It all began in Huancayo, Peru in 1987. I, Jose Huaman, was sixteen years old and needed to contribute to my family’s income. So, with the help of my father, I learned how to knit on a manual knitting machine in order to find work.
Only a couple years later, my now wife, Nelly, and I were expecting a child. We decided to invest in two manual knitting machines and start a manufacturing company. We would knit sweaters from acrylic yarn and sell them at local markets. After lots of hard work, we were able to open a small store, where we would sell sweaters for women and children.
With a successful store, we decided to invest in more manual knitting machines, we hired and trained machine operators and our manufacturing company started to grow. During the next few years, we began selling our sweaters in other Peruvian cities like Lima and Cusco.
The Big Leap
Our sweaters were well received in the national market, so we decided to invest in an industrial knitting machine. This helped us increase our production capability and create more sophisticated designs. With the help of small business organizations, we 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, we were able to make the big changes we were yearning for. We left the acrylic yarn behind and we began manufacturing our sweaters from natural alpaca fiber. We also began innovating new knitting techniques and different designs.
Today, our company is fair trade certified by Peru’s Chamber of Commerce and it is equipped with seven industrial knitting 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 to 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 over sixty 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 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.
Our brand Wuaman is our next big step. We are sincerely thankful for all the buyers who have supported us through the years with their business and continue to do so. You help us grow our family company and create more jobs for members of our community.
Our Wuaman Collection 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. Wuaman is the creation of my children, who will carry on our family business with the same philosophy. “We are artisans working alongside fellow artisans to create a better future.”
"By choosing Wuaman, you are not only supporting our family business, but also supporting an entire community of artisans who are the beating heart of our company and the talented hands behind our products." - Sandra Huaman