Hola Senioras, com estas?
My first day in Lima was crazy. I wanted to meet with the grannies to follow up on production and make any last adjustments before I went into the mountains for a week. Excited much!
Due to my jetlag I was awake at 3 a.m. local time… I did try to sleep some more but after a lot of twisting and turning I decided to get up at 5.00 to do some preparations for the busy day.
Dear Celia ( the sweet lady that had me in her house last year) and Janet ( my local right hand) came to get me at the hotel to go to the Chorillos district to meet the ladies en check up on the production.
We drove to the apartment of Carolina in the Chorillos district, yes a flat, since we are just a starting atelier we don’t really have an accommodation to let the grannies come together. So they meet once or twice a week at someone’s home to chat and look at eachothers progress.
Once there, I finally got to take a look at the first produced items and see them in the new beautiful colors I picked for next winter.
Oh boy what a job, I literally took every piece that was made into my hands to check it.
Most of the items were done perfectly but with the scarves and headbands we had some problems, and I had to tell them they needed to redo every single one of them. It is not easy to let them understand that every piece needs to be aprox the same as the others in order to be able to sell them on an european market. We want to educate these ladies and learn them how to work in a professional way and sometimes that means to restart until they do it correct.
My hart broke several times when I had to let them know that something wasn’t ok and they had to change their way of knitting. But it really is our goal to let them grow toghether with k l o é and so sometimes they need to be taken by the hand to guide them trough. Don’t get me wrong, these ladies are by far the best knitters I’ve ever seen but they just have other ideas and standards here and they need to start thinking the way their client thinks instead of just doing what they feel is better.
Peruvian women can be very stubborn so I had to be very careful not to insult them in any way. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I hurt them. But most of them were really open for suggestions and are still so grateful that they got this chance of an honest pay that they were eager to learn.
‘GRACIAS GRACIAS GRACIAS’
I stopped counting the times the ladies said this to me.
It filled my hearth with a lot of love and joy that what I’m doing is really helpful for them and they are so happy to be part of Worldgranny and k l o é. And they did appreciate the fact that I am teaching them a lot to become a more professional knitting group. Pfiew.
If they could, they would be knitting 24/7 to do what is necessary. But off course we don’t want to turn them into a sweatshop, haha, so we have to let them realize that asking for help is not something bad. It can only help them improve even more.
Peruvian people have the habit of saying ‘YES’ to everything, even if the answer should be ‘NO’. And that makes it a lot harder to trust on them because you never know what the outcome will be. But hey, we’re getting there so at the end it will be me who is saying gracias to the ladies for their exquisite work. And… we will be able the increase the group and put even more ladies at work. YES WE CAN.
POLLO A LA BRASA
Once we finalized the quality control it was time for lunch. And hungry I was after such a busy morning.
One of the local specialties is Pollo a la brasa, roasted chicken, with fries. To be honest, this really is one of my favourite things to buy in the supermarket back home when I have a day off of cooking. So there we were, the whole group together with some Pollo, fries and last but not least some Inca Kola. This is a supersweet, almost fluoyellow soda and you can not compare the taste with anything I know. When in Peru you have to drink Inca Kola, well maybe just this once for me because it’s ridiculously sweet and makes you even more thirsty.
Did you know that Peru is the only country where Coca Cola isn’t on top of the soda list but their own Inka Cola is?
STRIKE A POSE
With our bellies filled we were ready for our big photoshoot. Worldgranny arranged a professional photographer so we would finally have some nice pictures of the ladies that are making your clothes. I hope I will soon can share their faces and stories with you.
Like real models they posed in front of the camera trying to look their very best. We have been taking individual foto’s of each of them so I can introduce you guy’s to every single lady that is working in the Sumak Maki Group. Here is a little sneekpeek of our new Honeycomb collection, what do you think of our new beanie and mittens?
My favourite shot is the group picture. They were having so much fun when taking this! Puffing and blowing because they were so warm. Haha poor things, everything for a perfect shot, right?
As you can see I also brought some Fashion Revolution stuff with me. To make people even more aware about the honest and fair slow fashion we are producing with k l o é.
Dropdead tired, after a very satisfying day, I arrived back at the hotel, ready for another short night of sleep.
I had to get up at 3.30 to go to the airport and catch my flight to Juliaca to finally go and see some alpaca’s in their natural habitat.
XOXO Chloé by k l o é