Building Capacity in Peruvian Textiles (en)
After 10 years of making knitwear as a subcontractor, Nelly Puertas of Arequipa, Peru, decided to design and market her own collection. In summer 2010, she attended a meeting organized by PromPeru, the Peruvian export-promotion agency, where members of the Peru/Alpaca project team — part of ITC’s Women and Trade Programme — discussed opportunities for small-scale garment makers in the so-called capital of alpaca production to sell their goods abroad. This was the spark she needed.
ITC and PromPeru encouraged Puertas to display her collection — named Alpacolca after alpaca wool and nearby Colca Canyon — at Peru Moda, the annual fashion-industry trade fair in Lima, in 2010, which was the first time she had ever shown her work at a trade fair.
“I was surprised by the interest in my brand and collection,” Puertas said. “I made over 100 contacts at Peru Moda. A deal with Finland has gone through, and I have also negotiated deals with buyers from Brazil, the US, India and France.”
Between September and December 2011, Puertas received advice from designers, attended ITC training sessions on access to the United States market, participated in a major trade event (PROMO) with Peruvian trade representatives, and took part in a training and prospecting mission to Los Angeles.
Puertas now employs four full-time staff in her workshop and brings in contract workers to help with large orders.