Crafting remarkable Alpaca goods isn’t easy. It’s amazing.
Traditionally crafted items tell stories of people and cultures developed through the centuries and are deeply rooted in their ancestry. Preserving and supporting this artisan way of life keeps these stories alive, inspires generations to come and ensures these indigenous communities continue to thrive.
In the shadow of Ecuador’s Imbabura volcano in the small hillside village of Peguche, Ecuador, fine weaving traditions pass from generation to generation. Here, on a family adventure vacation in this majestic location, Hilary Nimons first discovered the alpaca handiworks created by native artisans.
Hilary and her family were staying in a small eco-lodge in the Amazon’s Cuyabeno Reserve owned by Enrique Aldaz. During their stay, Enrique introduced Hilary to many native artisans and their impressive range of traditional woven items. It was love at first touch.
With a desire to share these unique masterworks, Hilary partnered with Enrique to launch Alpaca Lifestyle & Apparel in 2014. Today, the company continues to commission exclusive, finely crafted blankets, throws, scarves, wraps and other products to rave reviews from retailers and customers alike. Better still, the traditionally woven items are sustainable and help support Fair Trade in the small communities where they’re designed and produced.
Alonso Alonso understands the power of softness. For many years, he and his wife, Mercedes, handcrafted alpaca swaddling blankets that surrounded infants with pure comfort. Then, in 2013, Alonso risked much of his family’s savings to buy three machines to help him create scarves, blankets and throws. It was a smart move. Today, in the small shop that sits next to his parents’ home, he and Mercedes take immense pride in crafting wonderfully soft, supple and luxurious products created from alpaca wool.
Fabian It’s 5 a.m. and Fabian is already hard at work. In the dedicated workroom beside his home, Fabian prepares his hand-crafted alpaca blankets and throws. Later that morning, crowds will flock to him in a market in nearby Otavalo to purchase and share the results of his craftsmanship. Fabian’s labor has many purposes. At the top of his list is his desire to send his four children to college—and return home to carry on a family tradition of fine, hand-hewn quality.