong bonds that drive us to keep going forth on our mission. Their hard work has helped us reach our first goal to give away our first 100 sun protective hats to children from 3 villages. Our by next year is to reach all the villages within Vinchos.
To empower artisan communities by working together to make quality products and have them be part of the global market.