Meet Patricia Queirolo of Alqo Wasi.
ALQO WASI means “Dog Home” in Quechua, the language of the Incas. It all started in 2005 on one of the countless family adventure journeys along the Peruvian Andes. We had already been in a bus for 4 hours, we had 2 more hours to arrive at the imposing presence of the great Colca Canyon and I had to come up with an idea of a business for my university thesis. Suddenly, it just popped into my mind. I had been looking for clothes for Paco and Lua, my two little spoiled and pampered Westies, and nothing was good enough for them.
As I was sitting by the bus window, I kept watching these incredible landscapes in the middle of what we call the sierra; they were covered with these incredible creatures, the Gold of the Andes as we proudly call them. Alpacas, llamas, guanacos and vicuñas grazed freely in the vast highlands of the region at more than 10,000 feet above sea level. From time to time we stopped in little villages where native communities are known for their incredible weaving and natural dying techniques. The weaving loom is used since pre Hispanic times and artisans from the Andean region apply ancestral techniques of spinning and dying to make diverse textiles.
After some time, I decided to take the risk. I created a company that could give our babies sophisticated and one-of-a-kind apparel, and at the same time create good jobs for women weavers in local Peruvian communities.
In 2013, Gloria a sweet mini Dachshund became part of our family.