Our Family's History
It all began in Huancayo, Peru in 1987 when my father, Jose Huaman, was sixteen years old and needed to contribute to the family’s income. So, his father taught him how to knit on a manual knitting machine in order to find work.
A couple years later my mom Nelly and him were expecting a child (That would be me). They decided to invest in two manual knitting machines and start a manufacturing company. They would knit sweaters from acrylic yarn and sell them at local markets. After lots of hard work, they were able to open a small store, where they would sell sweaters for women.
The Big Leap
Our sweaters were well received in the national market, so they decided to invest in an industrial knitting machine. This helped them increase our production capability and create more sophisticated designs. With the help of small business organizations, they were able to showcase our products to American distributors who fell in love with our craft. This would be another turning point for our company.
Finally, they were able to make the big changes they were yearning for to grow and become a more sustainable company. They left the acrylic yarn behind and we began manufacturing our sweaters from all-natural alpaca fiber. They also began innovating new knitting techniques and different designs.
Today, our company is Fair Trade Certified by Peru’s Chamber of Commerce for Exportation, and it is equipped with modern knitting machines along side our heirloom machines. We are proud to be able to employ members of our community and together manufacture our products from raw material to final product.
Our main motive when starting our company was the ability to provide for our family and provide jobs for members of our community. Huancayo is mainly known to be an agricultural valley, but it is also rich in textile traditions. Our mission is to uphold these textile traditions while generating positive change in our beloved city.
From the start, our products were handmade and included handmade embroidery and crochet designs. To this day, handmade products and handmade designs are our signature.
Our journey let us to create embroidery and crochet workshops in surrounding humble communities. This would not only help textile art remain alive, but also would teach an employable trade to a struggling community and lead them to achieve economic stability.
Today, many embroidery technicians, mainly single mothers, work with our company. They hold a stable job and work from home, where they can manage their work schedule and simultaneously take care of their children. In many cases this is their family’s only source of income. We are proud to see that our workshops can provide a better quality of life for members of our community.
The Creation of Our Brand
Our brand, WUAMAN, is our next big step. It was created by myself, Sandra, and my husband, Edoardo. We created WUAMAN out of love. Love for each other, love for our families, and love for the Andes of Peru and its wonderful people. Our vision is to bring quality products made in a responsible manner to our adopted home, Denver Colorado, with the purpose of generating sustainable development in Andean communities through Fair Trade.
WUAMAN embodies who we are. We are a family company who treats all its members as such. Members who have worked with us since our humble beginnings. Always with the same philosophy; “We are artisans working alongside fellow artisans to create a better future.”