Mayu, an online boutique selling fair trade, hand-knit alpaca accessories made n Peru, is a social enterprise I founded as a result of my time in the Peace Corps. Following is the quick story behind Mayu.
After spending junior year abroad in college, I returned to school with severe wanderlust. The solution, I figured, would be to join the Peace Corps. I was seeking serious adventure, Spanish language skills and most importantly, the opportunity to submerse myself into an unknown culture. A year later, I was a college graduate headed to Peru as a small business development volunteer in the Peace Corps. There was no turning back…
I had a fantastic experience in Peru, (though I admit, it wasn’t ALL fun and games), which I can honestly say, has almost 100% shaped the person that I am today. To make a 2.5 year story short, I’ll start by saying that I was living high in the Andes Mountains in the department of Ancash, about 10 hours North of Lima. Every morning I awoke to the stunning Huayuash Mountains and fresh air of rural Peru. Life was spectacular; the Peruvian people with whom I lived and worked were warm (despite the cold temperature!), welcoming and extremely hard-working. I was fortunate to come across a group of talented knitters who practically knit with their eyes closed; I was not a knitter so, through my eyes, they knit like machines. I spent the majority of my Peace Corps service helping the artisans develop a small business through ongoing workshops covering basic business practices, product development and design, computation and quality control, to name a few. In exchange, they taught me what it meant to be Peruvian.
Falling in love with the women and Peru, I decided to create Mayu to help provide the artisans with additional income. They are excited to share their alpaca scarves, hats, wraps, hoodies and throws with the outside world. In the knitters’ opinion, the alpaca clothes are special because of the high-quality, eco-friendly alpaca fiber, native to Peru. For a quick video on the beauty of Peruvian alpaca, click here.
For more information on all things Peru, Alpaca, Fair Trade, Sustainability, Peace Corps, Promotions and more, subscribe to Mayu’s blog, follow us on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook and visit our website. We welcome questions, comments, ideas and anything else you may want to contribute. Thank you to Karikuy; we love what you are doing!