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Meet Lori Perri of Shupaca in Chula Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lori Perri.

Shupaca is the collaboration of husband and wife tandem, Andrew and Lori Schuster. Travelling off-the beaten track in Peru and Ecuador brought about an unexpected immersion to the vibrant socio-cultural heritage of South America, and the discovery of an extraordinary fabric called, Alpaca.

The love for travel and design and helped them explore the cultures of South America and re-create their own interpretation of the textiles in this region.

Forming a brand that combines their environment-conscious minds and their dedication to fair trade and responsible business practices, Shupaca combines the couple’s surname and their esteemed product of choice, Alpaca fur.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our most challenging and equally rewarding aspects of running a global handmade business is travel. We spend many months each year working with artisans in remote areas. There is some times a language barrier as some our artisans’ native language is Quechua, a language of the Indigenous Incan decent. We are constantly teaching, learning and building relationships while we work on new designs and possibilities. The experience has a great value to us, but we definitely miss home at times!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Shupaca – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Shupaca’s goal is to develop a distinct apparel and accessory line specializing in natural Alpaca fibers.

Ethically sourcing silky smooth Alpaca wool from hundreds of artisans, Shupaca seeks to focus their designs between stylish, modern detailing and Alpaca wool’s impressive, literally ancient heritage.

Shupaca’s handmade wearables and home goods are crafted by ten different groups of artisans which comprise over 100 people within the indigenous communities of the Andes Mountain Region of Peru. Exploring remote areas of South America, the artisans are sought out with distinct production techniques and each craft and skill is celebrated in recreating their designs for today’s fashion trends.

These local crafts people are well-known for their textiles and traditional weaving skills that have been passed down for generations among the Quechua society.

Shupaca collaborates with these communities to design and produce Alpaca keepsakes that celebrate ethnicity decorated with clean lines, fresh colors, and modern designs for the here and now.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are planning on building a co-op in Ecuador for our artisan groups to come together and have a centrally located facility where they can collaborate their skills and techniques. This will help us to further educate the communities and improve work environments with upgraded tools. This facility will have a central garden for them to sustainably grow their own crops as well as living quarters for them to be able to have affordable housing.

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