Today I bring you a very special post. Some time ago I got to know the work of “Las Polleras de Agus” and I think it is a very nice project inspired by Peruvian handwoven textiles. Griela and Jhasmine Pérez are the ones who give life to this spectacular line of unique designs!
Griela is a talented entrepreneur from Cusco, graphic designer by profession and heart artist. Her idea of Las Polleras de Agus began when she and her husband were living in Huanuco (a city in the highlands of Peru). In a day of shopping in one of the markets, she saw some artisans and fell in love with the art they made with their hands. Immediately she asked them to please make a skirt for her little Agustina, called Agus. By wearing the skirt on everywhere, the little Agus fascinated the people who saw her. This is how the Polleras de Agus project was born, which has been “empollerando” (by this I mean dressing girls with “polleras”, which are Andes skirts) women from Peru and the world.
Today, already in 2019, Griela surprised by telling us about her new project: Almudena Home.
How did your idea of Almudena Home start?
Everything begins, in my change of seeing the world in general. The fashion world we know, it is one of the most polluting industries on the planet. When I see the fashion world in its entirety and see that polluting side to be a very fast industry, I fall out of love. Then I thought, I have to work on projects like this, a project with a more conscious, slower fashion. A fashion in which you do not have to change the collection every 3 months and then everything is in trash cans.
The starting point of this project is the reclaim of a piece of furniture that has been thrown away. We have started with furniture that we have found in landfill sites, we have restored and reupholstered it, adding culture with the embroidery we make.
Why did you choose the name of Almudena?
I have two daughters, one is Agustina and the other one is Almudena. Both are my inspiration and when I think of them, they make me more eager to do things.
How did you start your collaborative work with the artisans?
The theme of the collaborative work of artisans is because the living culture is in them. Working with them is a mutual work since without them I could not continue with this project. And without my proposals we could not do something innovative with them. This collaboration is born as a fusion, a synergy of knowing and being aware that together we can do more beautiful things, complementing each other.
They work in their own villages, to be able to grow economically and stay with their families at home.
Although the brand of Almudena Home is new, about Las Polleras de Agus, who are your biggest clients? Are they in Peru or abroad?
We have started with the idea that we first have to do things right at home (Peru) and then we reach other countries. All this time we have been working on reviving the love for our Peruvian culture, here in our country and we are ready to bring it to other countries.
We have not sold large quantities abroad, but we sell by unit. There is a marketplace where people make orders that go directly abroad. We have already sold to Africa, Australia, the United States and even to Korea.
What other furniture will Almudena Home offer us?
It will be what we find in landfill sites. That will be what we will have in stock and they will be unique pieces. Now we want to focus on a market like hotels and restaurants, that want to have a different touch in their spaces. Of course, it will also be open to be acquired by anyone who wants an art piece at home.
We saw in one of your interviews, that you give the possibility to visit your workshop in an experiential way in Cusco. How can we do it? What does it consist of?
We have a studio in Lima and another in Cusco. The workshops are located in the same artisan villages, we have talked with the artisans and they are happy to welcome the people in their homes and show them how they work.
We are doing some tours with tourism agencies, that offer different experiences in Cusco*. One of them is to visit Las Polleras studio and if someone wants to, they can organize a trip to the villages where the artisans work. The same artisans welcome you in their homes and shows you how they work, accompanied by a translator if necessary (some of them speak only quechua)
It is interesting that people can see the development of work, because behind these pieces of cloth, this is a nascent philosophy of Andean tradition. Some of them are: do not embroider on Saturdays or when they are embroidering a woman should not enter because the thread may ends, among many other things. (Men are the ones who embroider, and women carry the household economy)
Interviewing Griela was an enriching experience, knowing her passion for our Peruvian culture and knowing that it is being inserted into the new design trends is fantastic. I am excited by the idea of being able to get to know the work of artisans up close! And you?
Disclaimer: This post contain affiliate links marked with *