About the designer
I grew up in a large family in Lima, Peru. My parents worked very hard at the family business but even with the best efforts, money was often tight. Clothes, shoes and toys were shared and/or handed down between siblings. This environment was a real test case for the importance of starting with high quality materials. You can’t hand down a toy if it breaks in a year. It was also a breeding ground for entrepreneurship. If we wanted extras, we needed to work for it.
I started my first business when I was 10. There was a need that could be filled with a bit of work and very little investment. It was almost immediately profitable. My very first purchase was a new pair of leather boots. I was so proud of them. I can remember walking around looking at my feet feeling so happy.
For 3 years I attended a technical school where I earned a degree in production printing. For 10 years, I printed flyers, brochures and business cards. Life was good; I was finally comfortable and my life finally had some luxury. I was able to go to University and finish off a degree in communications; I bought land; I was able to pay for my mother’s medicine. But eventually, the company I worked for folded. Life is always full of surprises.
At age 28, I left life in Peru behind and found myself in the Bahamas working a long list of jobs which eventually led to teaching Spanish in the Bahamian public schools. It was here that I eventually met my husband and we set up our first home in Bermuda. After several happy years there, his job took us to Florida in the United States and eventually to the beginnings of what would become Killasumaq, LLC.
I was depressed after the birth of my son. It was important to me to be able to stay at home with him for his first few years so I began several fashion related startups with little success. Until one day, while on vacation in Peru with my family, we stopped at a tourist shop which had some locally made shoes. They were a cute little design but horribly made. Enraged, I shook one of those shoes as my husband and pronounced: “We have some of the best leather craftsmen in the world and this is what we are selling! I am going to make shoes”. It was in that moment that my shoe design dream became a reality. He quit his job. We sold our house and moved to Peru so I could take some design courses and put together the infrastructure needed to produce shoes. My world had finally felt colorful again and I felt nothing but motivation. Once the bones of the organization were in place, we were off to Wichita, Kansas to set up the retail side of the business. The girl with worn and tired shoes is almost an unrecognizable memory. And now I want to make my creations available for people with unique stories to tell from all over the world.